Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Tree Huggers and Trechometers

Now old trees are extraordinary. Some of them have lived for thousands of years, linking us with our history and culture. And they have astonishing ecological value too, supporting thousands of species and always many of them of bear fruit such as the cooking apples I picked below that would be used for an apple sauce. 

When it comes to these special trees, the UK is immensely important. We have a phenomenal number of ancient and veteran trees compared with the rest of Europe. There are thousands all across the UK, from the oldest churchyard yews to lone oaks standing in a field.

Determining the age of a tree is difficult because often the trunk of ancient trees are hollow so there’s no chance of counting the rings. Yew are remarkable for their ability to renew themselves and continue to live and thrive for thousands of years. 

Character in abundance what is not to like especially when giving them a hug is meant to be good for your mental health and wellbeing. 

Now It’s unsurprising then that the oldest tree in the UK is a yew tree.  They are incredibly long lived. In fact they live for around 900 years before they become ancient. That’s compared to around 400 years for an oak tree. Ancient yews can then expect to go on thriving for thousands of years.

Imagine the tales they could tell on what they have seen and witnessed. Trees share water and nutrients through the networks, and also use them to communicate. They send distress signals about drought and disease apparently. 

The oldest yew in the UK is said to be the Fortingall yew in Perthshire. It’s estimated to be between 2,000 and 3,000 years old, although some believe it could be 5,000 years old. 

In 1769 the girth was recorded as 17 metres. Although smaller now, it’s still thriving with new shoots growing.

Now the Ancient Tree Inventory  has been mapping the oldest and most important trees in the UK with already more than 160,000 trees listed but there are thousands more to add. 

The one in our village which Sam is sat on has been listed on the website and all you need to do is access the tree search link to find an ancient tree local to you, even using Google maps in some cases to actually view the tree. Now for this short session in to dusk I fancied trying for another river Zander in the area I caught one the other day. 

Again simple tactics of a section of roach fishing under my light overdepth float set-up I actually use at the canal. These are only short-ish 20-60 gram lure rods but there isn't much of a cast here so the length isn't really a hinderance. 

The weather was a bit pants so far this week and I was fully expecting rain when I was bankside but travel light with a few bits and pieces and wear the appropriate gear all is well. I'm not one for sitting under an umbrella but I'm not a fair weather angler, and the session was only short anyway so not a massive issue.

Anyway ff the rain got proper heavy, I had the acid house poncho to hand !!!!

Oddly despite fishing in to dusk the rain never materialised but the bites certainly did. Now having fished for Zander plenty of times now this area really does go against the grain. Its gin clear still which is never good for Zed fishing but depth and being overcast certainly helps.

The first bite came within 10 minutes but I pulled the bait out the fishes mouth which usually means small fish. I was correct as after getting the bait out again the fish came back for another attempt and after tightening up to the circle hook a fish was on.

It came in quite quick almost like it was foul hooked but no it was lightly hooked and maybe didn't realise what the heck was going on.

A slightly bigger fish came on the downstream float not long after and then another bite on the first rod this time the float buried out of sight within a few seconds. At first I thought it might have been a pike, but no another nice Zed to be seen in the clear Warwickshire Avon a most welcome sight.

Another nice fish in the net in its dark summer colours. I've caught canal fish like this but in one half a mile section only. They really are stunning creatures and you can see why I like catching them. Now the bites dried up and I moved to the next swim down but that was it for me. What I didn't expect was a sponsored angler I recognised to pitch up next to me who had the same idea. 

During a friendly natter in the swim I vacated he got in on the Zander action as well having mediocre returns a few hundred metres away. Oddly when the light dropped and headed in to dusk the bites didn't materialise but still an enjoyable short session again where little and often seems to work well at the moment. 

2 hours 3 fish, sanity restored !!!!


  1. Absolutely stunning looking zander - more than a bit jealous! Wish we had them around here (without paying a fortune or climbing a fence and risking prosecution!).

  2. Lol, yeah I'm very lucky Brian living where I do 10 minutes I can be on a canal and a river with a chance of a double, love it when they look like this as well, an awesome species and certainly captured me as an angler.


  3. Lovely pics and write up Mick … 🌞🕊


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...