Friday 6 May 2022

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.24

A belly buster of a paella needed to be walked off, even Saffron was used for this one which is by far the world's costliest spice by weight. Why so expensive ?  it's because such a small part of the flower is used, it takes 75,000 saffron flowers to make one pound of saffron spice. 

The small amount of saffron spice per plant, along with the fact that harvesting must be done manually, leads to saffron's being majorly expensive. It adds bot only flavour but also colour to the dish though and no paella should be without it. 

Anyway better get to it hadn't I !!!

<---match tactics------------------------------------------------------------------Mick---> you see the rather large canal roach I caught the weekend didn't mind that I was using 5lb line straight through to a size 12 hook. 

The large piece of bread flake was hoovered up no problem by this urban redfin and ok, it wasn't the intended target species which was a chub, but a decent chub or a roach ? yeah I'd be adding the tick in the same box as fellow crude tackle user and ex blogger Jeffery Hatt.

It certainly helps this part of the canal sees many a narrowboat negotiating the waters which have only been navigable since the 60's, the boat movement you see reduces the clarity of the water which I'm sure helps with bites and less wary fish. The depth still amazed me as it's even shallower than I was back in the care free noughties which is hard to believe. Older and wiser now, so beggars cannot be choosers. 

Prior to the 60's this stretch of canal had fallen in to disrepair you see, but now memorable for its split bridges, built with a gap to allow the tow ropes of the boat horses to pass through, open countryside and also its unique barrel-roofed lock cottages.

It quietly decayed since conception however when Warwickshire County Council announced it was closing the canal by lowering a bridge at Wilmcote, public outcry prompted a campaign for restoration. 

Proposals for closure were stymied at the eleventh hour by a canoeist who produced a toll ticket less than three years old, proving that boats still wanted to navigate the canal.

Having avoided closure, the South Stratford was taken over by the National Trust. By utilising a combination of volunteers, army personnel and prisoners, the canal was restored at reportedly less than half the estimated cost of filling it in. 

It was reopened by HM The Queen Mother in 1964. In 1988, the National Trust handed the South Stratford-upon-Avon Canal back to the Canal and Rivers Trust and together with the North Stratford it now forms part of the Avon Cruising Ring.

Anyway talking of beggars for this session I was a few hundred yards away from the pauperised who whilst Sam and I were there said hello to us and proceeded to walk up the towpath turning round every few paces. Nothing unnerving I may add, but you don't know his circumstances and potential unpredictability .

"So he sleeps on the canal then ?" 

"yes that's why they are called rough sleepers Sam, no 15 tog duvet's, memory foam mattresses and carrot teddies for him, I tell thee"

"Thee what's thee !!! ?"

"your float gone under yet ?"

A slight change of tactic's for this session as I'd fish the lift method rather than an overdepth trotting float mainly because my float rod is fitted with a centrepin which I prefer to use on canals. Still similar presentation with a size 12 hook straight through but this time a large engineered bread disk on the hook rather than a squished together unfathomable. 

Why complicate things with hook lengths and scaled down tactics ? keep it simple for canal fishing I say. In-fact the other day after setting up Sam's whip with a size 18 hook, an hour or so later I'd changed it for a 16, it just didn't look right.

Fishing this way is so simple and yet so effective no complicated rigs, no tiny shot you need a magnifying glass to add to the line, this is belt and braces. The Drennan antenna float is so suited for this job though, it's like the designer uses this tactic himself. Anyway I settled in to the swim and fed some sodden liquidized bread to form a cloud to attract the fish in. 

Anyway after 20 minutes I was biteless with only the rather attractive lady jogger giving some welcome relief from the lack of action out of the blue a classic lift bite with the float shooting up in Z by a few inches.

A fish was on !!! not a roach mind you but one of its cousins that give me a right run around. Another fish of almost the same stamp came quickly afterwards and basically that was that. The roach ? well they didn't show at all :(

The swim went dead, proper dead to a move to another swim nearer the car I had two unmissable bites that I both missed and that was a wrap, I had to get back to watch the final couple of episodes of Ozark otherwise the wife would kill me. The otter was there again, this almost dusk though, not a few hours before when we saw it last time.  A quiet session, but being 19 degrees a rather pleasant one. 


  1. Keith here again Mick. πŸ™„

    I use 5lb Drennan Float fish on my pin straight through to an often brutish hook even on the canal. I've found the larger the bait the less garish it looks, especially when using a worm which is the most tackle forgiving of baits. πŸ‘πŸΌ

    1. Good point on the worm Keith, might give some lobworms a go !!

  2. I watched the latest episodes of the current series of Ozark last week. OMG that family are so f****d up πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


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