Sunday 4 October 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Cowherds and Cenaesthesis

The cows wondering what the heck is going on, some of them up to their dewlaps in water bless them, with the cowherd in the Hilux doing his best to get them to more firmer ground. I too was wondering what the heck I was going on because almost a whole day of rain had meant that the local rivers were well and truly in flood. Mad what 24 hours can do because I was fishing for Pike in clear water this time the day before.

I decided to wade to see if I could get bankside, you see the stream that bisects the fields bursting it's banks, the topping roach wondering why their shoulders were now bumping together, social distancing a pip dream.  A few strides in to the standing water ones Muck Boots were teetering on the edge of failure, the water deeper much deeper than I thought, "hmmmmm maybe not a good idea this"

Then out of the dull mist a figure appears, an angler who was bankside now making his way towards me so I decided to wait for a field report so to speak. He'd come proper prepared, waders now in plain sight and then it dawned upon me, it was fellow WBAS syndicate member Dave Roberts, I thought I'd recognised the car.

Now Dave probably hadn't had the quantity of rum I had the night before so he'd already fished an hour in the brown and turbulent Warwickshire Avon before even I'd woken up. It's quite hand for me this stretch as I can be bankside in less time it takes Sam the tangleator to finish his dinner. Safety is key when you are fishing flood water conditions and Dave just wasn't happy being bankside.

If you have any doubts whatsoever then the decision is already made for you, no flipping of coins to be seen here, a dull day, even duller photos, best leave it at that.

The river was not only on the rise but also the wading water just to get bankside was also becoming deeper and more widespread, so another couple of hours trying to bag a Barbel may be all well and good, but the journey back to the car might well have been tricky.

An hour without a touch fishing in these conditions can be hit and miss and Dave's report was definitely miss. He could hold bottom fine but the amount of debris coming down was considerable and even when a slack or an area of steady water was found recasting was needed.

The debris can be considerable too, one of the reasons why I like fishing these conditions as I often play top trumps on what ends up floating down the river.

Now a river on the drop after a flood is preferable for me for fishing for Barbel but I'd struggle to get out in the next couple of days, so this would be the only chance I'd have. To be fair I've had some cracking sessions in conditions like this, more memorable session I bagged 4 barbel and lost two in not much more than an hour.

Those fish if I recall were caught on lobworm and you can only imagine the feeding frenzy that often happens when the river rises and washes the bank away revealing the lobworms location, dumping them on the river bed for those waiters with knives and forks at the ready.

Now ones wormery is nicely established now but in the rush to get the tackle in the car I stupidly left the worms I harvested in the garage. Now I'm no expert in setting one up but mine is doing rather nicely indeed.

A kitchen composter bucket, some topsoil and in the bottom, I added a layer of moist ‘bedding material’ such as old compost or in my own wormery some coir. This creates a humid layer in which the worms can burrow and begin to digest their food.

Food well, a Sunday roast is a firm favourite in the Newey household so vegetable peelings is ideal to keep them well fed and the odd bit of water from time to time to keep them watered.

I started it off with a couple of tubs of dendrobaena worms and now have an established breeding wormery and effectively free bait. It took a few weeks to see any baby wrigglers but then overnight more or less, hundreds of the buggers.

Anyway back to the fishing....!!!!

With Dave making his way back home I decided to drive down the end of the stretch where I knew I should at least be able to get a bait in the water. Sure enough after parking the car I hotfooted it to the river side and sure enough despite the swollen river I could manage to at least get a bait in. I know the river very well here so I wouldn't advise fishing in floods if you are not sure what's in front of you.

So only one rod because I like travelling light for these sort of sessions, also make sure you have a reference point to see what the river is doing, if it's rising fast you need to know that. I spotted the Otter before I even chose the first swim to fish and he was going without his business without a care in the world. Bonus points to someone who can spot it in one of the pictures.

Anyway simple tactics this some pungent pandemic paste within the grippa lead and a piece of spam on the hair. Spam is a default bait for barbel for me and especially when the conditions are like this there really is no better bait. You need to have those fish in front of you though and after 4 swims with 20 minutes or so in each I was biteless.

The last swim though eventually I had some plucks and pulls however nothing strikeable so I reduced the bait by half and within a couple of minutes of doing that I managed a greedy pound chublet.

The rain by this time had started to come down a little stronger and to be honest, it wasn't exactly pleasant so after having a quick visit to the syndicate stretch for half an hour to see if anything was doing there (there wasn't) I let the other members know it's perfectly fishable despite the conditions so I'm hoping those members fair better than I did.


  1. Thanks for the wormery tips Mick! :)

  2. Oh and I keep it the garage Keith, dark and cool

  3. I'm with your Dave, unless you know where every side stream and every ditch are I'd say avoid flooded fields.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...