Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Double Juggs and Drag Lays

When it comes to location, the section of the river Alne I've been fishing really is my kind of fishing. I've yet to see another angler on the stretch I fish, the solitude, the scenery, the symbiosis.

Ok the fish don't grow big from what I've caught thus far, but for somewhere to get away from it all and get the cogs aligned properly again and the mind to where it needs to be, it's hard to fault.

Shallows and fast runs with wild brown trout, deep holes with undercuts with chunky chevin, there is a bend in the carbon to be had for sure, and the chub, despite being mediocre in statue give a good Caroline Flack.

Now whilst earning one's pennies sat behind the CAD tube I was watching the river levels like a hawk and it looked a go'er for a last gasp 2019 session before I ventured off to sunnier climes.The Stour just about fishable, the Avon forget it, still in flood and not likely to improve for a while with the ground so saturated.

The Alne however rises fast and then falls like a stone. From flood to fishable in hours rather than days, the problem is the amount of rain we have had it's up and down like a toilet seat and because of that I'd not really given it a proper go for this year. 

I'm sure there are some gems to be had, I've just not fished it enough sadly, so much so I'm not sure if I'll continue with the book come renewal time.

It's a shame really as it's the closet bit of running water I fish, a mere five minutes in the car. Handy for sure, but considering the last time I was here I spotted a huge Otter in this diminutive waterway going about its business in broad daylight, there are better venues with bigger fish only 5 minutes more of the bum warmers.

For this late morning session simple roving tactics with cheesepaste clinging on to a paste-cage tied to a hair. I'd walk the length and feed a few freebies into some fishable swims and then on the return, fish a large chunk of paste to try and tempt a fish or two.

Sadly only a quick session this as I'll be working from home for much of the day trying to avoid the distractions of the noisy diary makers, impatiently waiting for Santa to pop his head out from under the chimney.

Sharp-eyed families may be able to spot Santa Claus riding his sleigh in the sky as Father Christmas flies around the world delivering gifts. Early-risers on Christmas Day will have the chance to spot Santa's sleigh, or as NASA calls it, 'the International Space Station.

The ISS space station will be visible from the UK on December 24 (Yes I know you've missed it) and December 25th.

The space station is the third brightest object in the sky and makes 16 trips around the world every day. The fast-moving, brightly-lit space station is only visible at dawn or dusk, which is just the time you'd expect to see Father Christmas and his reindeer out on their rounds.

For the best chance of seeing the station, you'll need to look out to the south-west of the sky and keep your eyes peeled.Visible to the naked eye, it looks like a fast-moving plane only much higher and traveling thousands of miles an hour faster!

Stop right there !!!!

You see, when I penned this yesterday, the rivers changed YET again....

....unexpected and heavier rain overnight the Alne and the Stour were heading up and over the banks again, the Avon heading down and looked just about fishable.

So all change, about-turn !!!!

Best laid plans and all that, I decided to pay a visit to one of my favourite stretches of the Warwickshire Avon where hopefully I'd stick to the Chub plan and try and get a bite from a Christmas Eve Chevin.

When I got there it was clear to see just how high the had been, dropping nicely though and if I wasn't tied up over the break I'd be chasing a Barbel and Zander most likely. The river a tea colour and mild Boxing day it will probably be perfect.

The sodden ground made progress difficult but I know the swims here very well so knew exactly where the slacks would be. It was tough going though and the third swim produced a bite quite quick and a spirited 3lber was in the net quick sharpish .

One bite one fish because the other 5 or 6 swims I fished I was biteless. Some fresh air though and some solitude before the celebrations start.

Merry Christmas and all that, I'm about to get on it !!!!

Monday 23 December 2019

The Stillwater - Damp Squibs and Daisy Kickers

What a rubbish end to 2019, the rivers unfishable again, with the rain seemingly falling for months, not weeks. The tangleator and I went to a local pool to try and get the float to dip, the quiver to tremble.

Sadly despite fishing all three of the pools with maggots and bread we didn't even get a bite, the water was cold for sure and having never fished it before I would have expected at least a few silvers or some small perch, but no, not a jot.

After a couple of bite less hours we decided to take the Jimny from the boggy field to find some flooded roads to exploit. The Avon at Charlecote in the fields, the road through Hampton Lucy like a river itself. If I look back over my blog this really has been an awful year.

Ok you only have to look at my blog count to see I've fished more than ever this year, but believe you me, I'm probably 15 to 20 sessions down on where I'd like to be, sadly my hand was forced. I rarely fish stillwaters, just not my thing.

Luckily it wasn't all bad, a highlight of 2019 was catching my PB Warwickshire Avon Barbel in March that went 12lb 14oz's on the scales.

A fish that took a huge chunk of garlic spam just as the light was going.

A couple of initial powerful surges this wise old fish decided to succumb to the bend in the rod earlier than expected.

To add to the 2019 highlights my biggest Warwickshire Avon Chub came from the 'bomb hole' swim, a location given to me by postie Bob who used to fish matches on this stretch many moons ago.

If you've read this blog of mind for a while I'd been struggling to catch a 5lb Chub from this area despite catching hundreds of them. I eventually got the monkey off my back and hopefully I'll start to track down some bigger fish.

Now another highlight is 8 year old Sam, 4 years in to his fishing, really is coming on as an angler. Not only does he love fishing streams and small rivers like I do, but he is also thinking like an experienced fisherman. Apart from recognising species he can also work out where they will likely to be, and also how to tackle up for them.

Very encouraging indeed, and I'm hoping our fishing adventures in the little Suzuki Jimny in 2020 will be to confirm, he really is a chip off the old block.

Oh and 14 species down on the Bloggers Challenge river scorecard, I'm hoping another couple or three will be ticked off before the close season, fingers crossed.

I'm hoping the Alne will drop like a stone like it usually does, because I've a small window of opportunity to try and winkle out a Chub because if not, this session would be my last of 2019, a diary full, not sure if that is good or bad. With the rivers the way they are, probably not a bad thing.

Saturday 21 December 2019

'Not Quite' The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.145 – Tyranny and Trigrymates

There are reports that Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrats’ former leader, could be parachuted into the House of Lords. The most anti-democratic of retirement homes, it is this, the potential perpetuation of Jo Swinson’s political career, even after a humiliating defeat.

So we, as voters, have chosen to take power away from Swinson and all that she and her party represents, only for that power to be given back to her by our political class. She would then be able to sit in the Lords, alongside 800 ( yes you heard right) of other unelected appointees, hereditary peers and even 26 bishops.

There you see apart from claim £300 quid a day and all the creative expenses that goes with the territory, she would be able to check, amend and even block the will of directly elected MPs. We as the hoi polloi have had enough of that haven't we after the so called democratic debacle over the last three years whatever side you sat, the will of the people was ignored, roadblocks put up and lawyers appointed.

The best day care centre for the elderly in London !!!!

Politics is all she knows is what riled me, maybe stuffing the wire into bras in a knicker factory for a while for a bit of grounding could well do her some good rather than happy to scarper off quickly and put her feet up at the aristocratic tyranny.

The House of Lords is in enough trouble at the moment without having her foisted on them. It's the world's second largest legislative body after China's People's Congress, what happened to the two out one in policy that was banded around last year, that went quiet didn't it.

Errr, what am I rambling on about, better go fishing to get the mind back to where it should be !!!!

Now talking about greedy and in numbers the rivers are where my allegiances lie, however for this session I was back down the canal chasing the elusive double figure canal Zander that swim among the schoolie humdrum. The rain putting a kibosh on anything flowing sadly so the overdepth float rods were dusted off, the smelt removed from the freezer, a towpath to be trudged.

As I type this, this is the flood map showing how bad it is again !!!!
Now a recently acquired book meant I could fish a stretch of canal new to me. A mile and a bit of virgin water to try and locate some Zander. This particular canal is home to two of my biggest fish, 9lb being my biggest, 8lb 10oz my second biggest. Oddly though the number of fish seemed to have tailed off and I've been fishing an entirely different canal for most of my sessions.

What keeps me coming back here though is that I'm sure there is still a lunker in these special waters. If I'm ever to conclude this quest of mine, I need to fish places like this because I might be missing something. A quick google showed some nice cover where often I find the Zander holding up and it's a matter of leapfrogging cover to try and drop on them.

At this time of year though much of the thick cover has died back leaving a load of tangled branches and evergreen bushes about the only feature you can fish next to. Now this section sees lots of foot traffic and after 3 hours without a bite leapfrogging dog poo city I was in two minds to go somewhere else, but I stuck with it and it paid off.

I ended up retracing my steps and fished a swim where it scream Zander, as someone who has caught plenty now you just get an eye for these things.

I left the floats longer than usual, nearly an hour and sure enough the right hand float bobs and starts to move. Then it stops and then a thirty seconds later it does the same again, this time the bite develops and I strike in to a solid fish.

I knew it was a half decent fish because it was talking line and I was following it down the towpath. After giving a good account of itself the fish was in the net. Not in the best condition but they have seen some sights these fish when they get this big.

Not my biggest but the indicator going round to 6lb on the scales it was still a specimen from the canal and I went home happy with that especially as it is the biggest thus far recorded on the 2019 bloggers challenge chart.

To be honest I didn't gel with the area, the towpath busy and very open. I prefer the more secluded and quiet areas to fish. I might give it another go though, maybe in the closed season when I'm forced to. 

Friday 20 December 2019

Operation Brazzers Breach - The Reccy

For many, pigs in blankets are the highlight of Christmas dinner, yes really. Turkey slices, and cranberry sauce, golden roast potatoes, colourful veg, chestnut stuffing and lashing of gravy are all very well but it's all about the tasty chipolatas.

Those succulent sausages wrapped in crispy bacon definitely tastier than sprouts especially for the whipper snappers who point at the vegetables in-front of them and say "errrr what's that"

Now, Papas Fish & Chips, in Cleethorpes, has taken the Christmas classic and pushed it to the extreme with its latest creation the “world’s largest” battered pigs in blankets.

The indulgent festive treat is no less than a whopping 2ft long meaning it’ll take some eating.

In fact, they’re so large they’re being called “hog in duvets” The enormous battered sausages are being sold for £3.99 and will be available until Christmas.

As an added bonus, all proceeds made from the sales are going to the Cash For Kids charity.

The 2ft treats have been especially made by a sausage maker used by Papas and is made with British pork as well as the bacon being British and is served in wrapping paper.

Here BeardMeatsFood tackles it in his usual quick speedy fashion, for the layman it won't be as easy.

I'd give it a good go though at this time of year ones taste buds change for the worse they really do.

The healthy eating goes out the window you see, who doesn't like to eat food you usually don't for fear of belt loosening, and with the weather cold something 2 foot long and greasy to warm the cockles. It can look very appetising indeed especially when the huge consumption of 'meat' is likely to produce effects matching some mild hallucinogens.

Ok the fact that it is likely to clog the arteries can be overlooked, well for the seasonal period anyway. As long as you can maintain a few mince pies and glasses of port away from gout, which is a fine balance I must admit, fill your boots I say, till the body says, "Hey hang on a minute"

Anyway back to the fishing talking of big, some information shared last weekend was very interesting indeed.

Money exchanged hands with the maggot manager, the tea maker, malted milk provider

'Turns head left, turns head right' all clear.

"Right listen to this Mick, think you'll be surprised what I'm about to tell you"

To cut a long story short.....

"200 Grayling fingerlings were were stocked in the early 90's ** ********** **** **** ** ** **** ****** and have proceeded to do very well in that stretch and subsequent surveys that my source had partaken in had shown that they are still there in that area and also downstream to the **** ******

"You what, really, Grayling in Warwickshire !!!!" "I'm amazed !!!!"

"Yeap, mad isn't it"

"I'm ON IT !!!!"

'Dez Taylor, nothing to be seen here !!!!'

1lb 8oz, my biggest Grayling caught from the Lower Itchen
So after some Googling and Bing satellite map plurging, with a tub of Lanes finest, this session was a quick reconnaissance trip straight after work to try and winkle out a fish or two, before my cover was blown, the mission over.

A 7ft Quiver Rod, a maggot feeder, two red grubs on the hook....

To be fair the first venture in to enemy grounds I was unlikely to come across another angler, a dog poop bag swinger may well put a kibosh on proceedings. If there is Grayling in Warwickshire though and potentially even some big ones, it could me no need to travel down the chalk streams of the South.

Rivers like this to be honest don't really get fished like they used to, but for me, waterways like this is where I belong, small and intimate the chance of a specimen fish low, but wonderful for mindfulness and one's sanity.

I was hoping this inaugural introduction went ok,  I could return where I'd enter before sunrise in temperatures where even the dog would turn his nose up, and would rather stay tucked up indoors in the sanctuary of his warm blanket.

The clarity wouldn't be ideal either with the rain again coming down in big buckets the river on the rise, to be honest, probably a good thing as the public right of way hopefully would be quiet.

So enough of the planning, enough of the preamble, how did I get on....

Well to be honest despite the tackle in the car I didn't bother to take it out. The rain had made a mess of the local roads where there was a ridiculous amount of standing water, but the local rivers were heading over the banks and were in flood in lots of areas. When I got to the river though I could really see why Grayling could well be happy here.

Wide and shallow in the main in normal weather conditions it looked just right, we get that feeling as anglers and this location really did look ideal. The banks were dangerous though so getting to the river would have been difficult and probably a bit stupid.

A good introduction though, fingers crossed the weather sorts itself out, I really cannot wait to see what I can winkle out.

Watch this space !!!!

Saturday 14 December 2019

Lower Itchen Fishery – Quail-Pipes and Quarromes

This time of year like many I'm ridiculously busy, the diary is full, time at a premium, and because of that fishing sadly takes a back seat. To be fair my winter campaign usually starts in anger January onwards when I've far more time as one's disposal.

Now this my 5th visit to the Lower Itchen Fishery was planned sometime ago however, so it was something to look forward to leading up to the reindeer roasting, angel prodding and bauble bashing.

For this trip Nic Bradley from Avon Angling UK was braving the confines of the Suzuki Jimny and venturing down to Southampton with me to fish this chalk stream, where if you want to fish for Salmon during a good season you're looking at spending a 'carpet', that is 300 quid to the layman.

The day before the heavens had opened and to be honest we'd only really know what the river was like when we got there.

Obviously out of season, the likes of me and thee can fish it for a tenth of what the fluff-chuckers pay, which to be honest isn't that bad. We've nothing like that in these parts and when I put it like that, it is a mere price of four pints from the most expensive pub in Henley in Arden.

Hands up 'The Butchers Social' !!!!

Now the Lower Itchen Fishery was founded in 1954 and consists of 5,300 yds in total making it the longest continuous stretch of the River Itchen in private ownership.

The fishery is set amidst picturesque water meadows and has an abundance of animal, bird and insect life which creates an atmosphere in which to unwind from the stresses of life.

Even the airport that runs adjacent to it, doesn't seem that intrusive when you plundering the Grayling stocks with another trot down of a red maggot.

The beauty of rivers like this though, is the variety of fish you could have pulling your string, castrating your caster and possibly suckling the sweetcorn.

After the last trip though for this return trip apart from a Grayling I'd needed to catch for the bloggers challenge, I had a one fish on my mind and that was a decent Roach.

I'd stumbled on a small shoal you see the biggest fish of the group well over 2lb. The others were over the pound mark as well but despite trying my best to catch one, nothing materialised, well apart from the odd bang on the quiver.

When I was happy with a half decent Grayling I'd venture on down to the lower end of the fishery and try and claim the spot before others did and more or less set one's stall out. Breadflake on the hook and liquidised bread in the small cage feeder as last time, but this time scaled down a nadger.

I felt I might have fished a little too heavy last time, this fish are pressurised after all and they ain't stupid even though they are effectively deciding to live in a commercial fishery.

Looking at fish of that stamp visible under the layers of crystal clearwaters through some polaroids is something I'd never tire of, and back up in the Midlands it's as rare as an MP fighting to deliver the will of the people.

There are some cracking Barbel here as well but they didn't even enter my mind when redfins like the ones I saw are swimming in these crystal clear waters, it just wouldn't be right not going for the roach.

Before the feeder was used though, I'd trot some bread as well, just to alter the presentation a little before sitting it out for the remainder of the session supping on the Bovril, waiting for the quiver to well, yeah quiver !!!

"Stop right there Mick", best laid plans an all that, as I said before because a dumping of rain in and around Winchester put pay too much of the military operation. The river nearly over the banks when we got to the river 2 hours after leaving ones gaff.

I really wanted to show Nic just how clear it is here most of the time where donning the polarised sunglasses you can spot the fish you are going to catch. The area down from the weir was impassable because the banks were flooded and that was an area I wanted to target later on in the day.

The track was flooded in places luckily the Jimny feeling right as home making light work of the rutted terrain and deep standing water.

The visibility was a couple or three inches so targeting the sight feeding Grayling was nigh on impossible. Nic and myself split up and went our own way and I went to a stretch where Grayling are in numbers. After a good hour and a half feeding maggots and trotting a float through occasionally changing to sweetcorn was fruitless. I did managed to hook trout at the end of the run but the hooked pulled whilst bringing it up through the flow.

A change of tact was in order to get a bite....

Now Nic who turned up as I was making way back to the car made that decision earlier on and already managed to catch a couple of trout ledgering bread in some slacks. So that's exactly what I did and sure enough the first bite of the day was received.

It didn't fight particularly well for some reason, not sure why because they usually give a good fight. Another fish came quite quick and after losing another one, at least were both were having a bite or two.

After lunch I decided to drive to the middle of the stretch where I had a bream on the last trip down here. I'd caught Grayling before here as well, a swim where a bend leave a nice crease and a slack area close in.

A change to maggot the first bite came from a minnow but I persevered and some sharp bangs on the rod tip a fish was on. The distinctive fight felt through the rod this was a Grayling. Only 8 ounces but a few points for the Blogger Challenge despite James, already registering a 2lber.

Nic joined me later on and maggot wasn't doing the business so he stuck it out fishing for the trout, at the end of the day losing count at 8 so, ok, no Grayling but at least it wasn't a wasted trip which it could well have been.

The river as I type this had dropped a considerable amount to it may well fish differently if we were there the following day. I suspect though it will take another week or so of dry weather go get the Itchen back to what it does best.

Apparently a week ago it was fishing its head off for Grayling with quite a few 2lbers turning up among the humdrum.

For the last couple of hours I set my stall out for Roach, breadflake on the hook and liquidised bread in the cage feeder.

After losing a decent sea trout that did me over good and proper I banked another 4 trout and lost another. A decent fight from some of the fish though so overall not a bad trip despite the testing conditions. Now apart from another angler on the stretch where had the whole stretch to ourselves. He was back there today and when he left managed a few Grayling by sticking out with the maggot feeder.

If I visit again I'll be monitoring the weather and buy a ticket last minute, or maybe fish the Frome to have a change from the Itchen. I'm very much a novice in these type of waters and the Lower Itchen Fishery not for others but at least it offers the novice an easy way to fish a chalk stream all within the safety of the padlocked gates.

Now Nic filmed his trip down to make sure you subscribe to his channel to see how how tough the conditions were for us.

Thursday 5 December 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Chasms and Crateriforms

The sucker fish was out in daylight hours, now usually its nocturnal in its nature and its tucked up out from view. Usually it's a sign you see, yes really, I need to go fishing. It doesn't happen very often either but seems to coincide with a capture of a decent fish.

The thing with limpet lips must be on to something !!!!

Decision was made, especially with a busy social weekend coming up again, so with a few roach deadbaits at my disposal the gear was cobbled together the same evening and I'd have a think about where to go fishing.

To be honest it didn't take much thought, I was back at the bomb hole for this short after work session in to dusk, this time I'd tackle up for it a little differently.

I used the deeper to map this area and after a few passses I found this facinating feature, a landmark if you will over at the far bank, and also the way the water was flowing I could find it again easily.

A little further to cast than I'd like but heck, this could well be a hotspot. There were bait fish showing on the scan last time so was this crater a haven for a big Zander to lay in wait.

It was certainly worth a try because any feature will likely hold fish, and something this different than the norm even more likely.

Running rigs and deads positioned in 16ft of water there must be something hiding, surely Shirley. The more I think about it, this 'hole' is unique really, the change of depth isn't gradual, it goes from 4 or 5 foot to 15 or 16 over a short distance.

I'd love to get the scuba gear on and have a butchers, heck I could even sell tickets and do tours such its magnificence.

Is there a gigantion Zander lurking here in this hidden hole ? !!!!

Now talking of hidden and undiscovered some exceptionally rare treasure dating back to the ‘birth of England’ has been lost to the nation after two metal detectives stole buried loot worth up to £12m.

The ancient Viking hoard included a ninth-century gold ring, dragon’s head bracelet and fifth century crystal rock pendant, which experts said gave fresh information about England’s unification.

The men behind the theft were jailed after failing to declare the haul found on Herefordshire farmland.

It is thought the trove, much of which has yet to be recovered, was buried by someone serving in the Great Viking Army in either 878 or 879, as they were driven east by an alliance of Saxon forces previously not thought to exist between the kings of Mercia and Wessex. 

They really must have peed off the establishment with their understandable greed, because finders keepers ringleader Powell was jailed for 10 years while his oppo received eight-and-a-half years. Two others were also jailed for conspiring to conceal the find.

Now these nighthawkers should have under the Treasure Act declared their find, you see anything found that is more than 300 years old should be reported to the local coroners office within 14 days and its value shared between those who discovered it, as well as landlords and other stakeholders.

Only 31 of the 300 coins, some dating to the reign of King Alfred – Alfred the Great have been recovered, although deleted photographs on one of their phones found by police showed the larger hoard intact, in a freshly dug hole.

Five of the coins are examples of the exceptionally rare Two Emperors penny, so-called as they depict King Alfred and a lesser known monarch, Ceolwulf II, who reigned in the old kingdom of Mercia. They are valued at up to £50,000 each.

Yes you heard right, £50,000 each !!!!

If they were not so greedy they could have easily walked away with half a million quid each most probably but now will careful not to drop the soap. Thing is the, sentencing is mad in this country, more serious crimes get pathetic jail times...

Anyway back to the fishing....

To cut a long story short, very disappointed indeed as I blanked, apart from a decent fish topping when I got there there the water seemed dead.

The sky clear, the moon out, the ground was getting a covering of frost too.

There were certainly chub in the swim though so that was encouraging as every fifteen minutes or so the fish were snatching at the bait trying to snatch the bait off the hook, but sadly nothing developed.

So it was back home to enjoy the fire with the Wife and warm ones cockles, it was certainly cold for this session, maybe that was putting the fish off.

(Excuse 10073)

Monday 2 December 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Misers and Marplots

A roving approach to angling has always been my favorite style of fishing, travelling light to me does not involve a chair, most sessions all I have with me is a rod, a net and a small bag with the bare essentials.

It was barely above freezing for this session where I'd try to wickle out a chub or two. There is no real science to it really, with the river up it is a matter of dropping in to as many swims as possible and give it no more than 10 to 15 minutes in each swim.

I do pre-bait with a few freebies on the way up the stretch and as I move down hopefully those freebies will have drawn fish in to the swim. The river looked a good tinge as well, the colour starting to drop out of it where bread I'd also got with me, might have been the better bet.

Oddly I'd not walked the whole of this stretch and as you proceed along the track it gets more tricky to make progress. The banks becoming steeper, narrower and the swims available less and less.

I've had some good chub here in the past however looking back the majority of those have been in dusk and beyond when I fish this stretch, as it's one of those handful of venues on the Warwickshire Avon I can fish in to dark.

The footprints here of late, only me and an otter it seemed hence probably why it's quite productive in to dark as they can be cautious to feed during the day as they are fed up of back watching.

I don't know what was more of a shock, paying £5.95 for an average pint of  'Quest' Ale a couple of days ago in the Butchers Social in Henley in Arden or after 3 swims not having a bite here, it appeared to be all a conspiracy. There are plenty of better pubs in the area that keep a much better pint and nothing like the cost, one even next door.

Now I did question the bill even though the Wife was paying but apparently, yeah "that's how much it costs in here", which is by far the most expensive pint on the whole road, fine dining Cheals included. Luckily on the whole the food is good (Onglet steak or salted caramel, honeycomb and bacon chicken wings my favorites ) despite the drinks prices being ridiculous, however people will vote with their feet though, so take note.

That could well be why the place was pretty dead on a Friday afternoon. Sadly it was dead here as well. I must have fished 6 or 7 swims without even a nudge. A last gasp bread mash fed in the last swim to try and buy a bite, did sort of work, albeit the fish that were biting were small.

I'm sure if I fish a maggot on a size 18 hook I'd have caught quite a few fish, but they were not what I was after. All very disappointing especially as next weekend I'm away raving it up again.

Sometimes though it's just nice being out especially when I had the banks to myself.

Saturday 30 November 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Knack Shops and Knob Twiddlers

Blending a psychedelic sensory overload with riotous club bangers the Chemical Brothers certainly transported me away from all what's been going on of late.

If you've read these ramblings of mine for a while you'd know repetitive beats and especially when combined with acid visuals that trigger altered thoughts, feelings, and awareness of one's surroundings, culminating in perceptual anomalies transporting me back to those rave days.

Ok to the layman they are a couple of knob-twiddlers on stage giving the woofers a good working out whilst projecting some computer graphics, lasers and lights to fill the venue, but they know what they are doing I tell thee, hence the audience made up of many kids born in the 70's like me.

It never leaves you if you embraced all things EDM in the 80's and 90's and even now I'm getting on a bit, with my knees hurting occasionally and I'm finding myself asleep on the sofa post Sunday roast, I'll probably still be doing this in 20 years time.

They were the tonic that I needed to end quite a turbulent week, an extraordinary multi-sensorial experience in contrast to sitting on a river bank. The thing is there are similarities believe it or not, the mind in a good place for a start, thoughts banished for a few hours in good company and with the like minded.

Now things are gradually getting back to normal luckily, as I felt I may need to reach out for the unmentionables, but then life can be tough, you just have to do what you need to do, and try and do those things that boost your own serotonin and good mood levels. I'm lucky in that respect, as I know which buttons to press and levers to pull to get me functioning properly again.

Shame I cannot say the same for the local rivers, as they reached flood levels again during the week, where yet again it was very wet one indeed. There is light at the end of the tunnel though as the weather for the weekend is cold but dry and I'm hoping that will continue.The best season to be fishing has largely been a washout.

When I have managed to get to the river and it has been fishable results have been ok to be fair, the fish for a good while now having to tuck themselves up out of harm's way, and now able to venture out to try and quell their hunger pangs and fill their stomachs.

For this early session I quite fancied sitting it out and enjoying the cold fresh air.

I decided on a swim I remembered that is always fishable when the river is high. It is sheltered away from the main flow a so debris catching the line would be less of a problem and fish could seek sanctuary if they really wanted to.

A session of double dipping then this, a Peperami Fire Stick offering to try and temp a Barbel or Chub with some smelly groundbait in the feeder, and then on the sleeper rod a roach deadbait to try and tempt a Zander.

The deadbait would be more or less under the rod tip, as there some decent depth close in and a firm bottom !!!

I even had the gas burner with me, streaky bacon, a couple of Lashfords, a fried egg and a few squirts of HP's finest. Feel good food of the Gods !!!!

I'd not caught Zander from this area but I knew others had and it looked the ideal area for a decent size predator to layup waiting for a tasty morsel to venture in to its path.

My registered score on the bloggers challenge is easily beatable, and I want to try and keep the momentum going on the rivers scoreboard and try and catch species that would likely bite in these conditions, Zander being one of them.

So anyway, enough of the waffling, how did it go ?

Well it was a cold foggy start and crisp underfoot, but the fresh clean air was welcome as I hardly had an opportunity to top up the levels in the week just gone. The river as expected well up but a nice clarity for a bite I thought.

After an hour without a bite the stove was lit, the bacon smell unmistakable, washed down with a cup of tea, I was on the only angler brave enough to tackle the conditions for this morning it seems. Another hour went by without much more than a couple of taps so as the sun rose behind the trees I decided to move swims and fish the last half of the session upstream.

All very confusing, I thought at least I'd have a chub or two. Within a few minutes after settling in the new swim with a bait dropped in the margin the bobbin jumped in to life. I lifted the rod and felt the resistance straight away and I lifted in to the fish.

I thought it was a Zander at first, but nope, a jack that wolfed down a small roach.

And that was the lot, a couple of pulls on the Peperami which for the last hour was wrapped in stinky Ramiz Paste, maybe those still tucked up in bed knew something I didn't.
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