Saturday 21 January 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Arse Ends and Architectonics

The problem with fishing in to dark and beyond is that despite using all manner of head torches, powerful hand held jobbies, and and even more recently a flood light on the Jimny's roof, the inevitable happens and you leave something bankside, or basically lose a valuable item of fishing tackle, or in my case even a camera in one of those calamity moments.

Over the years, I've forgotten whole fishing bags before that I've had to retrieve in the morning prior to work, as the bag contained my fishing licence and all my books and permits. T.W.A.T springs to mind !!!

Brass scales, bank sticks, landing nets you name it, yeap even complete buzz bars and Optonics. The last session on the Warwickshire Avon where a chub mugged me over in one swim, despite only fishing four swims over that short session in one of those swims, I managed to lose the arse end of one of my more expensive banksticks.

I realised I'd 'misplaced' it during the session to be fair, but could I find it ? Errrrrr nope

So I was back or this morning session where hopefully I'd manage to find it. I did plan to trot with bread but with not much bread left I decided to fish the TFG River and Stream lighter set-up to try and winkle out a chub. The wind was non existent too, so ideal to watch a 1 ounce thin tip rather than the cumbersome AD John Wilson rod which is much easier to see when illuminated by torchlight . (It has its place don't worry)

It was proper whiteout when I got bankside a little later than planned, you see a movie with the wife the night before I went to bed a little latter than I thought I would, which meant that I woke up when I should have been next to the river. I could have set an alarm I suppose !!!

Oh well, anyway a cold'un this with -4 degrees showing in the car on-route, luckily I'd packed the car with the stove for a cockle warming cup of tea and an XL (proper) buttered crumpet on the Ridge Monkey Sandwich Toaster.  This is a stretch I can drive the whole length pretty much, it's a no brainer really. The gas bottle needed a defrosting on the windscreen demister vent as it was a mere dribble when it first kicked it in to gear.

No slumming it with a flask of lukewarm tea and a cold butty, I spoilt myself for this one. Anyway with a Pike rod I'd use when there were slacks and a chub setup (link ledgered bread) I fed a few swims on-route to the first swim with bread mash and was hoping there were fish up for a feed.

The water temperature was hovering around 4 degrees so pretty nippy but chub especially they don't really mind do they. A couple of swims down though without a bite this likely to be the odd fish if any. 

On a positive note I found the arse end of the bankstick so at least that part of the session was ticked off !!! I just needed a fish now.

I love these fishing in these conditions especially when the wind is non existent, the rings on the rod were freezing up from time to time but overcomes with thumb and forefinger. Swim after swim there wasn't much doing though, even in both primed swims, not even a nibble.  

The key in the end was to fish those intimate swims that have probably not seen a bait before. It helps being winter that some of these were easier to access.

The first fish came from this swim where literally a minute of the bread flake dropping to the river bed a couple of plucks the tip bent round nicely and I struck in to a solid fish. I thought it was bigger at first after a spirited fight but it was soon in the net. 

Probably a scraper 3lber but at least in testing conditions it was a fish on the bank. With that retained in the net I thought there could well be another fish or two in that swim because the bite was so quick. But no after another half an hour (longer than I usually give it) I decided to get on the rove again. 

A swim only 50 years downstream was similar and after making another cup of tea I dropped in a walnut whip sized amount of bread mash. The proper old school version not the modern shrinkflation offering. The pike rod went out in the margin as well and after I enjoyed a piping hot Rosey Lea, is there anything better in brass monkey weather? (well maybe a port and brandy combo), I dropped the bread in a tasty looking swim and the same thing happened.

A sharp pull on the tip and then again as before it went round confidently. No missed bites like the last session, another fish was on. It was clear it wasn't a big fish but so what, not all about the specimens now is it.

Still a 3lber or so and most welcome in a river again devoid of anglers. To be fair after handling that fish it literally was like a block of ice, and within minutes my hands were starting to get painful. A quick defrost in the car, happy days again. But that was that, no more bites from chub and the pike rod, well, zilch. Still an enjoyable session, and on to the next one !!!!

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