Saturday 20 November 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Net Charges and Noctambulation

I've had worse decisions to make, you see with 8 beers on cask, 16 keg beers and 43 bottled beers or something like that where the heck do you start ? Anglers thrive on argument and there is plenty in literature to provoke the expert as well as instruct the novice, you just need to pick your 'expert' for advice. 

Now beer can divide a nation, well ok, but it's a very personal choice where an outsiders opinion may well be very different to yours. But a drinking partner of mine has a similar palate and that always helps and when I said I'd be frequenting this pub with a 30-foot-long bar, marbled tables, spectacular chandeliers and cosy corners.

There was only one beer that I must have and that was Thornbridge's Necessary Evil, which is an imperial stout, aged for 8 months in bourbon barrels. Aromas of sweet bourbon, vanilla and oak from the ageing process combine with rich chocolate, roasted malts and caramel from the base beer. 

Soft and silky, and to be honest one of the nicest stouts I'd had for a long time. 

Not cheap mind you at £6 for half a pint, yes really but at 13% ABV a pretty heavy hitter so one to savour not one to neck.

And savour I did because after planning to drive home later after food and the train journey home I ended up having to call her indoors to come and fetch me, luckily the early start meant the kids hadn't gone to bed yet. 

Uber in the Shires, you'd be lucky, either that or you'd be waiting a very long time !!!

It's that time of year though with quite a few social events to look forward to, certainly the other passengers on the train in similar spirits which was nice to see considering the 18 months we've just had. 

A group of girls from painting the town red quite happy to engage in conversation, because well, its nice to talk to other people isn't it, we are a social breed after all. 

Now I don't think the roach down this section of the Warwickshire Avon like the Pike ruining their winter party but they are here year on year and if a bite is required this is a good place to go. 

So for this short morning session with Autumn clearly in full swing, nothing complicated just a waggler with a couple of maggots on the hook where hopefully I'd catch a roach or two and I'd have a smelt out on the Pike sleeper rod to hopefully catch the gatecrasher. Oh and to kick things off some roach groundbait that is mixed with crushed coriander seed. 

Whilst on the subject of gatecrashers I remember a news story around 8-9 years ago, because the Leeds Magistrates Court found actual Gatecrasher (the clubbing brand) guilty of selling counterfeit alcohol after the West Yorkshire Trading Standards visited their Bed venue in response to complaints from the drinkers of the establishment.

The officers confiscated 656 litres from the premises, the largest seizure of fake alcohol by the Standards Office at the time, and subsequent tests revealed that the alcohol contained isopropanol, tertiary butanol and chloroform. By the sounds of it though they were stitched up by a second tier reputable and registered supplier called Midnight Tipples who supplied the 'premium vodka'. 

Pull the wool over vodka consuming students eyes, who were they kidding !!!

Now talking of shysters the Pike isn't welcome at the best of times from many angling fraternities but I have grown to love them as a species and usually here, no matter the conditions as long as its fishable that is, they more than often come out to play. To be fair the conditions were not brilliant for this session but still, there is always hope prior to a session isn't there. 

The Avon is back to gin clear but find some deeper water and sprinkle some maggots the fish will come and sure enough I shouldn't have worried about bites because I had plenty. Not the biggest of fish admittedly but when it's a bite a chuck float fishing there is something magical about it.

The roach turned up initially but then it went quiet for 10 minutes and some dace entered the arena and that's when the pike rod had some interest. After one fast bob of the float a few minutes later a proper bite developed and a fish is on. I knew instantly it wasn't that big but a spirited fight to be fair and certainly pulled a little harder than a 4 ounce roach.

After a quick picture it went back and I carried on catching the small stuff. I retained them in the landing net to see how many I caught in the 3.5 hour session but maybe that wasn't a good idea, because twice a pike of a similar size decided that it wanted what was contained within it.

Two violent strikes the second time I lifted the landing net from the handle clear of the water and the pike came with it. A jack of around 4lb eventually releasing its jaws and wriggling itself back in the water. That's a proper predator right there, nothing will get in the way of its instinct.

I decided to retain some of the tiny dace and a few of the bleak and went on the rove with a livebait under a float. A few of the swims looked perfect for perch but despite fishing the 45 minutes with the float doing its thing there was nothing doing at all.

Dusk may well have changed my fortunes but with the Wife and Sam suffering with colds at the moment a few hours before they surfaced was more than adequate to get my fishing fix. I'll be out again in the morning this time on a new stretch of river acquired by the syndicate and there has been some promising catches already. 


  1. Mick looking at the Beer reminded me of a drink I used to enjoy in winter months. It went by the name of ‘Owd Roger’ .. it was like a barley wine and I believe around 7% . Very nice after a cold day on the river . It warned the body from the inside ☺️👍🏻

    1. Yes decent drop that Baz, Marston's brew it, not seen it in the supermarket for a while though. Mcewan's Champion is similar and that's 7 odd %


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