Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Spongers and Spindle Shanks

Back to work from the long weekend with a bang, the mainstream but big bouncing beats of Camelphat from Creamfields on in the background, the speakers cranked up to near neighbour annoying levels, Jill rolling her eyes again when on que when put the bins out she decided to look where the 'noise' was coming from. 

Those low frequencies tickling the floorboards as a nice distraction from the mind numbingly boring GD&T drawings that needed to be done to finally put this project to bed and move on to the next one. 

Ones mindset is starting to change with me, getting old, don’t want to work anymore, but the bills not going away!!

Bugger !!!

Now talking of annoyances Gnats, the minuscule curse of the water's edge, are particulars attracted to the subtle aura of the angler. They cannot resist the blend of old fish, cheese butties, draft ale and venerable socks covered in pike slime.

They can be kept at bay with a mixture of Winter-green, sump oil and hydrochloric acid smeared liberally over the angler's exposed extremities. 

There is the danger here, however that after two or three applications the angler might not have any extremities to expose.    

Less drastic is the building of a smudge fire. By using fuel such as damp leaves, shredded tram driver's gloves, toenail pairings and and minced long johns, a particularly pungent smoke can be raised. 

So long as he keeps his head in the pale of smoke, the angler is perfectly from attack. It has been estimated that the use of a smudge fire each by 150 anglers along a one-mile stretch of canal for eight hours would result in the death of 3,758,435 gnats and 150 anglers.

The real danger from gnats, however, comes when the call of nature has to be answered. I was once bitten by a gnat in a place not normally exposed to the elements.  

As the day wore on, the bite began to swell until the effected part assumed monstrous proportions (it's all relative).

When I got back home and showed the Wife, she didn't feint as suspected but was so convinced of ones demise she hotfooted it to Tesco for a bottle of Verve Clicquot and some matching truffles. 

Still the swelling went on and the kneecap got bigger and bigger before some antihistamine got it under control. 

So, before answering Nature's call by the river bank, arm yourself with a swatter. Use it with extreme caution and as little force as is compatible with efficiency. 

Anyway to the session the insect life was quite ridiculous really, but this one of my favourite swims on the Warwickshire Avon is usually good for a few bites and that was why I was here. 

I did consider some liver but I'd stick with bread because as the light was going for this <2 hour session it's quite a visible bait.

I fed some liquidised bread for a short while and then got the bread out on the link ledger and expected a bit of a wait for the first bite, within 5 minutes though I had a chub in the net and one of the hardest fighting 3lbers I'd ever come up against.

It gave me a right out merry dance around the swim trying to get in to every damn snag and bit of cover and I was amazed just how small it was when it surfaced.

After that 2 more fish of similar stamp certainly worth getting out for some fresh air at the stretch of convenience. Dusk came and went and with two proper decent bites missed it went dead and I decided to call it a day and was just the tonic I needed. 


  1. The gif has reminded me it’s Mushroom season .

  2. Brings back some good memories, I'll leave it as that !!!


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