Friday 7 August 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Secret Squirrels and Scuttlebutts

We've been coming to this pub for a while now it's a nice leisurely walk along the canal towpath and a canal waters that hold some good fishing memories. The garden great for roaming Ben, containment not his thing, for him to be limited to a 2 metre circle which some other local pubs are doing just won't happen.

Here he can stretch his legs, wiggle his worm, feel comfortable in his surroundings, heck his brother Sam can even kick a football. Now the food and drink ain't bad too especially when making use of the government scheme where the food was half price basically, it felt very odd tapping ones card on the machine with a total so unbefitting.

Now Guinness is exclusively served on nitrogen, meaning it is pressurised in the keg with a nitrogen/carbon dioxide mix (at a ratio of 75% to 25%) as opposed to being strictly carbonated like most beers. 

Unquestionably, nitrogen taps pour differently that standard lines, coming out rich and velvety and, indeed, taking a little while to settle, but luckily not 'that' long.

Guinness's two-part-pour myth-making might have worked back in the days when few beers were available as nitrogen pours.

But, nowadays, countless beers are available "on nitro," with most bars devoting a line or two to special faucets which help further facilitate a nitrogen beer's correct flow.

Now If you're a newcomer to all things Guinness though you might really enjoy a pint of the back stuff, the problem is there are so many nicer stouts around these days dare I say it, it is rather mediocre in its offering.

Still if you're in and around Lapworth near me you can actually get a proper hand pulled pint here, in-fact 'apparently' it's the only place in the UK you can get one poured like that (I wonder if Guinness know ?). I find that hard to believe but then when I think about the rare pint of Guinness I have had they have all been served the same way, yeap taps not pumps.

I must add, most proper Guinness drinkers just drink Guinness though, I need more convincing.

Does it taste any better ? Well all I can say is with an ale offered at the same bar that's where my money will be headed, especially as it's such a well kept pint featuring Styrian Goldings, Goldings and Fuggles.

The Landlord who serves a cracking pint of his namesake does wonderful stuff to his beer all very secret squirrel stuff.

Now talking of secret squirrel stuff revealing Barbel swims does seem to be a complete no no these days.

To be fair I can understand why because I'm finding them harder to track down myself of late. Those usual places I've found them in the past not as prolific as they once were.

For this session I was back at the syndicate stretch because here I can fish as late as I like which when targeting Barbel in these gin clear waters can give an edge. Obviously you need fish in front of you but there are Barbel here because, well I'd caught one, a good un too, so I was hoping a quick session I'd find one milling around.

Barbel I find are not particularity hard to catch but they need to be there first, that is the biggest hurdle.

I didn't rush to get fishing, it's a place of contemplation. a place to chill and just enjoy the environment. That's a byproduct of our pastime we are very lucky indeed, not many others offer such involvement with nature like ours does.

A few balls of scalded pellet and hemp when in to a swim on the inside and I could see them hit the bottom the water is that clear. Nothing much happens till dusk, no rush.

Dusk came and went with only a tentative pull from something small very small indeed materialised after an hour after the bait went in. Still I was here in to dark so fingers crossed something would happen.

There wasn't a breath of wind so any kind of fish in the swim would register on the tip. Dark now, the isotope glowing dimly and I had decided to give it an hour past official dusk which was approaching fast when all of a sudden a motionless rod went in to meltdown.

The rod almost pulling off the rest the centrepins ratchet taken by surprise. The bite continued and kept on going water-ward, a bite that could be measured in seconds not in milliseconds . I fully expected to lift the rod and be in to a Barbel after the fish had clearly hooked itself.

But then I lifted in to nothing ? no fish, not even a persistent Chevin, "you what ?" It didn't make sense, the bite so violent it could have only been one species, the barbel. "Why wasn't it on though ?" Damn !!!! I put the bait back out and stopped for another half an hour but nada, nothing, zilch, back to the drawing board.


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