Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 30 January 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Twerkers and Turbidimeters

What to do, where to go ? with a hard frost overnight and clear skies, yeap, a pike would be nice !!! Now consistent success with pike involves giving them what they want on the day. On many occasions a static deadbait fits this bill, however there will be days when the pike will react for more positively to movement, and recognition of this fact will lead to more pike in the net. 

If you prefer not to livebait or if livebaiting is not allowed, you may need to put 'life' into the deadbaits to provoke a response from the pike. It is often a more interesting way to fish anyway, involving the angler in much more than just sitting and waiting. 

Mobile tactics have another major benefit in that they will show the bait to many more pike because they will cover a greater expanse of water.

Deadbaits cast out and retrieved in an enticing manner often spur lethargic pike in to action, as well as tempting actively feeding pike. The skill comes in making the fish look like a live one in distress, and also fishing it at the correct depth and speed. Takes can come either near the bottom, in midwater or even on the surface. 

This stretch of river I rarely see another angler so whilst I chilled out in the morning sun catching a few bait fish on maggots every so often I twitched the smelt off the bottom to try and provoke the predatory instinct of any waiting pike. It's a method that fellow Sean shared with me and my pike fishing has been transformed because of it. 

The bait fish to be honest as soon as the sun was high in the sky almost disappeared with bites hard to come by with the usual roach shoals failing to show, but at least the dace were up for a feed. 

With an hour to go with only a small jack grabbing a the small roach livebait I went on the rove to fish the other swims to try and drop in on pike. I swapped to a smelt and fished 3 swims upstream and moved the bait off the bottom every 5 minutes or so.

What I didn't expect was in the final swim after the float was motionless for 20 minutes using the aforementioned method that literally the final twerk of the smelt out of nowhere a pike appeared and snaffled the bait right out in front of me. 

The water is clear, very clear so it was a bit of shock at first because it was a half decent fish. I can only assume it had been sitting and watching the bait for a while and the movement spurred it on to take it before its potential meal disappeared from her gaze. 

A decent fight ensued however after a few decent runs she decided that her game was up and I scooped it in to the waiting landing net. 

It felt and looked like a decent fish and it was, going 14lb's and 8 ounces on the scales. A fine looking pike indeed and made the otherwise tough session worth the trip out. With the Avon clearing at a fast rate I think some proper sink and draw tactics would be worth a go next time and without the distraction of fishing the float for the smaller species. 

Being more mobile that led to the capture of this fish, meant I went home a happy man. Without this fish it would have been a rather lame affair, but it just goes to show just how quickly fortunes can change. That's fishing for you though and thats why we love it. 

Saturday 29 January 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Disco's and Dextrogyratory

With the Jimny equipped with a subwoofer and some additional speakers to boost the lacklustre standard off the assembly like offering it now is equipped with a graphic equaliser from Wish all the way from China. You'd have thought the techno loving Japanese that designed the car would have put their fingers up to the bean counters, but no, out the factory the audio system was woful. 

So with less than a pint of beer this sound activated device mirrors the graphic equalisers I used to have back in the day when there were countless dedicated car audio shops to serve the DIN upgraders. 

The Wife rolled her eyes as expected but hey, this is about as exciting as the Jimny gets on the road and any aid or addition is most welcome. Now it's battery powered and offers various modes and various colours so I'll be moving it around the car to get the best position.

At the minute under the HVAC controls seems perfect, even like it was made for the job. Still with blu-tack doing a good job of supporting it I've plenty of time to mess around with it.

Anyway driving the car back from this session for chub for the money, it really adds some interest to the interior without turning the car interior in to a disco and attracting the attention of the boys in blue.

So simple tactics again for this session cheesepaste and a link ledger set-up. The TFG river and stream rod really is the perfect chub rod for these sort of rivers. A 4lb Chub feels like a 8lb Barbel but the rod takes up the lunges and powerful runs rather well indeed. 

The rod is bent double when the fish get in to the flow and there is something to be said to use balanced tackle for Chub. Such a characteristic fight I admire their scrapping ability.

I only fished for a couple of hours but managed 3 fish all around the 4lb mark. The biggest I weighed and it went 4lb 8 ounces so not one of the monsters that I'm sure do reside here, but still a fantastic fight as always and cheesepaste doing the business again.

That 6lber is there to be caught I'm sure of it, I just need to plug away till it turns up. So an enjoyable session again with 3 nice fish caught and it shows you don't have to spend ages on the river to catch some nice fish.

On to the next one !!!!

Warwickshire Avon - Inventors and Incunabulists

A patent filed under my name as the inventor will be showcased on the car I'm working on which will be out in a couple of years time. You'd have thought with a few extra quid in my pocket after a monitory reward I could treat myself to something fishy related, but no, once the tax man got his hand on it, and those with fingers and thumbs in my wallet that quickly went leaving me looking around thinking where the heck did that go to. 

Then again with energy bills, petrol and just day to day livings costs skyrocketing for everyone, there will no doubt be some belt tightening for that splurging. 

Anyway a new coat, boots and another beanie to add to the collection I also bought myself a nice bottle of Woods Navy rum. Which will go down nicely though and I'll look forward to that when I'm back on the grog again. To be fair there isn't a fat lot I need but that's not the point, it would have been nice to have been given the option now wouldn't it 😞

A new TV would have been nice I suppose but then the one we have is still perfectly fine and these days I've changed my spending habits from 'needs must' to being more 'responsible'. 

Anyway back to the fishing, with the gear sorted on the car during the short break from a works 'townhall' meeting I was all ready to go. Now I'm in two minds whether to renew this club book for the new season because the barbel numbers have plummeted over the year and this season was no different.

A stretch of convenience it offered a post work short session to me where I could rock up just before dusk and invariably leave with a smile on my face. Being 10 minutes from home I could stack the sessions up without effecting the schedule from the diary makers

Now I don't fish for Barbel that often, but when I do a bite is most welcome, as I hate sitting behind motionless rods and these days when the Warwickshire Avon Barbel in the main bite at dusk and beyond, roving in the dark is not exactly fun is it. 

This stretch has strict rules and you have to be off half an hour after dusk, or you'd have to answer to the finger pointers.  A carpet of bait with a bait over it, or a large meat bait led to some nice fish over the years, quite a few double and it is also home to my PB of 12lb 14 ounces. 

When I joined quite a few years ago speaking to those that have fished it for donkeys years I probably became a member when the decline started.

'Barbel Alley' as it was known often gave the angler multiple catches of the species in some sessions where the fish was queuing up for the anglers bait. Now though, you hear of the odd fish coming out from the bailiffs, hardly any in the matches and in my own experience 1 fish in 10 sessions would be a good return.

Was is the cause of the decline ? well depends who you speak to but I have my own theories on the matter. Now thankfully there are other species that call this stretch their home and the chub like much of the Warwickshire Avon seem to be getting bigger and bigger each year. A 6lb chub is now a realistic target for me where 5lb was before. 

A 5lb chub was ticked off a while a go and after getting that particular monkey off my back I've caught quite a few of them now. For this session I was after Zander though and having lost 2 fish that were doubles I'd imagine I fancied a fish to better my near 9 lber. 

One of the big fish I lost was from the weir where one winters day I hooked a decent fish and after a few runs it launched itself clear out the water and after a couple of head shakes it lost the hook.

After changing to circle hooks (size 1 Sakuma 440's) I rarely lose fish now and they have led to my canal 11ber and the 17lb canal pike. A hook I have huge confidence in and I doubt I'll ever change from using them.

To be fair I did think a bite would be hard to come by for this session and I was right. A jack pike was the first fish hooked and that was basically it.

Nothing from the weir and the area of deep slack water that usually throws up a fish didn't. One tentative bite that didn't develop and that was my lot. The Avon is clear again which didn't help as I'm sure if I stayed well in to dark my fortunes might have changed. Still it makes a changes from being sat in my office chair and at least I got to bed in my new walking boots. 

Thursday 27 January 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Gorefests and Gnotobiology

Back in 2005 the comedy horror movie Feast directed by John Gulager had it all for the gore fest fans. Trapped in a remote tavern, a group of strangers had to band together for survival. 

You see outside the bar, a horde of ravenous, flesh-eating monsters were trying to break in and dine on the frightened humans inside. It had it all, gratuitous violence and blood shed, all manner of splattering and squirting of unfathomable bodily fluids and slime. 

One of those movies where you could just sit down with a beer and a slice of pizza and be transported to another world within 5 minutes of it starting.
This film does a brilliant job of making you assume people are going to live and then WHAM! it kills someone unexpectedly, it gives a real edge to the film where you begin to think that anyone really can die. 

The story is simple and the attacks by the monsters are very well done indeed without CGI and happening at various times throughout. The introductions to the characters featuring a bit of information about each is a really good and easy way to introduce the cast.

The gore, the beautiful, plentiful gore! This film is packed with gore I mean jam packed, there’s green monster goo being spat at people, maggots coming out of a face wound as someone's skin slowly melts, have I sold it to you yet ?

Anyway a cult favourite amongst horror movie fans, where its 3 odd million budget recovered something like a 5th of that at the box office. It was a movie genre that was falling out of favour for the more serious and grown up horrors which most in my opinion fail miserably, even today.  But much like this angling pursuit of ours, conformity can be how you perceive it. I for one prefer something different, something that suits my needs and interests not to get the tick in the box from others. 

So a flop at the theatres, but who cares its still a movie talked about today by many of the likeminded, and I'm sure some of the DVD sales made up for the lack of pennies in the what was once a rather empty looking bank account. 

Now they did produce a couple of sequels if I recall but, don't bother with those, they were unforgettable from the original, which like many movies with follow-ons tend to be the best.  Anyway talking of follow-ons...

...I've been catching some nice chub of late albeit some of the larger ones that reside here have eluded me so far, so I was back, back this time in to dusk to see if under the cover of darkness (its all relative) I would fare any better.

As I was in to rush to get there I'd fish a ledgered cheesepaste bait with some freebies just under a raft just before dusk and be on my way shortly afterwards. Usually the fish show themselves here quite soon after sundown so sessions like this suit ones busy working and family life. 

A quick smash and grab, like many of my short but frequent sessions !!!!

And smash and grab it was because an hour'ish fished, two fish, the biggest going 5lb 4 ounces which put up one hell of a battle was caught literally within minutes of the bait settling on the shallow river bed.

I maybe made the mistake of returning the smaller chub to the river because there was no bites after that. I fully expected a few more fish, or at least a few plunks and pulls, but no they never materialised. Still when fish fight as well as this one did, I went home a happy man. 

Sunday 23 January 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Ventripotent and Veganuary

I didn't notice much when arriving at dawn however when leaving, the aftermath was all there to see. You see an old Range Rover ( Reg No. was still on the bumper ) must have left the road, hop, skipped and jumped down a small track before taking out a couple of trees before ending up in a ditch, looking at the debris and tyre tracks.

I assume the recovery truck was there to 'recover' as the area was littered was post accident polypropylene, unless the culprit that caused the destruction managed to free the car and drove away like nothing at happened....

....nothing to be seen here !!!! 

The driver could well for a second or two could well have been looking at the scythe of the grim-reaper judging by some of the trees he'd hit and the one in the picture must have taken the brunt of it.

Clearly not a local driver as the bend can catch you out if you're unaware off it, but it must have been carrying some speed looking where it left the road and where it ended up. Almost like the driver hadn't send the bend at all. 

Anyway luckily for me I had a decent session again chasing chub down at the Warwickshire Avon. I was back on the same stretch again I fished 36 hours earlier but this time would fish it a little differently. 

There seems to be an abundance of tame robins down here at the minute and having the stretch to myself again the sound of running water and a feature filled river the worlds ills are quickly forgotten about.
I'm still wondering where the heck the other anglers are because I'm yet to bump in to another one for quite a number of sessions now.

Ok the weather is cold, but so what, wrap up warm and get out on the banks as the conditions are pretty good as I'm typing this and should be decent for another week or so at least.

Now this time rather than fish a float I'd fish my standard quivertip chub set-up which consists of a size 6 hook, a feeder bead with small weight with a bb shot on the hooklink to anchor the bread disk to the river bed.

The plan was to still feed bread mash to try and turn the heads of the chevin and get them feeding confidently but first I needed to find the fish.

You see I've found that fishing a bait without any feed first seems to be the way to go and if one is caught retain it in the net as they could well be another one, two or ten waiting round in the mix.

6 swims down in swims that looked prefect for a bite nothing was doing at all but luckily for me the banker swim would be the last one I'd fish.

Within seconds after getting the bait out I had a bite and a smaller 2 lber succumbed to the bread offering.

With that retained it's just a matter of feeding golf ball sized bread mash to drift down the fairly shallow but pacey swim. The fish tend to stay a good 30 yards away down stream but the mash really does make their cautiousness go out the window and multiple fish can be caught.

I bought my bigger landing net this time as the lazier bigger fish I was after do seem to prefer a static bait. Well I say static because the bread disk does fluttering about in the flow despite the bb shot acting as the anchor.

With the smaller fish chasing the pieces of mash drifting over their noggin's the larger fish I'm sure are opportunists to hover up whatever is left. In these clearing waters there really is no better chub bait than bread it just works like it has done since day dot. No meat products to be seen here, they have gone vegan for January. 

To keep them interested I fed almost a whole sliced loaf of mash and with multiple fish caught within about forty minutes it's surprising just how quickly you get through it.

No need to strike either as they almost always hook themselves and as soon as they realise they end up in the main flow of the river and battle commences. With balanced tackle I love the fight that chub give and as expected the larger fish did turn up for this short trip out.

None of the monsters turned up but with fish firmly in the 4's this was another enjoyable winter chub session where ok, night-time may bring in the potential PB beaters but still with chub of this stamp I'm not complaining where if I were in a match I'd be posting a decent weight again.

I suspect the fishing could get tougher for certain species next week as the colour was almost all gone and in one of the swims I could see a metre down at least. Still get the chub confident in feeding anything can happen. Another decent session, I could get used to this. 

Saturday 22 January 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Malapropisms and Mammonisms

Now the dace is an ebullient little fish that can be found in most streams and rivers, and although it is equally at home in both shallow and deep water, it is found most frequently in both flowing swims and over a clean bed of gravel. In appearance it differs in several ways from the small chub, with which it is often confused. It is more silvery, its head is much more sharply pointed, and its dorsal and anal fins are concave. 

Rarely found alone, small shoals of dace can often be seen drifting to and fro in the shallow water close to the surface. Of all coarse fish, dace are probably the most habitual surface feeders, and will readily rise to sip in nymphs and small flies.

They rise most frequently during the summer, but will also do so even in winter if the day is reasonably mild and the air still. Now like roach, dace may share their swim with other species, but move about in quite separate shoals varying in size from about a dozen fish to larger shoals of up to fifty or more. 

The shoals are thus comparatively easy to locate, but they are also easily scared, and each swim should be approached quietly and with great care. Dace can be tempted with several different baits, but if we apply the policy of choosing only the most selective baits the choice can be narrowed down to flies, both natural and artificial; chrysalids, and to a lesser degree, floating crust. 

Chrysalids are perhaps the most selective bait of all and though flies can also be deadly, the confines of a small stream will often preclude their effective presentation. 

The method of fishing a worm upstream, so often deadly for other species, will also sometimes catch the odd dace, but will seldom yield any quantity of them. More dace can be caught by locating a shoal, and then settling down to fish for them in that one swim.
Now some degree of selectivity should also be exercised in the choice of bait for the larger dace, but in my limited experience when fishing the river after spate and it carrying colour don't mess around a size 10 hook and half a lobworm is very effective indeed for the bigger specimens. 

Don't ignore the small brooks either when the main river is over it banks, I've caught some of the biggest dace I've caught fishing forgotten waters where often the fish hold-up before the river drops post flood.  

Anyway for this short morning session at the syndicate water I'd fish a pike sleeper rod and then would feed maggots and trot a float. Simple tactics I don't do enough. The problem is at this syndicate stretch sometimes they turn up, sometimes they don't but with the water clearing at a fast rate, a trickle of grubs filtering down the water column I was hoping they would show because I fancied a few bites. 

Well they did show but nothing like the size and numbers that can frequent this stretch. Bites were hard to come by most of the morning and they came in fits and starts. Varying the depth didn't make much of a difference and they didn't seem to be in one location either.

Some nice juvenile fish though which was nice to see. The pike rod was ignored with a deadbait and also a bleak livebait the 5 degree water temperature maybe putting the bigger fish off who knows but it was a very slow morning indeed.

Towards the end of the session a few small roach turned and that was after feeding a different line for a good forty minutes before putting the stick-float through.

I never tire of seeing roach though shame the bigger specimens are hard to come-by. In-fact the brooks and streams I fish through up the better stamp of fish. To be fair there are a few areas where they are a little bigger but like this session, it's a lottery if they are there or not. For the last hour I chilled out watching the water with the pike float near some cover, but sadly there was nothing doing at all. 

Friday 21 January 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Brass Monkeys and Blennophobia

Many cultures around the world have mythical stories of strange creatures inhabiting their lands. 

There's the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, Big Foot in America, Little Green Men in more desert like parts of America, the Bunyip in Australia, Elfs in Ireland, moose in New Zealand (that's actually a real thing), the Beast of La Plagne (need to know basis only) and so many more. 

The only thing that one can be sure of is that all these are real If one is planning to go hunting for Big Foot, it seems that the Pacific Northwest is the best place to start. 
Anyway before I get involved with some cryptozoology in America, I'll ease myself in to the challenge and try and track down one of the elusive Warwickshire Avon 6lb Chub. I've seen them with my own eyes and know a few that have caught them, but for me they haven't succumbed to ones tactics just yet. 

A newly made batch of cheesepaste is like a fine wine, it simply cannot be rushed, chill out, relax but rest assured I'm sure it will get an outing again before the winter is out, but for now, just leave it be. For coloured water or fishing in the dark for chub, cheesepaste is hard to beat for chub fishing I find. 

Confidence in bait is the key with any fishing and despite trying all manner of baits for chub, the mouldy stinky offering will always been in ones loggerhead armoury. 

The batch I made up yesterday had four different blue cheeses with some grated spicy cheddar, garlic salt, crushed szechuan peppercorns and binded with grated shortcrust pastry.

Now bread, we are talking big hunks of the stuff, is also one of those baits I've utter confidence in. When the water has dropped significantly and when the clarity is starting to clear a visual bait such as bread is hard to beat especially when in this cold water when the chub are not moving much.

Drop a bait on their heads, from a slumber their eyes raise and the burlesque show they are all of a sudden subjected to can often promote an instant reaction. 

For this session I'd chuck a few flyers their way in the form of some mashed bread and then shortly after provide them the main event a folded bread disk fished via a large float.

I'd struggled a little on this stretch of late and fancied something different than fishing static. 

It's tactics I've employed in the past and with some nice trotting swims such as this being more mobile and covering more water has its advantages. 

To be honest I'd be quite happy with one fish being how cold it is at the minute. 

Three swims down without a touch I decided to head down to the tail end of the stretch where there is a nice long run where there is usually some chub hanging around.

It's a swim I fish in the summer mainly as it's a nice place to catch them off the top.

I've had some decent fish in the past as well, in to the 5's anyway which ain't bad for the Warwickshire Avon.

I wetted the bread a little more to produce more of a cloud and fed the swim every few minutes with a small dollop to drift down the water column. The first fish came after twenty minutes which was the smallest of  the lot because well, I ended up having the fish queuing up until I ran out of bread. 

They were even taking it off the top at one point. To cut a long story short I caught probably 30lb of chub and 11 or 12 fish. Most were over 3lb with the biggest going 4lb ish a really enjoyable session on the float. Even after returning a full small landing net that didn't put them off either.

Shame I got through the bread so quick as I'd caught more no doubt. There were even taking it off the top at the very end of the swim when I'd drifted the odd bit down. This was with 4 odd degree water temperatures but just goes to show find a shoal and get them competing they are well up for a feed. 

Warwickshire Avon - Jigglers and Jumbos

With the days starting to get longer its nice to start to get out on the bank midweek without having to employ the covert 'mouse jiggler' to prevent the computer going in to power saving mode and triggering the Teams 'available' status to one of 'away' heck I'm still available, I just might not be stuck in-front of the CAD machine.

From now onwards work can be done and dusted and I can be on the road and be riverside well before dusk where I can set the stall out before the blinds start to close. 

Before I start anything fishing related, for the movie lovers out there 'Nobody, is one of those movies I can certainly relate too, ok, farfetched maybe, but hey, it's a movie they are meant to be. He has two children with his wife Becca and an unremarkable office job in his father-in-law Eddie's metal fabrication company. His marriage is strained, and his working life seems tedious.
But Hutch Mansell, an underestimated and overlooked dad and husband, taking life’s indignities on the chin and never pushing back. 

A nobody....

At first, he seems like a passive individual who fails to act while two people rob his home, but the film ultimately reveals that he's a highly-methodical man, one with a history of violence. 

When "Nobody" sets off to find his daughter's missing bracelet, his hidden past, a life he left behind comes back bigtime and boy you don't want to get in the way of him and his compadres. 

Because when his trigger was pushed, boy all hell breaks loose. A bloodbath, lets leave it at that, give it a yourself it's a good watch. Now it is the Nobody's soundtrack that captures the mundanities of everyday life, and the collective songs correlate with the protagonist's identity crisis.

"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - Nina Simone is the opener, "Let the Good Times Roll" - Shirley Goodman & Leonard Lee the concluder and lots of great songs in-between. 

Now talking of blood baths, with the cheesepaste reserves almost as empty as our local Tesco's man-sized tissues and chicken breast shelves it was out with the gob stopping protein filled chicken livers for this short dusk in to dark session.

Liver certainly attracts the bigger chub and I've had some reasonable success fishing in to dark when the fish are more likely to bite. 

With clearing waters and bright blue skies the fish on the Warwickshire Avon can often go in to hiding, but fish when the light goes and in that hour in to dark, if you are going to get a bite from a bigger fish, that's the small window to target I've found.

It was going to be a chilly one so I'd rather not be out in it too long so 1.5-2 hours is enough to keep not only myself on the angling rails but also to keep the every increasing workload at bay for a while. I like many don't think about anything when fishing, its quite amazing really, that life pressure kill-switch off from door to bank and bank to door. 

Planning is the key for my fishing as it works for me so well I've often penned the blog post for the session before actually fishing it, the engineer in my I suppose. 

Ad-hoc works for sure but 9 times out of 10, I know what I'm doing 24 hours before so that means tackle and bait sorted, car loaded, clothes neatly folded. As you see here, no messing with the baits bankside, the liver already neatly prepared. 

One swim was pre-baited with some pre-cut pieces of chicken livers and if the main swim wasn't doing anything well in to dark, I'd drop in to the swim on the way back to the car to see if a chub was helping itself to the freebies.

Bites can be savage using liver but every twenty minutes or half an hour the bait needs to changed ideally as the effectiveness of the oozing offal can 'literally' wear off I've found. You know me, no special tactics either, a size 6 hook, a matchbox size piece of liver, sit back and wait. !!!!

No fellow syndicate member Dave Williams abacus rod rests to be seen here, just the lightest quiver I can get away with and a dedicated chub rod to enjoy the fight. My chub fishing of later has seen little change, but there is a good reason for that, as it just works. 

Dusk came and went and half an hour in to the first swim I caught a chub from last time I was biteless and usually if there is a chub or two in waiting they would have revealed themselves by now, so it was time for a move.

I dropped in to another swim downstream and again fished this for nearly half an hour without even a knock and it was fingers and toes crossed for the final swim. The swim I'd pre-baited when I got there.

It looked perfect for a bite despite the cold but again the tip didn't flinch, didn't move. By this time everything was freezing around me and I was questioning ones own sanity

But then it was nice to be out and with homemade coconut daal and onion bhaji's to look forward to at least I had something to look forward to. On to the next one, a blank !!! On the way back I decided to stop off at Morrisons to get ingredients to replenish the cheesepaste reserves, needs must. 

Sunday 16 January 2022

Operation Brazzers Breach - Grubs Up !!!! (Warwickshire Grayling Content)

After the initial Operation Brazzers Breach - The Reccy  the subsequent session Operation Brazzers Breach - Deep Dive to be honest was a little disappointing. 

To try to track down a Warwickshire Avon Grayling is a challenge in itself however maggot peddler Martyn from my local tackle shop (see sidebar) who initially shared the information where there could be some, has only encouraged this rare as rocking horse poop quest as he knows that I like a challenge. 

There is literally nothing on the internet to point to specific location of the 'lady of the stream' in Warwickshire apart from the odd forum snippet which basically leads to a dead-end. Photographic evidence ? you'd be lucky !!! this isn't a rave in Westminster, this is a grayling in Warwickshire.

To be fair the limited information narrowed it down to a certain area, but that area is largely out of bounds for a maggot dangler like me and I'd be trespassing in pursuit of hearsay.

But it was Martyn the maggot peddler that put more meat on the bones as it turned out some fish surveys in the area over the years always throws up some grayling in a very small area indeed. Whether they have spread themselves wider I don't know but looking at the map where X marked the spot there is no reason why they couldn't.

The stretch was perfect without being worried about getting my collar felt so I was back for another session. I didn't have long before I had to get back but certainly enough time to give the stretch a go again.

You see I've been watching the levels and also the weather prior to this trip and it looked good conditions to try and confirm if there was smoke in the slow burning fire. I hadn't really thought much about them because the last session here I was biteless was but then out of nowhere I got the urge to try for them again.

Grayling are sight feeders in the main so this time it was out with the trotting tactics in and almost perfect looking swim. There was a tinge of colour in the 2 foot deep water and after enjoying a dawn cup of tea I fed maggots little and often and if there was any fish there I would get their confidence up first, before casting the float out.

After a few trots through without a bite what I didn't expect was a confident bite and the wire stem stick float disappeared from view. I thought the fish I hooked was a dace at first so I was amazed that it wasn't a dace but yes, a Grayling !!!

I really was shocked, ok a small fish in statue but significant in so many ways there are Grayling in Warwickshire after all and I've only gone and caught one.

After hooking something big that came off after a plodding fight (trout or chub most likely) I bumped a couple of fish off but to be honest the fishing was hard going. An hour in with no other fish I moved upstream to another trotting swim and after losing a fish and then losing my float in one of the trees eventually I had a small chub.

To be fair a decent fight on light gear but again after bumping off a couple of fish the bites really were hard to come by.

As soon as the sun came out around 9.30am it was illuminating the water and basically put a kibosh on proceedings. Still I'm amazed at what I caught and I'm glad I made the effort but next time I will be better prepared and this time hopefully a better hook for the intended quarry.

Answers on a postcard please as I'm sure there are better fish to be caught ? !!!
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