Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Quatsch and Quinquagenarians

Staring down a reality of equivocal isolation, contagion, and financial bewilderment, life on the dance floor now feels like a distant memory for those that reply on the industry. Venues are all closed, record stores have shut their shops, and many artists are being stripped of their main source of income. 

The electronic music community has been left in the dark by the unforgiving nature of the coronavirus pandemic. Still there is light at the end of the tunnel if you're one of those 3000 that can now enjoy themselves at the Royal Albert Hall. 

So football stadiums must be open then surely Shirley with similar social distance rules ?, well you know the answer to that one, we're alright jack.

Anxiety levels must be off the scale for many and there is no let up...

For the last 7 months my fishing trips have been whacked up a notch, those DJ mixes absorbed in huge quantities when working from home for a very good reason, and it's been well documented here without those I could well struggle to keep on those ever changing rails. 

Imagine not been able to does those things we have in our life that keeps us sane, I'm one of the lucky ones it seems. 

With the holiday to Wales cancelled this was my third trip in two days, another short one this however but with the family otherwise occupied I had a few hours of solitude to enjoy down at the Warwickshire Avon. Now as a design engineer by trade I've not quite applied ones logical thinking to the bankside. 

I'm rather haphazard and lackadaisical in my approach and I'm sure that must effect what ends up, or doesn't end up the bottom of my oversized for my quarry Gardner spoon landing net.

To be honest the solitude and location takes priority anyway and I'm lucky that for almost all of my fishing I rarely travel more than 15 minutes door to door. It's amazing the effect on my wellbeing too but then us anglers know that and whatever your style of fishing, the is a very good reason we go, and catching fish for many can fall down that 'why do we go' ranking list.

For this session I had the misfortune of having to travel to Fishing Republic to get a couple or three things not available in my tackle shop of choice, Martyn's gaff in Stratford-Upon-Avon  I've been here a few times now, and I always come away with the same conclusion, don't bother unless you're desperate !!! 

Now Martyn's approach couldn't be more different for good reason, effectively an independent verses a big faceless corporation, which judging by the carrier bags I received, must now be owned by Go Outdoors because I assume they got the basics wrong and had to go cap in hand. 

It was like I didn't exist till ones wallet was out, and they made me welcome as a dog turd on a Persian carpet. Walk in Martyn's shop pre COVID, he usually offers me a cup of tea and some malted milk biscuits, heck if I cannot get in to the shop before it closes, a pint of maggots left at the door. Now talking of delights on offer, this stretch is one of those that has been good to me over the years with numerous Barbel caught to good sizes.

This would be a more a structured approach with a PVA bag full of pellets to concentrate some freebies in and around ones hookbait to try and reduce to time for the fish (if they were feeding) to find the bait. The river was on the rise and the first swim was just about fishable but the amount of debris coming down was dislodging the lead every few minutes and to be honest it was pain in the backside.

I know this stretch quite well though and apart from a passing lure angler who was biteless when he left I had the whole place to myself. This swim has some shelter away from the main flow and it is usually quite productive. An hour in without a bite the sun started to set and I was getting ready for bite time. The water is still pretty clear despite the levels and things on the Warwickshire Avon get moving as dusk.

Eventually there was a sign there was a fish in the swim and a few knocks on the rod tip a proper full on bite materialised and a fish was on. At first I thought it was a Chub there was it was fighting but then it kicked up a notch and this was a hard fighting Barbel. After giving me a bit of a run around the centrepin giving the control I need it was in the landing net. Best laid plans and all that...

Not the biggest of Barbel so I didn't bother weighing it, but after leaving it rest and packing up my stuff I grabbed a quick pic on my temporary phone. I'm hoping my replacement turns up pretty quick because the picture quality is like chalk and cheese, iPhone 5 (£2 trade in apparently) verses the ageing 7 Plus which I've used for a while now. 

Probably 5lb at a push, but a decent result as I've not seen one of those for a while, happy days. 


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