Sunday, 10 January 2021

Warwickshire Avon - KSTAR's and Katabothrons

So 2020 couldn't finish fast enough for many, dominated by the pandemic, lock down after, lockdown, the Government throughout as decisive as a salad dodger in-front of an all you can eat Chinese buffet (if it were open that is) and the public unsure of the every changing 'rules' 

There were some unheard about successes though and I'm not talking about the retrieval of the final escapee maggot, you see the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research or KSTAR had taken a major leap forward in the development of a working nuclear fusion reactor. Unlocking the power of nuclear fusion has been the dream of scientists since the early 20th century but has proven a tough puzzle to crack. 

Now Nuclear fusion, which works by combining two atomic nuclei into a larger nucleus to release energy, promises to unleash more energy than it consumes. In essence, a working fusion reactor will allow scientists to harness the power of the sun here on Earth, potentially solving the planet's energy needs.

Although not a working reactor, towards the end of last year the machine maintained a continuous stream of plasma for 20 seconds, while reaching an ion temperature of 100 million Degrees C.

For comparison, the core of the Sun reaches about 15 million Degrees C. Two Russian researchers in the late 1960s were the first scientists to attain plasma confinement and high temperatures in such a device. 

Now The KSTAR device uses isotopes of hydrogen to create a scorching stream of plasma, one of the four fundamental states of matter where individual ions and electrons are separated.

In order to hold onto the ions, incredibly high temperatures need to be maintained.

Although KSTAR is not the first device to reach plasma temperatures of 100 million C, it is the first to run for more than 10 seconds. Anything above 10 seconds and normal-conducting devices hit their operation limit.

Have I lost you yet ? better get back to the fishing then hadn't I...!!!!

This was an early morning session at a section of the Warwickshire Avon I've only fished a handful of times. 

It sees much footfall here and can be a little lawless, it's seen undesirables camping and fishing overnight, bailiffs threatened and I've had to call the EA out a few years ago because of anglers fishing out of season. The dumped Tyskie beer cans confirm the usual suspects.

In the winter though when the banks are quieter, some of the pegs offer some good chub sport and that's was my quarry for this short session. 

A quick chat with an angler on-route who was deadbaiting under the nice haze of a golden streetlight I hotfooted to my default swim.

The wellies caked full of mud in the process but I travel light anyway, so not an issue. Godstoppers of bread were the mainstay and I'd have a few lobworms as a back-up. Within a couple of minutes of the bread being out in a nearside slack though I got the first bite, a good'un too, but despite the quiver being pulled good and proper I struck in to nothing.

I don't mess around with small bits of bread for Chub, bigger the better for me.

Another chunk went out and again the same thing happened, damn !!!! still it was good to know the fish were here and I was hoping it was only a matter of time. The fish see some pressure here so the Chub were even more crafty than normal. Any resistance whatsoever the initial lip plucking, the fish would leave it alone.

What I tend to do in this situation is after the initial pluck is pull some line from the reel or open the bail-arm, hold the line and leave some slack. Chub engulf big baits when they are confident it's safe and the first time of doing this, the first fish was on.

In the flow it felt decent but when it surfaced it was only about 2.5lb, still a fish though, happy days. the ice block was quickly unhooked and I released it downstream to try and catch another.

It didn't take long either and in and amongst the missed bites I managed another 5 chub in a fairly hectic hour and a half. The biggest maybe 3.5lb, but still there had been on the feed and were very healthy indeed.

None of the big fish showed and after it went dead I tired a couple more swims downstream without success. On return to the first swim I decided to sit it out and just enjoy the morning, and enjoy the morning I did. 

You see after the first canoe caused some swim carnage, the second canoe, didn't take his predecessors advice and promptly got stuck after entering the weir far too tentatively. A good 5 or 6 minutes later, he eventually managed to get out, the canoeist clearly relived he was free from his predicament. Luckily for him I was there to record the moment, for all to see.


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