Sunday, 27 December 2015

Warwickshire Stour – A Worm in Waters New

I’ve decided I’m not renewing this book for next season, it’s been good to me over the 4 years I’ve fished its club waters, but I’ve decided for the 2016 season it’s out with the old and in with the new. So before the book is confined to the bin I wanted to have one last bash on its waters. I’ve fished in and around this part of the Warwickshire Stour before but this particular stretch I’d never wet a line only having previously fished it ½ a mile upstream.

For those that have never fished the Stour what I would recommend is in the summer when the river is low and the clarity clear, go and walk the banks. In places the river will be shallow and the bed exposed but it’s full of character, deep troughs,holes, gravely runs and provides plenty of visual intrigue. It definitely fishes better in the colder months so before the waters rise it’s well worth doing, very much value added.

The recent forgettable trip to Blenheim Palace left me with a load of lobworms so for this roving session I’d feed a few red maggots and anchor one of the worms to the deck with a simple link ledger set-up. My sort of fishing this especially when it would help walk over the Christmas overindulgences.

I was hoping to find the odd Roach or two…

Now prior to this session I’d been at a local village hall tabletop sale and out of the blue stumbled upon some boxed and apparently unused Salter Brecknell Model 15 scales, I recognised them straight away as Jeff Hatt uses a version of these.They weigh up to 4lbs in 1oz increments so ideal for weighing Roach, they also look great in the photos. A squirt of WD40 and a twist of the zeroing out thumbscrew we were back in business.

Now I got them for £15 quid, Jeff reckons they are worth at least £40, so not a bad purchase.

Being a spring balance it works by Hooke's Law, which states that the force needed to extend a spring is proportional to the distance that spring is extended from its rest position. Therefore the scale markings on the spring balance are equally spaced.

They seem very accurate indeed with the items I weighed (2 small tins of beans are 500grams) so maybe the spring hasn’t been overworked so maybe it was as described, unused.

The first spring balance in Britain was made around 1770 by Richard Salter of Bilston near Wolverhampton. He and his nephews John & George founded the firm of George Salter & Co., still notable makers of scales and balances, who in 1838 patented the spring balance. They also applied the same spring balance principle to steam locomotive safety valves, replacing the earlier deadweight valves.

So enough of that, I was here to catch some fish….

After recent rain which has put the Avon mostly out of action the side tributaries were like a raging torrent and it was putting even dirtier water in to the already coloured river

This was going to be difficult...

It was a matter of moving swims every 10 or 15 minutes or so till I found some fish.

7 or 8 swims later I was wondering what I bothered but then I settled in to a nice open swim with a large bit of slack water and I was eventually getting indications.

The first fish was a Roach and then everyone thereafter, only small fish though and after running about of time and family duties called I managed to catch 25 / 30 roach or so, all on lobworm,the end nipped off and hooked through the broken end seemed to work really well.

The problem was only a small stamp of fish, the biggest 7oz. The size of the fish were poor but at least I christened the scales...

The larger of the brass cylinders is 7"in length...lets hope I catch something more suited at the next session.


  1. What a pretty Roach Mick, I hope you find some larger ones when the torrent subsides!

    1. Got lots of potential James, and specimen potential too, the bigger fish are to be found much further upstream though so it means a new book for the 2016 season, looking forward to it though.

    2. Let's hope that you find some, location is everything, once that is made then it's a case of when will it happen. Saves driving back down to the Itchen doesn't it!


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