Monday, 26 January 2015

A ruff day at the mill....

I’ve never fished the Saxon Mill stretch of the Avon before so Sunday morning was very much of a exploratory look-see. I knew the day was going to be tough as nowhere seems to be fishing any good at the minute.Even Postie Bob said a recent match down the Avon was won with a Gudgeon and a bullhead and there were ex England fishermen in attendance.

My mate Simon was in tow and the first swim we fished was opposite the infamous Guy’s Cliffe House. An historic country estate built on a cliff that is still clearly evident today.  It’s seen plenty of change in its past and today it’s a mere ruin, albeit a visually stunning one.  The estate has land as far as Blacklow Hill which was the site on an ancient settlement and location of Piers Gaveston the 1st Earl of Cornwalls beheading.

The erected “Graveston’s Cross” stone to mark the event exists within the grounds. In more recent times the house was used as the Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital in the First World War and during the Second World War as a Boys Home by the Waifs and Strays Society. Today you can visit the house for Paranormal Investigations and Ghost Hunts, it’s certainly a spooky place that’s for sure, a summer evening fishing in to dusk is certainly on the cards. I bet it’s truly haunting. 

I had liquidised bread and maggot in the feeder and decided to alternate between, bread, lobworm and maggot on the hook. Maybe trotting would have been the better option as the river hasn’t much pace to it and it was pretty clear too. The huge tree opposite the house gave suitable cover and the stone steps made an excellent seat which I assume were used in the past to ‘ferry’ people from the house over the river. There was a deep hole in the near margin so I was hoping that a Perch was lying in wait, but after an hour and a half with only a solitary bite to show for it I decided to go on a bit of a roving session. 

Some of the downstream swims looked excellent despite being fished by beer drinking Eastern Europeans judging by the discarded cans. I tried 6 or 7 swims and remained fishless. The area is a haven for dog walkers and after a Labrador helped himself to my bread and maggots I decided to try the swims upstream of the Saxon Mill, it looked very canalified but again some nice looking swims. It’s more of a trek to the swims by the looks of it and certainly as an angler who seeks solitude more my thing. I managed to winkle out a Chublet on worm before calling it a day. 

I bumped in to a Warwick angling bailiff as I was packing up and he told me about some upstream swims that were worth a try so I’ll take action on his advice. Talking about taking action, as I was making my way above the mill I walked past some novice Pike anglers who looked like they were more suited to rowing than fishing. Anyway the bailiff confirmed they didn’t have a permit.  I’m sure better signage would help as apart from the odd one it wasn’t that clear that you had to be a member of WDAA. I’ll be back, this time with a trotting set-up and bread. Jeff you know this area very well indeed, so any tips welcome.


  1. You had a very bad day indeed, Mick! The place is rammed with fish and usually the rod top will bounce all day long. The swim you fished first is roach and chublets with dace. Very few large chub till you move all the way to the end of the downstream stretch. The swims directly above the weir are dace central. You can catch hundreds of them and they do go quite large if you can winkle one out amongst the hoards. The bailiff was right about the swims further out. That's where the roach are found. If it's any consolation, Martin and myself enjoyed a terrible session Saturday. Not a single bite between us...

    1. Afterwards I did think I'd hadn't picked the best time to try it. Simon was trotting a waggler with maggot and he remained fishless too, he only fished for an hour or so though. There were fishing topping, some half decent ones too, but as you found, was really hard going.

      What's the score with the weir Jeff, free fishing isn't it ? there were a couple of E.E's lure fishing it just over the bridge by the stone wall. Looking forward to giving it another go though and explore the area more. Certainly lots of character especially downstream and I only fished a small section of it.

    2. It's pub property, Mick. They don't mind though. Never been fingered by the staff for casting a line. I reckon they reckon it adds to the atmosphere having anglers casting. Certainly gets loads of attention from the blokes at the pub tables across the way. Not the girls though. They're busy chomping down on high priced nosh, swigging their ice cold Chardonnay, and nattering!

      I drop in there for the last hour sometimes. As with all weir pools, it can be surprising. The only bream I ever saw caught came from there and was a good eight pounder. Never had one myself.

      Oh, and the lower stretch does contain plenty of carp.

    3. And Mick,the place is haunted, especially above the weir, around dusk. I kid you not... That's why I drop into the weir for the last hour! Sod that. Again...

      Ask anyone who's fished it long enough and they'll tell you all about that.

    4. Sean look forward to the email. Jeff ta for the info, I do remember the excellent 'watcher in the woods' piece you wrote, it scared me just reading it, God know what it was like you. I've been reading some of your past posts about the upper stretch, I think that's more me so I intend to to more of a look next time I go.

    5. The far flung northern reaches are interesting. Hardly ever fished, in fact myself and a couple of others are the only souls who've ever ventured that far. Go before the weeds start up, Mick. By late spring it's almost completely inaccessible up there. It's bad enough in winter but you can at least reach the river then!

      The swim at the very end of the downstream stretch is high nettles in summertime, but tread a path to the river and it's a great roach spot.

    6. Jeff, have you been as far down as the weir downstream of the old Warwick dog track. If so is it fishable ?

      I might give it more of a bash this weekend.

  2. Poaching was always an issue down there. I saw 2 dubious characters exiting the car park as I arrived on Saturday. The signage is definitely lacking. I'll drop you an email later Mick.

  3. Could do with some dog poo bins down there too to help out the lazy dog walkers, I spotted quite a few poo bags hanging from the trees like decorations. I can see why you like the stretch, I bet it completely changes character in the summer and the lower looked great from most swims and I bet I only saw a token of them. Plenty of cover for fish.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...