Wednesday 17 June 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Brachymetropia and Brobdingnagians

As countries in Europe being to come out from the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants are starting to experiment with new ways to have people safely dining out again. Now a restaurant in Amsterdam called Mediamatic has found an innovative and adorable solution that ensures social distancing rules are applied. The restaurant has set small green houses along the Oosterdok river that allow for an intimate dinner for two.

Like a scene from those camped out on the River Trent without the white vans, bite alarms and body odour , dubbed serres séparées, French for separated greenhouses the transparent structures offer a safe and intimate dinner by the water. It takes into consideration both customers and people working there. For example, staff will be wearing personal protection equipment all the time and food will be served on wooden planks, guaranteeing the 1.5-meter distance. 

An area out of bounds for a good number of years, the urtica dioica left to feral, the dense axillary inflorescences standing proud without hindrance, till last week that is. You see I took the hedge trimmers to the new water on the WBAS syndicate with much enthused swinging, largely controlled destruction.

Now a couple of hours outside ones busy schedule went very quick indeed and it was certainly good for the well-being especially when being all consumed in the wildlife and nature. What it did show in that short duration spent bankside was that just how nice this place will be spend time in.

Stretches of river like this locally are few and far between these days where much of the river is already under club control, private ownership or out of bounds. For me and the likeminded the quarry may well be unknown but that is only part of the appeal, you see it is also an area where solitude can be sought, and where fishing without outside influence is achievable. 

A rare thing these days it really is.... the fishing is likely to be tough initially because lets face it, it always seems to be at the start of the season where the waters are low and clear and it takes a while to get things kicked off in any sort of vigour.  Still for me being only 15 minutes away from leaving my house to being bankside I can fish short sessions to alleviate the biteless boredom.

To be fair when I put the sign up which Sam painted himself flinstone esk I went for a wander to see the fruits of Sean's labour and there were plenty of small fish topping, so Sam can fill his boots. He needs bites generally and lots of them because with motionless floats and quiverless quivers like any 9 year old his mind wanders. This his 5th year as an angler his attention levels despite being able to fish more or less independently now are still trying and sometimes I've had to end the sessions early because we are both not enjoying it.

Anyway on a positive note with paid holidays now though I may well take a well deserved break from work and spend a whole day here and try and build up a swim and see what we can catch. There are Barbel upstream and downstream of here I know that for certain and Big Chub too, and when the rivers are up and bombing through in Autumn and Winter, this area could well offer sanctuary away from the bubbling cauldrons. 

Sluggish and pedestrian at the minute so predators and bream are likely to reside here already but who knows what could turn up, it's one of those places.

For the first session it was simple tactics to see if anything bigger was around and was willing to take my bait as we headed in to dusk. It's amazing just how things can pick-up at the start of the season when the light levels reduce, a biteless day from the rod benders can change at the snap of the fingers, when the bigger fish start moving after their day of slumber. 

So to give myself a good chance of banking something worthy of the first day of the river season a two rod attack. So on the upstream rod a meat-furter oily hookbait with pungent Dynamite Baits Big Fish River Shrimp & Krill Groundbait.

What a great groundbait it is too, very pungent and has a nice mix of pellets to get the fish grubbing around and a chunk of meat on the downstream rod. After some of the towpath I was treading turning in to a circus, it was nice to be back on the rivers again, where my allegiances lie, where my mind is at is most chilled.

Half an hour before I wanted to leave the heavens opened and not only was the rain lashing down but their was thunder and lightning to accompany it. Luckily it cleared up slightly to I decided to make my way to the venue. I was parked up soon enough having driven through some water logged roads and had to wait a while before I could get out the car.

Still with tackle now out the car I had a good couple of hours fishing. Now like any new venue you need to spend time on it to make the best of it so for the first half an hour I dropped the lead in a few swims before deciding on the one to fish. A swim with cover up and downstream with small fish already topping. It gave me the option of taking shelter in the shed as well if the storm was headed this way again. In the distance the lightning was still going strong and didn't really let up the whole time I was there.

A good hour went by without a nibble but what a lovely place to , cuckoos, swallows and kingfishers and some huge birds of prey keeping me entertained. It was a nice trotting speed so with maggot I suspect it could well have been a bite a chuck. There was evidence of small fish attacking the meat and the pellet, but then on the retrieve of the meat a pike had grabbed it and a fish was on. It looked 5 or 6lb and after it had a couple of runs it decided to give it. On the way to the net though the inevitable happened and one last head shake it's teeth did the business and it was off.

What is has already shown to me just being here a few times is that I'm sure it's a haven for predators, some of the swims look ideal for Pike and Perch, even Zander possibly ? and there is certainly lots of bait fish to feed on. Anyway back to the fishing, the last hour in to dusk again fairly quiet on the rods tips but then the first Chub bite came just before the bats came out.

Sadly the bite never developed and with dark clouds looming above me I got the gear packed away with just the rods left out. Dusk came and the bats really were active, some decent sized ones too, swooping and circling around the swim crashing in to ones rod and line multiple times. Dusk had past and noticed a disturbance in the water on the far bank that was heading downstream and knew instantly what it was, with the powerful headtorch on yeap and Otter its eyes illuminated and it was heading towards me.

By the time I cobbled together my camera to try and get a picture it disappeared from view. Now as fisherman I'm on the fence with Otters, they have certainly put their stamp on some stretches that have never been the same again, but in my experience that must be in literally every waterway I fish now, from canals to small rivers, just got to live with them. I've probably seen more Otters in the wild that the whole Countryfile team added together.

With my time up, not a brilliant introduction the new syndicate stretch but I'm not disheartened, why would I be, for me the solitude puts me in a good place, the fishing secondary. I'm going to enjoy learning more about the stretch and getting to know the swims, I think next time though, fishing for what come along is probably worthwhile, fishing maggots you never know what can come along.


  1. Being new to this blog I cannot work out if this is a free stretch you and Sean are blagging it on (and therefore the 'members only' sign is an inspired bluff) or if this truly a syndicate water - please don't tell me though as I prefer the blagging theory.


  2. A proper syndicate, all very secret squirrel mind you !!!

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