Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Thursday 25 May 2023

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.72 (Carp , Sorry Eel's)

Now our adopted local recently was the winner of the Pub of The Year 2023 competition for the “Heart of Warwickshire” region awarded by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The Heart of Warwickshire region comprises 150 pubs which are judged on categories such as quality of beer and cider, furnishings, cleanliness, service, welcome, offering and atmosphere.

It was Warwickshire’s first community-owned pub and has a strong community focus, well it is local pub after all, but then try and tell that to the pretenders. 

My wife still works in the village school where Sam went as a toddler as a lunchtime supervisor and we've been propping up the bar ever since. 

Ben feels at home there as well and his issues embraced for those that also frequent this proper pub. We and many others just feel at home there, and that's a good thing because many establishments cannot replicate that from my experience. 

A positive being owned by the village is not having the overheads and also because it's not tied to any brewery it means Danny the landlord can cherry-pick beers and ciders from whatever brewery he wants to. 

There isn't many pubs I can go to locally that offer a minimum of 6 cask ales and often random ciders, as well as the standard pub fair. Oh and proper home food what's not to like.

Take last Sunday, after popping in for a pint in the sun, Danny was outside speaking to some Sunday drivers out for a run out in their classic cars and he greeted us before entering the pub. 

"Hey Blue Monkey Infinity Plus 1, got to try this" "oh, and check out this rhubarb and apple cider we've got in, just make sure Sarah is driving back" It ain't 4% I can tell you that !!

Then before I knew it I was harvesting some Rhubarb behind the recently constructed village / pub shop. "Take a look at this fill your boots, take as much as you want". 
Who doesn't like Rhubarb !!!

Rhubarb’s medicinal uses began at least 5000 years ago, to when Chinese used dried roots as a laxative. The first documented uses in western civilization are 2100 years ago when rhubarb roots were an ingredient in numerous Greek and Roman medicines. Dried rhubarb roots are also astringent.

Rhubarb did not enjoy widespread consumption as food until the 19th century. 

Indeed, the modern market for culinary rhubarb was created virtually from scratch in 1824 by Joseph Myatt, a South London nurseryman with some rhubarb plants, a recipe for tarts, and enough gumption to convince others that the otherwise bitter plant could taste good when combined with something sweet. 

The timing was perfect. Sugar was becoming available and affordable and the rhubarb stalks were otherwise going to waste. 

There was nothing to lose! Adding to rhubarb’s popularity was the fact that it is generally ready for harvest well before most other vegetables. With forcing it can be made available even earlier. It was a welcome, fresh food after a long winter of preserves and meat. With such an explosion in popularity there were many other preservation techniques developed for rhubarb. These included drying, canning and, most recently, freezing.

Anyway bringing it up to date, there was easily enough for a diabetic emergency with 2 rhubarb and apple crumbles concocted with the harvest which will be had with clotted cream naturally, and there was also enough left over to make a large jar of rhubarb jam too. And !!! it gets better this weekend they have my favourite Blue Monkey Brewery offering and that is 99 Red Baboons

If you're a fan on McEwan's Champion you'd love this. A proper dark, fruity and malty ale that the current crop of wild and wacky beers are quickly forgotten about, a proper traditional ale for an old'uns like me. Anyway back to the fishing !!! With the pandemonium at work ever present and being welded to a computer with the nice weather I fancied a nice walk if anything, the fishing secondary. 

So I headed to 'Carp Corner' to see if I could spot any in the warm weather. Bread bomb rig in hand, a landing net and a sling bag, that will do !!!. Oh and a whip and a few maggots to keep me occupied. After losing one of the carp last time I'd beefed up tackle to hopefully avoid being punched in the kidney's like the last time I hooked one. 

I started at the spindly reeds first where you often see the vertical stems move from side to side. On closer inspection sometimes if you're lucky you can see the back of a carp break the surface especially when the sun is illuminating it correctly.

Slow sinking and also fished on the top for a couple of hours it was clear there wasn't any fish in the whole length of the reeds. Not unexpected to be honest but there was also lack of fish topping because the temperature of the water was well over 17 degrees.

The 2nd half of the session in to dusk I'd feed some freebies pellets, bream mash and a few maggots in to a swim tight to the reeds and fish the bread bomb on the bottom as well as a whip with maggots to keep me from getting bored because of the lack of action.

What I didn't expect after a tiller twiddling tit nearly took me out because of a lack of control that when the water was bouncing between the locks that 3 eels came within the next hour all taken on the whip and maggot.

Quite good fun on the light whip but after I lost the 4th I decided to sack that off and go all out for carp. When I was here at dusk last time the fish movement was ridiculous when the light faded but not this evening. Not one bream rolled and there was on the the odd tiny bait fish top. Hard going indeed and half an hour past dusk I decided to call the session to a close because I knew what the outcome would be.  


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