Sunday, 26 February 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Puddings and Pulley-pieces

Inviting isn't it ? 

These Yorkshire Puddings I made Sunday are staple in the Newey household when we have a roast dinner, which to be honest is almost every weekend, I love cooking them, always have done. Top oven is the key to a perfect rise, or basically non fan assisted, and the oil get it as hot as you can, 250 Degrees C usually does it. 

Such a visual food is a Yorkshire, you just want to eat it don't you !!!!

Now the chub or Chavender! You know, there is something in a name. In a way Chub suggests a rather coarse, greedy sort of creature, but Chavender which is another name for the Chub suggests something aristocratic, some fine heroic character from olden times.

A mate of mine used to call that fish 'Gutsy Chub' or 'Chavender, Esquire', depending upon whether he was trying to hook one or whether he was actually trying to hold one as it made its first dart. I don't believe there is a more greedy, 'eat anything I can get hold of' sort of fish in our rivers. Really the chub is quite a shocker. Nothing comes amiss.

Paste especially cheese paste, worms of every kind, maggots, wasp grubs, snails, slugs, caddis, elderberries, hemp, wheat, grasshoppers, flies, including butterflies ,cherries, bread, Haribo's, sucker fish, liver, frogs and, some say, even mice are welcomed by the chub! It is said that the only thing a chub will not take is a toad. That is why my mate called the chub 'gutsy', and I must admit that it is a very apt name.

But when he hooked a good chub and it made the first wild dash, then it earned the respectful title of Chavender Esquire! That first rush is something quite terrific. Yet once the chub has made that dart and failed to break away it often gives in. 

You won't find a perch, a carp or a grayling throwing in the sponge or hoisting the white flag. However, that first rush will give you a thrill. You'll have your heart in your mouth. Why does he give in? Blessed if I know, though that mate pf mine said it eats too much and so gets short of wind and stamina: something like an over- weight, untrained boxer going into the ring and soon beginning to puff and blow. 

All the same, the chub is no fool, !!!, to catch the big ones can be tough and often thinking outside the box for something different can be the change that is needed. It's surprising with the river so clear how quick they get out feeding when the light goes and with the large piece of bread flake suspended off the bottom 6-8 inches or so wafting round in front of the fished eyes like a wind sock, and it seems to be doing the trick at the minute. 

Anyway to the fishing, I joined my friends up at the area where I've been fishing of late where my best chub whilst trotting (5lb 10 ounces) came from. Dusk was only an hour away so I fed a few swims with bread mash and a few pellets mixed in and would fish those in rotation when it got dark.

What I didn't expect was after throwing some pieces of bread in to the river to drift down that in one swim I had chub taking it off the top. Easily my favourite way of catching chub, the problem was next to the raft was really fast water and the tiny slack they were holding up in I couldn't get to them.  

Still I stuck to my original plan and nothing happened in a couple of swims prior to the light going but the first drop of the bread in to the first pre-baited swim it didn't take long to get a bite. 

Only a splasher though, maybe a 3lber but a welcome sight in tough conditions. An otter was just upstream of me causing some commotion but it didn't put the chub off because soon after this fish another one of similar stamp wanted in on the bread too. So two fish quite quickly I was hoping a big'un was up for a bite. But no, that was my lot. No more fish, and I fished a couple more swims too. The river was dead.  


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