Friday 9 December 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Frolics and Frontogenesis

Like every other rugged, adventurous outdoor pursuit, angling is beset with perils and dangers that would daunt any ordinary man, but which merely give the angler a further incentive to press home the battle against raging elements and fierce, brute beasts.

The angler is cast in the classic mould. Where would we be, for instance, if it were not for men like Columbus, Raleigh, Drake, Frobisher, Hawkins, da Gama, Arthur, Nelson, Churchill and Hatt? Who but the angler, long inured to danger and pain, could shrug them off with sentiments akin to those expressed by Sherpa Tensing when, on the summit of Everest, Hillary accidentally stuck the flagpole up his nose? 

Alone he braves the elements, clad simply in two string vests, one pair of long johns, an army surplus shirt, three pullovers, one pair of pyjama trousers, one pair of battledress trousers, one pair of water- proof overtrousers, two pairs of socks, one pair of seaboot stockings, a pair of wellington boots, an ankle-length anorak, a bobbly hat and a nose cosy. 

His only other sources of warmth and comfort are a collapsible windbreak, a six-foot umbrella, a camping stool, a foot muff, a hand warmer, two thermos flasks a plastic boxful of cheese and onion butties, a portable-television and a bottle of the hard stuff. He goes out in to the unknown, an epic figure with a sense of his own destiny, knowing only that a man has to do what he has to do. Now and again he does it, Discreetly, And taking care to avoid the nettles.

The perils facing this man are many. It is only by being constantly on his guard that he can return to his loved ones unscathed. What follows, in an attempt to cut down the numbers of anglers who come home scathed, is a review of the most common dangers and ways of dealing with them. As the old proverb puts it. 'Forewarned is enough to put anybody off.'

Now the the vagaries of the British climate are responsible for the queues of the British climate are responsible for the goose-pimpled anglers in doctors' waiting rooms (you'd be lucky) every Monday morning.

Any sport which keeps its participants out of doors throughout the whole of an English summer's day, which its usual mix of hail, rain, sleet, snow, fog, frost, khamseen, mistral, haboob and Scotch mist, is bound to have its martyrs. But chilling is avoidable if the necessary precautions are taken. 
First check your clothing. Never cast a clout. Or anything else. More than one seasoned angler has gone to the great peg draw in the sky because he left Secondly, look after the inner man. Have a good breakfast before you leave home. 

It need be nothing elaborate: eggs, bacon, sausages, fried bread, tomatoes, toasted cheese, potato cakes, liver, onions, beans, cabbage and ribs, fish fingers, black pudding, faggots and bubble and squeak should see you through until you can open your sandwiches.

Do not neglect to have a couple of good mugs of tea, liberally laced with rum or whisky. Better still, a couple of mugs of rum or whisky liberally laced with tea. 

At the water's edge, set out your tackle so that everything can be reached without your having to move from the spot. Put up the windbreak, lash the umbrella to the top of it, lay down the groundsheet, set up your stool, put your feet in the foot muff, cover your knees with a travelling rug, put up the hood of your anorak and make sure your nose cosy fits snugly. 

Every half hour, or as often as is deemed necessary, take a tot of something to keep up the inner glow. At opening time, when the fish will have stopped biting, move into the nearest pub and stay close to the fire. When the fish come on again, which is generally about half an hour after closing time, go back to the water and fish until the evening opening hour. 
This time, because of failing light, pack up your tackle and take it with you. When you leave the pub at the end of the evening, keep in mind the importance of a good warm bed. 

Get into it as soon as you can. Do not bore your beloved with tales of the day's fishing, restore your circulation with some passionate lovemaking, well ok, a nice cup of tea then, then wrap up well for the journey home.

Mick get on with the fishing !!

I'd sorted my late Dad's fishing tackle out yesterday and to be honest there wasn't a huge amount of stuff there. Some gems though, size 20 hooks for chub 🙈 maybe I'm doing something wrong with my size 6's !!

Anyway enough tackle for a starter kit for a budding youngster who could do with a leg up the piscatorial pursuit ladder. 2 rods and reels, a tackle box full of bits and pieces to get started, a nice korum chair, landing net, keepnet etc. 

So after dropping the gear off with Martyn, from Stratford Upon Avon Fishing and Outdoors where Stuart from the local Shipston-on-Stour and District Angling Club would put it all to good use, certainly the Fish n Frolics which gives youngsters a go, anything like this is idea really. Anyway after bidding farewell I was headed to the Avon, now it was a rather quiet affair a few days ago here but when a pike grabbed the lobworms on the retrieve maybe I'm missing a trick in pursuit of a bite or two. 

The river is back to clear again and with the skies clear not exactly ideal conditions for fishing but often a predator be is a chub or a pike laying in wait can often 'snap' when a lure goes over their noggin and they have no choice but to act on their predatory instinct.

Anyway I decided to try out the very top end of the syndicate stretch as well for this session because it rarely gets fished and we all know big predators thrive on neglect. 

Swim after swim I was biteless and the only action was when out of the blue near my feet a decent pike came out of nowhere and decided to snatch at the lure. 

And that was it. Hmmmm disappointing really but with a clear sky and even clearer water which was pretty cold not unexpected really. I thought I'd have at least a pike or something though, oh well, it was just nice to be out in the fresh air and when in the sun very pleasant indeed. 


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