Friday, 8 January 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Anacampserotes and Anthropomorphis

At the start of the working week I wasn't feeling brilliant, you see I'd filled ones boots over the extended Christmas break and felt invigorated, not only because I'd managed plenty of morning sessions (11 if I recall) but it's amazing what a bit of daylight does to ones wellbeing and how much walking I did. 

Ok it was cold, very cold indeed and to be honest not ideal river conditions as many of those sessions were when the river were in flood, still I caught some fish and some nice'uns too. 

But that was all about to change....

You see the latest lockdown meant not only the schools would shut again but the Angling Trust announced that fishing wouldn't be allowed at all. Now this wasn't a proper lockdown as such as we could still exercise locally and go to work if we couldn't work from home.

I was surprised as fishing was considered exercise previously and because of the lobbying of the Angling Trust previously it was one of the first recreational activities to be allowed back once some of the restrictions were eased.  

I often cover >10k steps in my roving sessions especially on the canal, you cannot say that for trolley pushers and seat box donners, still with the everything and the kitchen sink to lug about, I suppose the heart rate is elevated the arms giving a workout. 

I had already planned what to do like I did in the very first lockdown, among the jobs were to sort and organise the rods out, service the reels, oh and most importantly find out where the worms are escaping from the wormery, that sort of thing...

The out of the blue the Wife who had taken the kids for a walk in to Stratford said Ben could go to school because of special education needs, the school would be open thankfully. The fact he has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan meant like vulnerable kids and kids of essential workers he would carry on as normal.

3 nurses on site because of the nature of the school, with mass testing, small classes it's a safe a place as any especially with the COVID protocols that were introduced , and they do so much for him there, like a big happy family, we are very lucky indeed. So Ben would be happy, at least that's one of us ticked off.

Me on the other hand, well after being a day or two in work, stuck behind a CAD screen bashing the keyboard, twiddling the mouse, I was mulling over why I could visit a Garden Centre and mix with the great unwashed to buy that essential houseplant, and yet I couldn't walk or drive a short distance to the local river with rod in hand and dangle ones maggot, where the only person I'd see would be when I'd get a wave from the farmer. 
Still I was in work, the money coming in, Mick get a grip, and get a grip I did, three full days of hard work stuck behind the computer, worked ticked off, boss happy, the car I'm working on getting closer to seeing the light of day. 2023 sometime I think, watch this space.

Everyday after lunch we had a walk around our village, I was feeling better already. 

Especially when the weather was very cold indeed but without much wind to speak and despite a double take of the thermometer, it was very pleasant to be out, I do like winters when it's like this I really do. Sam even managed to cobble together Mr Frosty because of the dusting of snow we had.

Then out of the blue a WhatsApp message popped up in ones browser and there was a U turn from the Angling Trust after some further consultation with the Government Authorities and thankfully fishing would be allowed, albeit as expected only locally, the only caveat being no match fishing obviously and night fishing wouldn't be permitted.

That probably suited me more than many because I don't night fish and the majority of my fishing is done within a 5 to 15 minute drive.  I made the mistake of dipping my toe in to some of the Facebook responses to the Angling Trusts announcement, lets just say it was retracted rather quickly and without a reaction from ones trigger finger, all I can say is they walk amongst us blog readers 😮

Heck, we've done well out of it, it could be worse the Father-in-Law a Golfer ringing me up do ask if I could put a good word in for him and other club swingers. 

Anyway my mood was lifted instantly, my membership fee justified....

So after finishing work yesterday evening and chilling in-front of the fire I pondered what to do for the first session post lockdown 3. Now the the mercury hadn't risen above freezing for the whole day as I mentioned before so my mind switched to chub and pike. Pike could wait till I had more time on the bank, but as I finish early on Friday a quick chub session may well be worth a go. 

There was a light covering of snow too before I went to bed so ideal conditions to try and winkle out a fish as for the winter angler they are the one quarry that sticks two fins up the water temperature. I've caught chub when the water has been 2 degrees such the hardiness of the species, it's one of the reasons why they are up there with my favourites.   

The Alne was out though, well if I wanted a big'un, so the Warwickshire Avon was chosen, a stretch only a short drive where I'd blanked last time, but the levels were lower the fish more settled in the conditions. Only a short session but hopefully enough time to winkle out a Chub. 

Stupid question but yes, a roving from swim to swim session where I would drop in some pungent cheesepaste to try and get a quick bite.

Anyway enough of that better get fishing....

The colour looked perfect, a lovely light green colour however after the fifth or sixth swim fished without even a pull I wondered if I was wasting my time. The level were fine, the water temperature 4.3 degrees so I wondered what was going on. Still if there is chub in the swim they will tend to take the bait quite quick, so I stuck to my plan and the next swim paid off.

The river joins the main river here but just off the crease there is some thick cover to the right and it's almost a static pool. 

The bait went out and within 2 or 3 minutes a couple of sharp pulls and then the tip pulls round nicely, a chub is on. I thought it was decent at first but it was a small fish that was fighting better than it's statue, it avoided a blank though, so I'm not complaining.

No more fish in that swim, which to be honest is the norm for the areas I fish, so it was on to the next swim. This produced a bite quite quick, this a little bigger but still not what I was after. I thought because the water was clearing the fish would be near cover or snags, but this was quite an open swim with only a tree downstream. I let the fish go further downstream and cast some more paste to the same spot.

15 minutes twiddling ones thumbs, a tentative pluck turned in to a full on bite and another chub was on, this felt half decent and I had to adjust the clutch a little because the carbon was bent double without line being taken, almost following the tip down to the waters surface. 

It was landed quick enough and another pristine fish landed which is an encouraging sign here, because I've caught fish with chunks of flesh out of them sadly. I didn't weigh it, but around 4lb I'd say, and a half decent chub that put up a decent fight. I fished in to dusk in a pre-baited swim, but that was it, 3 fish, caught, one happy angler. 


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