Saturday 9 February 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Smelt and Snot Rockets Pt.4

A woman rang the BBC and said she heard a hurricane on the way and so began the most infamous weather bulletin in British history on the lunchtime news over 30 years ago now.

“Well I can assure people watching,” smirked weather forecaster Michael Fish, “don’t worry, there isn’t.”

Just a few hours following that fateful broadcast in the early hours of October 16, 1987, the south coast of England was battered by the greatest storm witnessed in nearly three centuries. Gales reaching 115mph caused utter devastation across the southern half of the country, leaving 18 people dead, 15 million trees flattened, and a repair bill totalling £2bn.

From Hero to Zero sadly because good old Mr Fish a previously benign national presence in chequered two-piece suits of varying shades of beige, the Great Storm led to him being lampooned in the press.

Not as a harbinger of doom, but rather somebody who failed to see it galloping across the Channel towards us.

Nowadays, the weatherman seems to secretly revel in the notoriety, a clip of the fateful broadcast was, to his great delight, used in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. But at the same time he is eager to clear his name, and shift the blame.

Now obviously he was only relaying what those further up the chain of command were telling him, and the real villain of piece was the met office computer that got it so wrong.

The Met Office computer on which Fish and his colleagues relied in 1987 made four million calculations a second. Nowadays it is capable of 14,000 trillion calculations a second. Most of these come from satellites which were rarely used 30 years ago.

As a direct result of the Great Storm, deep ocean weather buoys were located around the British Isles to provide hourly weather information and help us to monitor developing weather conditions. Where grid squares of 150km were once used for weather prediction, now the range is 10km.

In order to demonstrate these advances, a couple of years ago the Met Office announced that it had rerun the conditions in 1987 to determine whether its new supercomputer would have made the correct forecast and proudly claimed it spotted the weather system forming up to a week ahead.

What a load of boll*cks

Anyone noticed that the weather since that faithful day is often predicted to be far worse than it actually is and when the weather front passes by like a rather large damp squib they don’t admit that they over egged it.

They cannot seem to predict what the weather will 24 hours before despite all the computer power they are shouting from the rooftops about. Here’s an idea, use my method, seems to work quite well, pop your head out of the window, look up for a few seconds and at the same time put your wetted finger in the air.

Then decide what to wear, works for me….

So anyway for this session and Nic I would be fishing the private stretch to try and winkle out a predator or two. If you looked at the weather throughout the week, and even a few hours before we’d be battling gale force winds and rain to fill empty bird baths, but as expected that didn’t quite happen as predicted.

3.30ish till well in to dark, ideal to try and winkle out a Zander or maybe even a Pike. The water had a nice tinge of colour last time I fished the Avon and the bites came thick and fast, I was hoping this stretch being much further downstream would be on the same timetable.

Two rods for me, lamprey on one, smelt on the other.

So after a lunch with the Wife I headed over to Nic's stretch and he was already there setting up. It was windy but perfectly fishable, the water temperature 7.3 degrees if I recall.

The rain held off till we decided to call it a day, typical, The session was an uneventful one sadly.

Despite all the baits out, a swim that has produced some decent fish, I had a couple of rod tip pulls on Lamprey and Nic had a 10 yard run on a oil injected Roach without hooking up, It was a blank, and we fished well in to dark as well. Hmmmm, not good, one of those session we'd both like to forget. Sadly Nic's lazer cut fabricated Zed monkey climbers didn't get a good outing.

Odd session, very odd !!!!


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