Saturday, 22 January 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Malapropisms and Mammonisms

Now the dace is an ebullient little fish that can be found in most streams and rivers, and although it is equally at home in both shallow and deep water, it is found most frequently in both flowing swims and over a clean bed of gravel. In appearance it differs in several ways from the small chub, with which it is often confused. It is more silvery, its head is much more sharply pointed, and its dorsal and anal fins are concave. 

Rarely found alone, small shoals of dace can often be seen drifting to and fro in the shallow water close to the surface. Of all coarse fish, dace are probably the most habitual surface feeders, and will readily rise to sip in nymphs and small flies.

They rise most frequently during the summer, but will also do so even in winter if the day is reasonably mild and the air still. Now like roach, dace may share their swim with other species, but move about in quite separate shoals varying in size from about a dozen fish to larger shoals of up to fifty or more. 

The shoals are thus comparatively easy to locate, but they are also easily scared, and each swim should be approached quietly and with great care. Dace can be tempted with several different baits, but if we apply the policy of choosing only the most selective baits the choice can be narrowed down to flies, both natural and artificial; chrysalids, and to a lesser degree, floating crust. 

Chrysalids are perhaps the most selective bait of all and though flies can also be deadly, the confines of a small stream will often preclude their effective presentation. 

The method of fishing a worm upstream, so often deadly for other species, will also sometimes catch the odd dace, but will seldom yield any quantity of them. More dace can be caught by locating a shoal, and then settling down to fish for them in that one swim.
Now some degree of selectivity should also be exercised in the choice of bait for the larger dace, but in my limited experience when fishing the river after spate and it carrying colour don't mess around a size 10 hook and half a lobworm is very effective indeed for the bigger specimens. 

Don't ignore the small brooks either when the main river is over it banks, I've caught some of the biggest dace I've caught fishing forgotten waters where often the fish hold-up before the river drops post flood.  

Anyway for this short morning session at the syndicate water I'd fish a pike sleeper rod and then would feed maggots and trot a float. Simple tactics I don't do enough. The problem is at this syndicate stretch sometimes they turn up, sometimes they don't but with the water clearing at a fast rate, a trickle of grubs filtering down the water column I was hoping they would show because I fancied a few bites. 

Well they did show but nothing like the size and numbers that can frequent this stretch. Bites were hard to come by most of the morning and they came in fits and starts. Varying the depth didn't make much of a difference and they didn't seem to be in one location either.

Some nice juvenile fish though which was nice to see. The pike rod was ignored with a deadbait and also a bleak livebait the 5 degree water temperature maybe putting the bigger fish off who knows but it was a very slow morning indeed.

Towards the end of the session a few small roach turned and that was after feeding a different line for a good forty minutes before putting the stick-float through.

I never tire of seeing roach though shame the bigger specimens are hard to come-by. In-fact the brooks and streams I fish through up the better stamp of fish. To be fair there are a few areas where they are a little bigger but like this session, it's a lottery if they are there or not. For the last hour I chilled out watching the water with the pike float near some cover, but sadly there was nothing doing at all. 


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