Sunday, 17 October 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Nephelococcygia and Nestitherapy

A small window of opportunity had to be grasped with two hands....

I love this spur of the minute sessions though, those sessions that actually go to plan for once because you see I fancied a Warwickshire Avon Zander and to cut a long story short I actually caught one !!!! 

Yes really, which after a string of mediocre sessions was most welcome indeed. 



After the fishing in the morning me and the rabble went in to Stratford-Upon-Avon with Sam on his bike and us for a stroll during a pint at the Dirty Duck I still had fishing on my mind.

So when we got back I had a couple of hours before I had to make tracks so I hot footed it to an area that is not only deep but also has some cover. More a trek then Sam would be up for hence why I was here on my tod. 


A dropped run within ten minutes at least there were fish in the swim. I can tell Zander bites though and ten minutes later after messing around with the bait for a while a confident bite ensued.

I tightened up to the size 1 Sakuma 440 circle hook and knew it was hooked nicely after the first run. Zander can fight if they want too and this one didn't like that it was hooked.


And I could see it trying to shake the hook in the clear water. The swim was around 12 or 13 feet deep so Zander are top dog in these sort of areas where it's dark and sluggish. It was eventually landed and I had a lovely looking Zed in the landing net showing off its summer colours. 

How can you not like Zander when they look as good as this one did. Not a massive fish going 6lb on the scales but most welcome all the same. I even left before dusk because one fish would do and I left happy. From door to door in an hour and a half, the Wife hadn't even realised I left. One of these sessions where it did go to plan for once. 

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Warwichshire Avon - Quacksalvers and Quadragenarians

A shared passion is hard to beat especially when the journey to the Warwickshire Avon the music was blasting with Sam nodding his head to the beat of one of Carl Cox's latest techno uploads.

The stereo system now transformed beyond the ability of the electrical engineers at Suzuki where I'm sure given the opportunity they would fall short. It's all about the bass, the bass I tell you. 

To be honest I knew this session wouldn't be brilliant with the Avon being so clear but Sm was keen to get out and sometimes a father and son bonding session doesn't have to go to plan now does it.

Bites were hard to come by from fish bigger than a minnow anyway. There were millions of the buggers all queuing up to get their mouths around the grubs. In one of the swims just a lift of the maggotless hook would often foul hook one of the greedy miniature maggot grabbers.


Sam was quite happy with that action to be fair where I was looking for fish more worthy of a landing net. I had a chunk of roach on a deadbait rod out in each swim we visited.

For the first hour all the action can from the minnows though with other fish failing to show really. The Avon is back to being crystal clear again and we could see the bottom in almost all swims. 

The last swim though the first drop of the his crystal float bought an instant bite and he was in to a small roach. Sadly it dropped off when he was swinging it in, but to be honest he was quite happy back to catching minnows again. 

I put the deadbait out to out left where I had to move the grippa stop up the line because it was much deeper here. Still only 7 foot or so but enough for a predator to do what they do best and tuck themselves out of harms way ready to pounce. 


The float was off within ten minutes or so and the culprit was a small jack pike that had taken a liking to the section of roach.

Sam did the honours in landing it and after unhooking it he returned it to where it has come from. Only a short session and not much action but still, its not all about catching fish but the chance to spend one to one time with the likeminded and a chip off the old block. 

Friday, 15 October 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Gobio's and Gobemouches

The working week had flown by luckily but then I'm busy busy busy at the minute so the days go quick thankfully especially when our next holiday to Pembrokeshire is just around the corner. The highlight of the week, well not blanking that's for sure but a visit to see the first prototypes I've been working on one most probably. 

Over two years in to the project now and its the first time I've got to see one full size and on its wheels wheels just before it went for its camo wrap. 😎 And wow what a car, the next year or so will be incredibly busy so not let up really especially when its still a relatively small team. 

Still I cannot complain I would rather be busy than not. However you know me despite being slave to Microsoft Teams at the moment I really do need to seek those quiet times which is odd because when I have the house to myself I have to have the music blasting or the radio on ....

Now back in 2014, a paper published in Science found that many people would rather experience a painful electric shock than be left alone with their own thoughts (Wilson et al., 2014). 

But this finding doesn’t apply to everyone. People differ in the extent to which they tolerate (and even enjoy) spending time alone.

While some people consider solitude to be painful and boring, there are others who find solitude to be pleasant and interesting. 

But those who enjoy solitude those of us who prefer a quiet evening at home over a night out with friends at a noisy bar are often treated as outliers in modern life. There can be negative social consequences for solitude-seekers.

People assume that solitude-seekers are impervious to the pain of social exclusion. That they don’t want to join our parties, or work with us on new projects. But almost everyone dislikes being excluded. 


Even subtle forms of exclusion, like being snubbed by an anonymous stranger in a laboratory experiment, can provoke a strong emotional response.

Fishing is one of those pastimes that can offer so much to the solitude seeker and luckily for me, I'm fishing more than ever these days, why ? well it keeps me happy that's why. Now for this session I wanted some bites and some bold bites too, so the decision was made for me luckily, I fancied fishing for some gudgeon.



There are a couple of swims here that have gudgeon in numbers but its difficult to fish a float especially one swim where they are tucked up under a tree usually, where they can hide out the way of any predators.

There are some nice perch here you see, well I say that nothing massive but enough to keep Sam interested that's for sure. But its the gudgeon that are here year on year and not for everyone I know but I still love catching them. Why wouldn't I, they have captured me ever since I caught the first one. Almost barbel in miniature but with much more character.  


The first swim didn't produce any gudgeon whatsoever oddly with dace, small chub and perch succumbing to the maggots. The river is back to summer levels again and gin clear so I could see the bottom of almost all swims here.

When the perch turned up I went to the banker swim and the fish bite was from a cigarette case that looked like it had been on the bed for sometime. But year on year it always produced gudgeon and it didn't take long for the first gonk.


Then gonk after gonk after gonk. Some nice ones too to be fair and I could have amassed a decent weight I would imagine because as soon as the maggots hit the deck I bite was forthcoming. They are benthopelagic though. meaning that they inhabit the water just above the bottom. 

Great fun because who doesn't like catching a gudgeon. Such a fantastic looking fish and they seem to be getting rarer these days. 


Its surprising just how quick the time goes when you're fully concentrating on the quarry in question and the two and a bit hours went rather quick.

The sound of the river, the flash of a kingfisher, the bite from a gonk, sanity restored. An enjoyable session indeed. Now another two session lined up over the weekend, the first with Sam somewhere to get some bites on his whip and the new float he bought with his own money, and the second a roach and pike double dipping session me thinks. 

Warwickshire Avon - Love-Lanes and Longanimity

Flavour heavy foods such as this saag and mushroom paneer with a whole packet of spinach really need needs a beer to compliment the cooked spinach which when cooked can become tangy and slightly acidic in flavour. 

Many a home curry cook mask a rich saag curry with garlic or in many Indian restaurants with sugar, yes sugar to take away some of the bitterness. Now another way of cause is to have a robust beer to go with it and there is no better choice in my opinion than an imperial stout. 


This 10% offering from the Love Lane Brewery from Liverpool just so happened to be in the local Lidl for a couple of quid, which considering the strength of it, could well be up there with one of the beers to add to the tramp juice list. 

The term “imperial” simply refers to a big beer, both in terms of flavour and alcohol. The term is used interchangeably with “double” and “strong” to refer to any style of beer brewed with an extra dose of grains and hops to produce a higher ABV.
 
But why imperial? Some historical controversy surrounds the origin, but most agree that the first imperial beer was a particularly strong English stout that satisfied the tastes of the Imperial Court of Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia, in the late 18th century.

Thus, the hefty Russian Imperial Stout was born from the stouts of the day, which themselves were stronger versions of the porters that had captivated England for decades.

Simply put, brewers craft strong beers with added helpings of grains and hops. The process for brewing beer is the same, no matter the size and strength of the end result. 

The grains provide fermentable sugars to the yeast, which goes to town consuming the sugar and creating the by-products that make beer the beverage we know and love: full of carbonation, flavour, and alcohol.  


That’s the magic of fermentation. The hops balance out the sweetness of the beer and come into play just prior to fermentation, when the brewer boils the grain with water and adds hops in increments to produce a range of bitterness and aroma. 

So, in essence, the math is plain, provide more sugar for the yeast, balance it out with more hops, and the yeast will create a proportional increase in flavour and ABV. Boom: a “bigger” beer.


Now this was a little flatter than I expected but a double mashed stout with notes of dark chocolate liquorice and roast malt, it still was nicely still full-bodied and rich but with that subtle sweetness stouts like this should possess. 

A couple of them with dinner though, yeap you certainly know about them. I recommend some rice AND naan to go with it. For the money not a bad drop though however I still cannot get over the fact my go-to beer Champion is the price it is and maybe I should stockpile it because I don't think the supermarkets have cottoned on what value for money it is. 

Anyway better get back to fishing this short session in to dusk I would visit the syndicate stretch to give it a once over and then fish some chicken liver an hour in to dusk and an hour beyond. 

I've tried liver a couple or three times now which much success. 

The last time a caught a >5lber succumbed to this rather rich offering. The bites can be savage in my limited experience and the problem is it's difficult to know after those initial pulls if the bait is on or not. To be fair its more about the cast where underarm is the way to go rather than a two handed head for the horizon jobbies. 


Now chub can avoid being hooked rather well and resistance they can feel can be key so if you get savage bites without a fish on the end, leave some slack line to the tip and this can often lead to a fish hooking itself after picking up the bait and feeling confident in taking it properly. 

Chub often show here and some good ones too, but then other days this stretch can be devoid of fish let alone the gluttonous Chevin. 


One of the problems I can see though is that I hooked a crayfish here that dropped off after I lifted it high out of the water. So I'd have another rod out with a paste wrapped boilie and some freebies via a pva bag. 

At least that should be crayfish resistance for a while especially as I tend to use air dried boilies these days, especially for Barbel when I want to avoid the chub. 

Now this is a diary of my fishing and its highs and lows and as anglers were get that feeling don't we when blanks are on the cards, and this was on of those. The river seemed utterly lifeless and back to gin clear again. 

I decided to try a swim I hardly fish because at least there is cover there for fish to take sanctuary.

A cygnet made a beeline to me and stayed in the swim for a good hour or so feeding on something off the bottom.

Maybe it was a sign to move but I was only here for a couple of hours so I decided to stick it out. 

The rods were motionless up until dusk however here often when dusk is ticked off the fish start moving. Not this evening though not even a pluck or a pull when the sun had dropped behind the skyline.

Usually something bites to indicate there are fish in the swim but nope, nada. In-fact 45 minutes past dusk in almost complete darkness I decided to head home 15 minutes early and the tail between my legs because there was nothing doing whatsoever. Another blank, so add to the other blanks I've been having of late. 
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