Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 27 February 2022

Warwickshire Stour - Poachers and Phonendoscopes

They say there’s no such thing as a free meal but as you wind your way through wooded hills towards the tiny village of Cranborne, you might chance upon a charming rogue who says differently.

For years, the Cranborne Poacher has roamed these parts, outwitting both authority and prey in pursuit of pilfered plums and a pheasant for his pot. A decent alternative to my favourite beer Champion this rich, ruby and fruity beer ain't a bad drop. 

You see its crystal and chocolate malts provide a full-bodied taste with sweet, complex flavours of damson and liquorice. 

With the Warwickshire Avon still up and coloured the River Stour came to mind to get that much needed fishing fix. 

The Stour you see, even in the winter when the levels start to drop it's surprising just how well it clears and gets back to its lovely tinge of green. 

I fancied a bite and the Stour holds some nice Chevin and also some nice roach which for me have eluded me the last few sessions. With similar conditions to 24 hours earlier the roach may well be in hiding but the chub, I'm sure would be up for a tussle or two. 


A lovely bright day again so the frost cleared quickly and gloves were not needed when I got bankside around half an hour after sunrise.

As expected I had the river to myself so it's just a matter of dropping in to swims and try and buy a quick bite. Bread is such a visual bait and I think the float might have been a better option when I first saw the river because it wasn't as up as I thought. 

I did pre-bait a couple of swims with bread mash on route to the first swim and that was the key for this short session.

As I said the river was in perfect winter fettle and it didn't take long to get the first bite. The swim (shown above) in question has a nice slack where a small stream enters the main river and by lifting the bait off the bottom to drift downstream it can often provoke a quick bite. 

And I was right, because after nothing for 10 minutes with the bait fluttering around on the bottom a little nudge the bread offering drifted downstream and after a couple of sharp plucks, the chub had hooked itself after confidently taking the bait.

The flow is quite considerable here in the main part of the river and after a decent battle the 3 lber was in the net. Now I usually retain fish in the landing net here because there are often a group of them to be caught, but oddly not for this session. 

Whether or not this was a lone fish I don't know but I really was surprised no further bites were forthcoming. In-fact after another 5 swims I was wondering where the heck the fish were. Still I wasn't moaning a decent bend in the rod, and I actually, caught a fish, a fish I tell thee !!!

Even in the banker swim no taps, pulls or anything even from small fish. I'm sure with the sun high in the sky ones shadow casting over the water wouldn't have helped because you know Chub, they can be put off feeding it something doesn't seem right and the sight of me encroaching on their lair I'm sure wouldn't have helped.  

Luckily for me this is where one of the the pre-baited swim came up trumps because heading back up the stretch after a missed bite, one of the most savage bites I have ever had off a chub and another fish was on.

It had to try and keep away from some snags so hit and hold stuff but eventually the fish new its time was up. Not the biggest from this stretch as I've had them over 4lb this season, but another 3lber. Most welcome though especially as I've been finding it difficult of late. And that was a wrap, no more bites despite fishing what looked like perfect chub swims. 

Saturday 26 February 2022

The Tiny River Alne - Minnows and Millenarianisms

The river Alne is one of those rivers that can provide some fantastic sport when the conditions are good and then the rest of the time often you are scratching around for bites.

It can rise and fall ridiculously quickly and the fish I'd imagine especially in the winter haven't a clue what to do one day to the next. I better get the excuses in early because to be honest, I kind of knew the outcome before I'd even started. 

Despite the hard frost overnight the Alne looked it would be in decent fettle for this short morning session. I only had worms and maggots with me but a first look of the river maybe I'd made a little bit of an error.

You see the water was clearing fast after being brown and properly coloured and a large visible bait would well have an advantage of a pungent worm and maggot cocktail. 

I decided to try the very upstream section and work myself down to the middle of the stretch and then retrace my steps. I rarely fish this section but I have had chub, dace and trout here in the past so I know it holds fish.

When its clear here I love nothing more than fishing a small Salmo Hornet and it can provide some decent sport especially when out of the blue a trout or chub can dart out from the cover and grab the lure.

Bait fishing though can well be hit and miss like it was for this session. 5 swims down with only greedy minnows up for a bite it really was tough to find any proper bites. In-fact the only proper bite came typically when I was enjoying a cup of tea in the winter sun.

That must have come from a roach or a dace I'd imagine but a recast nothing materialised. The last swim I fished was fast on the outside, slack in the middle and inside and fairly shallow. A bite came quick and as soon as I hooked it I knew it was a trout.

A decent trout at that and sadly the inevitable happened because shortly in to the decent fight with the fish giving me the run around the hook pulled and another decent trout did me over. I've lost 3 proper decent ones here now with the best banked around 2lb.

This was much bigger than that and sadly I didn't get to see it this time. And that was a wrap, another tough session on the Alne, oh well, still a lovely morning to be out though especially when a stop off at Dermot's I treated the Wife and I to a late brekky. 

Friday 25 February 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Carrot Man and Carcinology

With many of the local rivers still outs of sorts it's been difficult to decide where and how I could get that much needed fishing fix.  The huge amount of rain we had recently that came with the storms combined with the water table that was already full to the brim, the bigger Midlands rivers really have taken the brunt, and the smaller spate rivers and brooks up and down with the fluctuating financial markets. 

Now it is the fourth time in three years the Severn has flooded, leaving riverside communities from Shrewsbury down to Bewdley counting the cost once again. 

At Ironbridge (you can see the world famous bridge in the background) the water had come within around 10cm of the top of the temporary barriers.

Thankfully as I type this the worst is over and the levels are beginning to fall. Those on the opposite side of the river once again are pumping out their living rooms, putting their valuable out of harms ways and assessing the flood damage. Many of those houses are basically worthless and if it were not for the holiday let business keeping them going, they river would have got its way.
Still there are many residents putting up with flooding year on year, they deal with it when it happens, they'd been there done that, it's part of the territory. 

Some reports from the ground (Nic '2 dace' Bradley ) the Alne wasn't fishing at all well to such an extent a question Nic asked was there actually any fish in it !!!

The Stour was also hit and miss because of the fish having to deal with and also try to manage the different conditions from one day to the next.

Anyway for this trip with Sam's Carrot Man joining me for the ride, I was back to where I had a dropped run on the last session. 

The fish was taking line from the bait runner however when I lifted the rod and felt the line, it had obviously felt the resistance and made hay before it felt the extremely sharp point of the Sakuma 440.

The running set-up was ditched for another float rod where the grippa stop was moved up the line, and moved up again. It's deep up here, very deep and having caught quite a few Zander here over the years I've fished it I was hoping there was one on the munch.

Only a short leapfrogging session admittedly but having been stuck in-front of the CAD screen all week, any bank time would be most welcome.  

5 swims down fishing a small whole fish on one rod a chunk of roach on the other for around 20 minutes in each swim I had nothing to show for it. The river was brown as expected and despite it being cold I thought I'd manage to winkle at least one fish out. 

The swims you see looked perfect, cover, slacks and away from the turbulence some nice sheltered swims to lay in wait. Zander don't mind flow at all though so I did mix it up a bit where a couple of the swims had some decent flow, but they were clearly not up for a feed.

I fish a little longer than I thought it would and even stayed in to dusk but I had ones tail firmly between my legs when I headed home. It's amazing what fishing does for you mind though, the wellbeing certainly boosted up a notch or two.  

Monday 21 February 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Sacricolists and Scandiscopes

It's deep up here, very deep, in-fact one swim is 22 foot according to the deeper and in-fact that actual swim I lost a double figure Zander a couple or three years ago, and a little further down, another one too 😒. I'm better equipped these days mind you. 

The swim had form too because a shoal of Zander used to venture up there from time to time and bite often were aplenty. 

That swim is no more though because a flood took away one of its main features and that was a huge tree that was a fish magnet, especially the Zander a predator. The best I could muster up was an 8lber which still remains my river PB and that was caught when it was bitterly cold where ironically this session it was pretty mild and was a similar time of year. 

Anyway in the main it is 8-10 foot which is still pretty deep to be fair and in the winter months it often is home to large shoals of roach, some nice perch and naturally because its pretty deep, slow and wide some nice bream.  

Despite the river being well up and blowing a gale there were plenty of swims I couldn't leapfrog with a float rod and also a running ledger set-up to get over to the far side if need be. 

I've never had an issue fishing for Zander in chocolate brown conditions because lets face it many of the canals I fish are like that 24/7. Zander feel at home in turbid waters hence why they have thrived in the Midlands canal network.

5 swims down without a nibble I decided to walk to an area much further downstream were I caught one recently. Just trying to find a fishable area was half the problem as it was motoring through, but I managed to find a slack but after giving it longer than I usually do, nothing fancied the chunk of roach.

So I retraced my steps and decided to fish the last hour and a half in two swims. Both with cover and decent depth close in. 

By now the rain had started and the gusts of wind back to 50 mph again. The weather really has been lively over the last few days but to be honest, I don't mind these conditions especially if the rain isn't too heavy. 

Out of the blue the bobbin rose, the Delkim sounded and the loose baitrunner activated but I lifted the rod and pinched the line to find that the fish had already dropped the bait. 

And that was that !!!

Because both baits back out and nothing else materialised. So another blank to add to the collection. I returned home, we all went for a blustery walk over the fields to feed some friends rabbits and chickens who are on holiday at the minute and thankfully got back before the biblical rain started again.

Good Wine, a roast dinner, feet up, the unsuccessful session quickly forgotten about. On to the next one !!!!

Saturday 19 February 2022

Small Brook Fishing Pt.21 - Spotties and Splanchnology

Storm Eunice really was quite 'lively' yesterday as lorries were blown over and trees were felled after England was hit by the some of the strongest winds on record where millions of Britons were urged to stay at home. Gusts must have been up to 70mph I'd imagine in Bards country as living here for well over a decade that's the worst I've known it, well for the length of time it took for the storm to pass anyway.

The top speed of 122mph at Needles on the Isle of Wight was provisionally or matches ( I think) the highest gust ever in England which meant Storm Eunice was worse than the 1987 Great Storm when gusts peaked at 115mph in West Sussex. 

28,000 homes in the South West were without power, the O2's roof suffered quite significant damage, trains, planes and lots of public transports cancelled, schools shut and one dramatic video I saw showed pilots battling to land in extreme crosswinds at Birmingham Airport, where a Vueling plane from Paris violently rocking from side to side as it approached the runway in 60mph winds. 

With lots of snow up North, I'd have preferred that to be honest, but to be fair, I do like it when it's windy as its very unpredictable. Locally quite a few trees down and the regulars at the Kings Head pub in Aston Cantlow were peeling their rather large and huge professional gazebo from the roof when I drove by after the session to see that the River Alne was looking like. 

Anyway where to go ? what to do ? well to be honest I didn't have many choices but one that sprang to mind was a visit to the local tiny brook Sam and I have been fishing. My PB dace came from this little brook that winds itself through the Warwickshire Countryside a year ago and with the locals rivers mostly out-of-bounds this diminutive waterway can offer a fishing option.

Back in the day here from what I know coarse fish removals were formerly undertaken by the National Rivers Authority and fingerling trout stocked in their place. This has not occurred since 1998 apparently though, and no trout stocking currently takes place. 

A survey over 13 years ago indicated that in addition to brown trout, dace, bullhead, stone loach and minnows were present, along with the occasion chub and roach. 

Now I've ticked off many on that list where dace, roach and trout seem now to be the mainstay, but its the dace that can offer the specimen hunter a target quarry. The brook is underlain with clay and there is abundant gravel present in most of the channel. 

Generally the habitat is very good, with a meandering planform, an excellent pool, a small weir and riffle structure. There is a good variation in depths, natural channel features such as gravel shoals and side bars, and good cover in the form of tree roots and low overhanging vegetation. In the summer when I've come to have a look there are numerous shallow, faster, gravel-bottomed sections of water which are where most river fish species choose to spawn, including trout.

Does anyone else fish it ? 

Well I've yet to see an angler on this section yet despite much of it being a well trodden route with public access. But who fishes these sort of forgotten waterways ? I'm in a small minority I'm sure, especially in these neck of the woods where these brown water brooks are not exactly the Southern chalk streams are they.   

To be honest the bites were harder to come by than I expected but there is a good reason for that, you see it was far far lower than I thought which means those slack areas where the fish usually shoal up were not really a sheltering hold, as the main brook wasn't flowing 'that' quick.

Still the trout were up for a feed and in a couple of hours I managed five or six small ones but enough to keep me interested as they really do mad when they get hooked. They all came to worm tipped with a red maggot, almost my default bait in coloured water.

On of the more sheltered and almost static swims did produce some dace though. Ok nothing massive with the best probably only 4 -5 ounces but I know from experience the bigger specimens really do show themselves when the brook is well up and bombing through.

In-fact I've found the best time to target it is when its almost bursting its banks and those slacks are few and far between. An enjoyable session though so be fair, well until the bitterly cold rain started. 

There are >12 ounce dace here I'm sure, I just need to pay a visit again when the conditions are more favourable for a proper'un.

The weather is all over the shop for the next few days but I'm sure I'll find somewhere to fish in the morning. The Stour is well within its banks that could offer a bite or two I'm sure. 

Thursday 17 February 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Eunice and Eudaemonisms

A whole entire book all about canal zander, who would have thought it. Ignore the quick put together cover design a quick look through it covers all what any angler interested in canal Zander needs to know from someone, like me, who is a passionate advocate of the species. 

The book had been delayed a couple of months due to printing problems but it landed on my doorstep yesterday, all 192 pages of it.

Clearly John's own views come out in the book, but then why wouldn't they, a book like this should be written exactly that way.

If we all had the same thoughts and views about angling it would be very boring now wouldn't it.

Chapters include, The new Fens, The Ideal Environment, Culling, Venues, Live baits, Dead baits and lures. 

I'm surprised by the specific fishing locations given but then it's hardly a secret where Zander are established in the canal network these days.

It is clear from the book John and his compadres fish rather different areas in the main, only one venue I know we share the towpaths and that is an area only known by the likeminded thankfully. 

To properly target canal Zander it is surprising just how much walking is involved and ok, after nearly 5 years of searching I managed to catch a double figure fish, but it won't stop me fishing for them in the closed season again, because I want one bigger, and we really are lucky in the Midlands with such a wide variety of venues to fish for them. 

Spoilt, yeap for sure !

The roving with deadbaits rods makes up much of my exercise where 10,000 steps can be ticked off quite easily, give it a go. 

That approach can often put anglers off as its not a sitting around affair but often the best locations where the bigger fish reside are the areas that are unlikely to see much angling pressure, now talking about angling pressure....

Anyway enough of that, back to tis session, almost 3 years to the day I caught my PB Warwickshire Avon Barbel of 12lb and 14 ounces and that caught was right smack bang in the middle of winter where many hang up their barbel rods, but fish are there to be caught especially with the weather almost being mild and with a water temperature higher than normal.

Now this is a regular match fished stretch where barbel numbers have been on the decline for a while and with me likely to give up this club book up this year and look for waters new, maybe one last hurrah especially with red weather warning Storm Eunice on the way with. 

I suppose there is only one way to find out !!! ? 

The river was well up and chocolate brown but the swim I caught the fish from (twice) has a nice slack on the inside and perfectly fishable despite the levels and again this would be a post work smash and grab session. 

I decided to leave the location I fished yesterday for a while though but hopefully will make a return visit before the season end. 

Anyway less than 2 hours, a lump of spam and some freebies....

....anything doing ?

The rain started almost as soon as I got out the car and it was a rather wet walk to the chosen peg where I was hoping a bite was forthcoming.

The river was motoring through but as I said before as this is on a bend where the river widens luckily despite the river levels usually here its fishable even when the river is over its banks.

A few nibbles ten minutes after the meat bait settled with a lovely ding at least I knew the bait was presented nicely and I'm sure feeding a few pieces of meat helped the fact that it attracted fish in to the swim.

Usually when the river is this coloured though bigger fish if they are in a feeding mood show themselves within half an hour or so but nothing was doing at all. There was clearly fish in the swim judging by the state of the lump of spam when I checked to see if it was still on.

A thumbs down picture taken an hour and half before dusk I almost knew what the outcome would be. You see I expected a blank and that's exactly what the outcome was when it was curfew times half an hour after official dusk.

Even the chub didn't seem to be interested and yet I've caught some fish over 5lb here and sunset usually means feeding time, not this late afternoon though, an off day ? nope the norm here for me of late, so another blank and on to the next one !!!!

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Noah's Ark and Nomenclators

Barbel fishing for me is usually a short smash and grab affair. The thought of sitting behind a motionless rod(s) fears me with dread especially when the probability of connecting with one on the Avon these days is getting less likely than it was when I started fishing it.

This season though my eyes have been looking elsewhere from the usual stretches I fish for them, and this short after work session ( I was hot to trot lets put it like that )  I went down at an area where I spotted a small shoal in the summer and managed a couple of them after they tested my patience. 

The river was well up and as expected chocolate brown so I had some worms with me and some pungent krill durable hookers. 

The problem was the first swim I was getting wiped out all the time from all the debris coming down and it was clear staying in that swim was a waste of time. So the next swim luckily had a slack which allowed a bait to be positioned without issue. 

I bait dropped some dead maggots and some small pellets and was confident that a hungry barbel would find the smörgåsbord. Now it was windy very windy and not an issue usually but nearly an hour in without a nibble the weather got interesting. 

Because the rain started.... Only light as first but then literally within 5 minutes it was so heavy I was looking for Noah's ark, it was apocalyptic !!!!

As you know I pride myself in fishing in all weathers, but it didn't help that the gusts were blowing it right in my face and despite the new jacket doing a brilliant job of shielding me from the worse of it, I knew I was in for a right good soaking, I've never seen anything like it in all my years fishing. 

Now luckily I travel light so I made the decision to pack up and head straight out of there. The parking already like a river, thankfully I was in the Jimny as it could have got 'interesting' lets put it that way. This is a diary of my fishing so apologise for the short and sweet post but hopefully I'd be out tomorrow and hopefully fair a little better. 

Sunday 13 February 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Jungles and Jurisconsults

These awfully Posh Chilli and Roasted Garlic Pork crackling were a rather nice discovery I must admit, the chilli heat just right, the packet just the right size and the garlic, well, garlicky.

I tend to prefer the lighter pork scratching these days and these are in-between a heavy fat laden offering and a porky puff.  

With a nice bottle of Champion (ok three actually) and a footy match I actually managed to watch all the way through these were enjoyed to the full I must admit.

I don't put my feet up enough the weekend and maybe I should because I rather enjoyed it. But being stuck in front of a computer screen all week, often its needs must for ones own sanity. Anyway having stupidly dropped my bread disc bait tub down at the syndicate stretch earlier in the morning I roped in Ben to try and find where I'd left it. 

Now I'm renowned for leaving stuff bankside so nothing out of the ordinary really but we recovered it quickly so after a roam around we hit the road and were off out of there. Well for a walk in to Stratford anyway, my glasses needed adjusting. 

Cameras, bags, landing nets, banksticks and bite alarms, I've left all manner of things when I've been fishing and to be honest apart from the brass scales I lost down the river Stour, usually after retracing my steps the items have turned up. Often fishing in to dark doesn't help because its so easy to leave stuff when its dark despite the scanning and scanning again of the head torch. 

The weather was going to change for the worse the following day so I was in two minds whether to go fishing or not but when I woke up in the morning it would have been stupid not too, as it didn't look, too bad, considering the predicted apocalypse. 

So it was out the new all weather coat and I decided to roam around and fish some swims that are a little more inaccessible than the well trodden. There are fish here over the years that would break the 6lb barrier I'm sure of that but for me that have eluded me thus far and maybe I needed to think outside the box.

So for this short 2 hour session I'd decided to alternate between bread and cheesepaste and literally drop the bait in some likely fish holding areas. No feeding, but paste especially can roll around the swim nicely which can tempt even the most cautious of Chevin. 

Three swims down though only one swim produced bites and they were clearly from small fish the quick bite I wanted hadn't materialised. By now the wind was blowing a hooley and the rain quite heavy at times but I was dry warm and toasty and wondered why it's taken me so long to buy some half decent clothing to battling the elements. 

Two more swims down this wasn't going well and after I disturbed an otter in the margins that went back rather unceremoniously back in to the drink and appeared 40 yards downstream by popping its head out maybe the fish were having an off day and maybe for good reason.

Still a couple more swims to go and this I used to fish many moons ago before a tree blocked most of it. In winter though when the access is easer you can gain access to the other side of the swim and ok a little tricky to drop in a bait, but it can be done. 

Now what I didn't expect was at the first drop a proper lump of a chub took the cheesepaste as it fell through the clearing water. It took me by surprise because when I realised what the heck was going the fish had already made inroads to the mass of tree roots to the right.

With the rod bent double and with me holding on for dear life sadly the inevitable happened and after 4 or 5 seconds the hook pulled, damn !!! I rarely have hook pulls with chub but using paste cages and big baits I have noticed the odd fish when landed has had barely a hook hold, I'm sure that ultimately could well have contributed to the fish loss. Oh well, you live and learn, sadly no more bites in that swim and one more upstream, nothing either.

Saturday 12 February 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Peregrination and Periodontists

A bit of a testing week I must say, with the Wife isolating with COVID after Sam's episode a couple of weeks ago meant I was on the school run as well as having work up to ones eyeballs. Both ok thankfully, Sam had a high temp for 24 hours and the Wife, cold symptoms basically, although her temp plummeted to 35.7 at one point, that was a little worrying. 

Then all was going well until Sam bashed one of his chipped teeth off AGAIN which meant a trip to the dentist was in order to glue it back on. Now usually the uv activated glue worked quite well up till now having lasted 4-6 mths without issue but a chicken and chips treat dinner later in the evening obviously this time round it didn't take so well.  

You see not long in to eating he felt his sharp broken tooth again and it must have fallen off and went where the Southern Fried chicken and chips ended up, yeap his stomach !!! 
Bugger !!!

So next week will bring more joy now doubt when he will now have to have it built up with filler because a proper cap won't be fitted till his mouth stops growing in about 6-8 years time 😬 Now talking about mouths growing I fancied a short session for my favourite winter species the chub and a stretch close to home can throw up some nice ones.

Their numbers have declined over the years sadly but the stretch always holds fish because of the cover and features. So out with the bread gobstoppers and a roving approach to drop in to a few swims to try and get a quick bite.

It was tougher than I thought but I still managed a couple of nice fish the best going 5lb dead and gave me a right old tussle in the pacey water. 

After 5 or 6 swims later without a touch I decided to up-sticks and venture a few miles away to the syndicate stretch to feed the rest of the mashed bread and to also give it a once over.

As soon as I got bankside I disturbed two cormorants feeding in the clearing water and to be honest their presence should have told me to go downstream and fish another club water. 

But no I decided to stick it out and baited a couple of swims and then fed the main swim as shown here and fished a bread disc on the hook, but sadly no bites whatsoever.

There are some nice fish here to be caught but there was no sign of chub and for that matter other species too. Still nice to be out and a couple of nice fish caught so I'm not complaining. 

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Robin Robin and Roboreans

Now the robin is the anglers best friend in winter when the other piscatorial pastime pursuers hang up their rods for the winter months "because its too cold" or "the fishing is tough", "my fingers hurt" and lucky because of those sort of responses from many, the river banks are generally quieter. 

This year particularly, more than any other year these lovely red breasted birds really have been up for feathered friendship and have graced my rod on more than a few occasion recently. 

I've been using maggot more I suppose but even when I've just been piking with deadbaits they certainly see more active of late and hang around to find what food stuff this fisherman can give them.

Even some Pad Thai left-overs I had in a food flask from an evening before (pic below) was enjoyed it seemed. Ok I spared it the birds eye chills but a couple of tiger prawns were pulled apart, the peanuts eaten and noodles sucked and sucked again. 

Now talking about Robin's an Aardman animation film has been nominated for an award at this year's Oscars. The Bristol-based production company's animated short film Robin Robin which was released on Netflix last year is up for Best Animated Short Film at the 94th Academy Awards.

The short but sweet plot of the film revolves around Robin who is a lovable but awkward bird facing an identity crisis, who after being adopted by a family of burglar mice, devises the most mischievous of plans, stealing an entire sandwich.

Anyway for this session I fancied trying for a barbel down at about the only part of the Warwickshire Avon I've fish I can properly fish in to dark. The problem is here the barbel numbers are few and far between but hook in to one, the probability is high it will be a double figure fish and above.

So I was expecting a blank but I'd arrive with dusk very much on the countdown and leave not long after it. So travel light, one rod, pva bag of freebies and a pungent boilie bait to try and get any fish in the area to home in on it. 

I hate sitting around waiting for bites so for me sessions for barbel have to be short and this one was certainly one of them. 

Still there are some nice Chub here though, so one of those would do and I'd a new jacket turn up this week (Grey's All Weather Parka) and wanted to give it an airing. I haven't got a truly waterproof coat and being all weather it means that all manner of testing conditions can now be braved (well fingers crossed anyway)

To cut a long story short the first swim fished well in to dark there wasn't even a pluck or a tap, so I moved upstream and fish for half an hour again without a bite or a nibble.

It was the last but final swim that finally produced some action but the tell-tale pulls it was a chub, or chublet. It didn't take long for the fish to hook itself either and after a spirited fight that was no match for the landing net I unhooked it in the water and let it go back to where it came from.

Still it was a pleasant evening and the highlight was the resident barn own that came to say hello, well not quite as around 10 foot from me, it realised I was there and double-backed on itself. 

You don't get to see that sat at home on the sofa now do you, so ok, a disappointing result but not unexpected and to be honest, it's not all about catching fish now is it. 
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