Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 30 September 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Sinkers and Sindonology

Now October is just over there if you look, and it can be the golden month for the angler. With the leaves in all their Autumn glory still on the trees and not fouling the water, the weather hopefully unbroken and all the fish in good fighting form, there's not a lot more you can ask.

It's a sad time for the trout man, of course, who has to give up pursuit of the brownies and sea trout from October 1 in England and Wales, and from October 7 in Scotland. But he can still go after the rainbows in most areas up to the middle of November and, if he gets the chance, after salmon until the end of October.

If he's not too snooty about it, he can go fly fishing for grayling. Although a member of the salmon family its season is that of the coarse fish, and in October it's in beautiful condition. Have a go, lad. You could be pleasantly surprised. As June is traditionally tench time, so October is pike time. 

Many serious pike anglers, with more self-control than most of us, will not fish for pike before October. Some water authorities, indeed, extend the coarse close season and allow pike fishing only after October the 1st.There's a good reason for it. The summer pike is often a mess, skinny but flabby, and clapped out from spawning. Perhaps October is stretching the close season a bit far, but certainly by then the pike has no excuse for not putting up a fight. Lure fish, yeah fill your boots it seems. 

Anyway even a medium-sized pike in good fettle is a formidable opponent, and by the time it's thrown itself out of the water a few times, with that great head jagging from side to side, the angler has been given his money's worth. By the time it's on the bank, with that cruel mouth snapping and those eyes looking straight at you, the angler could be forgiven for wishing he's stayed at home
But it's no excuse for the inexpert bashing to death so often inflicted on pike buy often the seat box frequenters. It's only a fish, dammit, and out of water at that. A pair of protective gloves, some proper pike tools, a mate to help you if there's one around that isn't chicken and the hooks can be removed from even the biggest pike with no damage done on either side.

Here endeth the lesson...

Anyway back to the fishing, when I was Nic on the private stretch last I went for a nosey at a peg he'd cleared opposite a tree that would provide some idea cover for fish, and the swim looked absolutely perfect. You see fishing the waggler he'd managed some nice fish already pinging maggots and fishing on the drop.

I don't do enough float fishing really because when I do, I really enjoy the method especially when it's a lottery what will turn up when the float goes under. A 1/2 ounce bleak or a 5lb chub you never know because lets be honest, everything likes maggots now doesn't it, so a quick trip to Martyn's at Stratford Fish and Outdoors for some much needed fresh maggots we better get fishing. 

We took it in turns to fish the same swim where after arriving half an hour after Nic on the second cast the float buried and I was in to a nice fish. Considering the cover is thick and extensive oddly the chub decided to swim towards me rather than get to its potential escape route. I wasn't complaining though, a nice chub too of around 3lb.

Almost 4 hours of fishing it wasn't exactly prolific because there was some dry spells but I'd have been happy if this was my peg in a match. Some nice roach, rudd, chublets, dace and perch were also caught.

When we lifted the keepnet out the river at the end of the session there was more fish than I thought there would be. Not a bad session even if there larger fish were not showing.

Like I've said many a times, I need to do more float fishing because when I do I really enjoy it. Nic is lucky to have access to this stretch a stones throw from home. A bit like a regular at a pub, I'd be down here all the time especially when every day is different than the next, and there are plenty of surprises to be had. 

The Tiny River Alne - Cognac's and Consequentialisms

As a lover of McEwan's Champion Ale, I'm surprised Fuller's Golden Pride has passed me by as it's right up my street. To be honest it was a chance purchase from the Wife when she went to Waitrose to buy a new kettle to replace the one that went kaput, she decided some wine for herself and a couple of beers for me. 

Anyway somehow with some finger circling in the air she settled on this one. I'm sure God was looking down on me at that point, because I usually end up with mere mediocrity if Champion isn't on the shelves.  

Now from the marketing bumph equivalent in strength to Belgian Abbey beer or barley wine, Fuller's Golden Pride provides one of our richest drinking experiences. Described as the 'cognac of beers' by one leading beer writer, it's a deep-amber drop of distinction that finds favour with even the most discerning palate.

Rich, malty aromas lead to a similarly styled palate, with sweet and bitter flavours expressed in good balance. There's sweet orange oil, toasted grain and spicy fruit cake flavours on the tongue, and an intense, lasting finish. 

Long seen as something extra special, Golden Pride used to be gifted to Fuller's landlords at Christmas. They'd keep a barrel behind the bar, giving customers a chance to indulge over the festive period.

Certainly right up my street anyway, a beer to be savoured not quaffed so give it a go when you're passing the local Waitrose, I rival for Champion, quite possibly so, its got that sort of vibe.

Which poses a question why are the stores always packed with OAP's ? certainly not a cost of living crisis with these shoppers,  trollies full to the brim, anyway !!. not cheap at £2.95 a bottle but I'll be stocking up especially when winter hits and we are enjoying an open fire and a movie. Give it a go if you're in to this sort of beverage.

Now talking of big hitters the latest session down the Alne I wanted to fish for chub in to dusk. 

You see last last time I was here on the failed big gonk hunt there was some decent fish moving about just to the left of me that I'm sure were big chub. 

I've caught some nice fish here in the past but a 4lber would be a specimen on the stretch I fish and a few months back a holiday maker fishing from a bordering campsite said he'd caught a clonker at dusk that he estimated at 5lb. 

Now if it was I want in on that sort of fish especially from a small river that is so dear to my heart. The gonks were not forgotten though so I'd feed some bread mash in to a swim initially and then fish maggot on the bottom to try for a decent one before switching to bread as the light went.
I could fish the Warwickshire Avon for it's bigger residents but to be honest it's quite nice fish the closest river to me especially when it's thrown up some nice surprises. 

The latest being the 12 ounce dace, which to be honest has got me champing at the bit for better conditions.

Small rivers really do it for me at the moment and it just goes to show that there is PB potential in rivers that are often overlooked. 

Dace especially where some of the biggest I've caught prior to the capture on the Alne came from small local brooks when they are in flood. The types of waterways not admittedly for everybody, but for me, I love to find out what's actually in them, which over the years has been a bit of an eyeopener to be honest and long may it continue. 

After priming the swim to fish bread flake an hour in to the session I got fishing with maggots. It's not a good sign when the first, second, third and forth fish were minnows as a couple of sessions ago it was gonk, gonk, gonk, minnow, dace, gonk, trout, gonk !!!

The minnows had been filling themselves with the bread as well by the looks of it. On a positive note at least they were decent sized minnows. As dusk approached I had a couple of tiny gudgeon but nothing like the scale I was catching the other day. 

Dusk came and I fully expected a chub to gatecrash the party but nope the tip apart from the odd small knock never went round sadly. So a good half an hour with the tip illuminated by a torch thankfully the battery was on its last legs so I was forced to leave to be able to negotiate the bridge of death.

Such a disappointing trip as I expected a lot more, but that's fishing for you. I've not had anything decent for a while, I need to up the game a little me thinks, because I don't really want more sessions like this. 

Thursday 28 September 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Zealots and Zandophiles

I do keep off the news these days for good reason but I overheard a meteorologist that dubbed today's storm "angry Agnes" as it begins to snake its way across Ireland as I type this. Luckily we didn't have to batten down the hatches for this session down at the Warwickshire Avon but apparently we may well see temperatures start to rise again, and it looks like we might actually have a little bit of an Indian summer.

That would be nice wouldn't it considering just how bad the 'summer' we had in the UK. We rarely sat outside in the evening where usually in years gone by me and Wife used to chill with a couple of glasses of wine and put the worlds to rights. I've a load of lumpwood charcoal for the BBQ too, damn it will have to wait till next year now.

Anyway for this session Nic and I decided to try and target the Zander on the Warwickshire Avon where the rather large trees on the private stretch would hopefully provide a bit of shelter from the prevailing winds . To be honest the last couple of times here haven't exactly been prolific on the Zander front, but it's not all about the fishing is it, because it's nice having a catch-up as well as some much needed fresh air.

Now it was quite a nice day to go fishing too as my twin brother Chris's, middle daughter and my niece Kizzie turned 18 today so whilst she is going to buy her Dad a pint from the pub, I'd raise a deadbait to try and catch a river Zander in celebration, whilst Kizzie was looking for her ID. To be fair my brother is part of the furniture in many of the pubs in Westward Ho!! so Kizzie is well known too having lived down there for 7 years (I think) so it won't be needed. 

Now two identical twins always went fishing together. One twin always caught a netful; the other never caught a thing. They could use exactly the same tackle and bait, could stand fishing right next to each other, could swap over spots, but the result was always the same- one twin couldn't haul out the fish fast enough, while the other wouldn't even get a touch.

One night the unlucky twin decided to do something about it. He crept out of bed, put on his brother's clothes, borrowed all his tackle and went out at dawn to the spot where his brother had been so successful the previous day.

For a couple of hours he fished, with not a thing to show for it. Then he saw a huge carp cruising towards his bait.
"This is it,' he thought, and tensed up ready to strike. But his float didn't budge. Instead the carp surfaced slowly and poked its head out of the water.
'Morning,' it said. 'Where's your brother?'

When we used to bike from Meriden to Somers with our cobbled together tackle despite what he'd say I always used to catch more than him, and bigger fish too. I'm sure what was down to luck more than anything because looking back, yeah I had a lot to learn. 

Now we both arrived at around 6.00pm and within 10 minutes Nic had a >1lb perch on the bank that took a small deadbait and then as the light was going I started to get bites on my set-up. One rod smelt and the other a small roach.

The bobbins were dancing on both rods but once the rod was lifted there wasn't any progression of the bites. On inspection of the deadbaits there was an inch long puncture mark which can only mean one thing which was a small zed with eyes bigger than its belly.

With confidence high we'd get a bite we fished well in to dark braving the wind which at one point got us looking at the tree behind us wondering if we'd need to take cover. At one point the rain was lashing down too which wasn't predicted it certainly was a bit of a wild session weather wise.

Sadly though by 9.00pm, well over an hour in to dark nothing materialised and when the restaurant  boat decided to turn before heading past us not long after that, we decided enough was enough and started to pack-up. Very disappointing considering the initial hype of activity from the zedlets but that's fishing for you. I've never done that well in a (near) full moon and I'm sure that had something to do with it. Good to catch up with Nic though, not all bad. 

Wednesday 27 September 2023

The Tiny River Alne - Albinos and Alcoholometers

Now as we know Anglers are prone to telling lies. A sad reflection on the practitioners of the Noble Art, but unfortunately true. Psychologists have come up with several reasons for it, including:

POETIC LICENCE: Every angler is a poet at heart, and so given to the poet's natural habit of embellishing the boring old truth to make a story worth listening to. Who wants to hear about a one-eyed gudgeon, for God's sake? or an albino bullhead !!! well I do. 

COMPETITIVE SPIRIT: It's a cruel, hard world we live in, with every man trying to prove that he's the greatest. So when those around you are boasting nineteen to the dozen, what are you supposed to do? 

CREDIBILITY GAP: Nobody believes an angler, anyway, least of all his fellow anglers. So it's no use telling them you landed a 20 lb carp: they'll knock a good third off the weight for starters. 

Tell 'em you caught a 30 lb carp. By the time they've finished their mental arithmetic, they'll have got it right. 

INFLUENCE OF THE MEDIA: Open any angling publication and what do you see? Monstrous fish being smirked over by immodest captors. These, you are told, are the only fish worth taking notice of. Makes you spit.

FAULTY OBSERVATION: A fish always looks bigger underwater, especially if it's fighting hard. Often all the angler sees of a fish which breaks him is a flash of scales from its flanks. Who's to say it's not four feet long?

SENSORY DEPRIVATION: Sitting all day cocooned in weatherproof clothing causes sensory deprivation, one common symptom of which is hallucination. Nothing like a good hallucination to tell in the pub. Which brings us to:

THE DEMON DRINK: Now that's a bit more like...

Well you say that I've been off it for a while, the odd glass of wine, and the odd beer but to be honest I've not really missed it after 3 weeks of holidays. I'm sleeping better I must admit so maybe I'll continue on with the odd drink here and there. Much like my fishing I suppose the odd session here and there. Now with a river Zander session planned with Nic skirting the high winds of Storm Agnes, I fancied a dabble for the gudgeon down at the Rive Alne. 

I've stumbled upon a swim where there could well be a PB beater, so with the river conditions all a bit naff I was well up for giving it a go. The best Sam and I have mustered up so far is 32 grams or 1.13oz which ain't a bad gudgeon until you're told the British record is 5 times that, wtf !! 👀. Still ignoring that for a sec I've gudgeon to catch. 

This time I'd have the small drug dealer scales with me because I'm sure the biggest of the Gonks I managed to catch last time here was a PB it was certainly up there with the larger ones I've caught over the years.

What I didn't expect though was the first few fish were minnows that were determined to get the maggots. This is with the bait dragging the bottom too to try and intercept those bottom feeding Gonks. This was turning in to a totally different session to last time though as the bites were much much harder to come by.

I was going to move but then out of the blue I managed a small'un so I continued on in the swim where in and amongst the minnows there was the odd gudgeon. The problem was nothing like the scale of the ones I was catching the other day.

Just out of interest I popped the biggest of them on the scales and it only registered 0.5 ounces which when I looked back at the pics of the other ones I caught on the previous session these were a 1/2 / 1/3 of the size., so it's a shame I didn't have the scales with me last time.

Still I've got a gauge on how big they are now so at least I know not to forget them next time. That's where the fun ended because boy it couldn't be a more different session than last time. I moved swims for 10 minutes where it was minnow after minnow and then had to re-rig after casting in a tree 😁

I started to lose the light where I was hoping things would pick up but sadly, no they didn't. A tough session indeed even though I caught the old gudgeon not the size I was after.  

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Biteless and Bidenticulate

I'd not been down to this stretch for Aggeeeessssssssss and with the predator gear packed the night before I fancied a go for the pike or zander, or maybe even a big perch.

What I didn't expect though was the deadbait could be seen at the bottom of each and every swim which to be honest ain't got in my experience. I roved up and down the stretch for a couple of hours and there was nothing doing whatsoever. 

Even a switch to a wobbled sprat was ignored and yet it looked perfect in the water for at least a pike strike or maybe even a follow.

Even the deeper swims where I thought could offer a predator a nice lair didn't produce either. The water was gin clear which often means those fish that are usually on the hunt when there is some colour, they go in to hiding with the angler like me stretching their heads wondering where the heck the fish are. 

In the end in the boredom I put the gear back in the car and headed not far away to a stretch with a weir. My PB river pike of 16lb 10oz came from here. and it was one of those memorable catches that will stay with me. I've caught bigger from the canal when I was chasing the elusive canal double but I rarely catch big pike from the river, mainly because I don't cast my net that wide.
My bad I suppose but if I'm honest even though I like catching pike they are not up their with my favourite species.

I mainly have a pike rod out as a sleeper in the winter maybe I should do like I did today and fish a dedicated predator session.

A conversation with Nic from Avon Angling in the week he'd mentioned he's not had many pike strikes of late in the Warwickshire Avon and he'd be fishing the float for the smaller species where often it's only a matter of time before the pike turned up. 

The Avon used to be plagued with jacks as well but they seem to be in lesser numbers than they were last year. Anyway in both sections I fished for this session even the bait fish seemed to be lacking so to cut a long story shorts despite braving the rain even the weir didn't produce. 3 hours, not one bite, damn it !!

Sunday 24 September 2023

The Tiny River Alne - Gormandism and Gonkatoriums

Of course you don't believe in horoscopes. Load of old rubbish. How can the fact that Mars is in conjunction with Uranus mean that on January 15 you'll catch a 5 lb chub and meet a tall dark bailiff? Having unfortunately forgotten to buy a ticket?

Codswallop.  But it is accepted that people born at different times of the year tend to have different characteristics. Aquarius apparently God's gift to the cadger. If anyone wanders up to your pitch, asking in wheedling tones whether you could lend him a handful of maggots, a couple of worms, a bag of groundbait, he gets them. By the time you've asked what his other needs are, he's loaded up with everything on his first shopping list. 

Plus half a dozen hooks, three floats, an assortment of non-toxic weights in various sizes, the loan of your landing net and a couple of cheese-and-pickle butties on account of he forgot to bring his own. If it's raining, he's gone away clad in your spare anorak. Which you will never see again, but what the hell?

You can be either an A-Team matchman or a top-flight specimen hunter. Sometimes you turn out to be both, which nobody believes. Not that the disbelief bothers you; you're a dealer in truth, and if you've done it you've done it. Otherwise you wouldn't have admitted it. And admitting it is all you do; you certainly don't boast about it.

Yours is the sign of the archetypal absent-minded professor. Far-seeing and inventive, you produce idea after idea for new baits, new techniques and new tackle. All of which you forget to patent or protect. In twelve months' time you're intrigued to see that a cowboy- tackle firm is producing one of your inventions in highly profitable quantities without a brass farthing going to you. You're a bit sad, perhaps, but not too upset; you've got a dozen more ideas where that came from. You forget to patent those as well.

Never a snappy dresser, you wear what's comfortable. You turn up to collect your prize as Fisherman of the Year wearing a bobbly hat, string vest (no shirt) and odd socks. So? You won the prize for your angling skills, not for your sartorial elegance. Leave that to Libra. Just a pity you forgot your trousers.

Your tackle is always in good order. You keep it clean and functional, not in the old- maid fashion of Virgo nor the dog-in-the-manger style of Capricorn, but like a no- nonsense craftsman who recognises the need to take good care of his tools.

If anything's broken, it doesn't stay broken for long. You can take the most highly complicated reel to pieces, clean and oil all the parts, replace any worn or broken bits and - here's the real test - put everything back together again.

You treat your catches kindly. The pain to a fish properly hooked, played, handled and returned to the water is, as your scientific mind has squared with your well-developed conscience, minimal. So you make sure that the whole operation is carried out with care and respect.

You treat people kindly. The biggest bores, the most pompous officials, the most frantic trophy-hunters, the most neurotic matchmen; they're all treated with the same tolerance, sympathy and good humour that you give your best friends.

Friends? Because your standards are high, your principles firm, you don't make friends instantly or by the dozen. But you make them steadily over the years. And Aquarius for a friend is a friend for life. Always there, always dependable, always generous, always a help in time of trouble.

Perhaps the only thing a friend can't depend on is your day-to-day practicality. You're a bit vague, as befits the absent-minded professor. So it was probably an Aquarian who inspired the creaky old joke of the bloke who was sent by his mate to get the provisions for the fishing trip. He returned with two loaves of bread and six bottles of Scotch.

'Hell!' said his mate. 'Can't I leave anything to you?'

'What's the matter?' said Aquarius.

'What's the matter? Six bottles of Scotch and two loaves! What the hell are we going to do with all that bread?'

OK... it's a creaky old joke. But you can't leave Aquarius looking as if he's perfect. It would embarrass him...

Switched off yet ? Now was there any Pike in the river Alne ? well only one way to find out. Yes I decided to fish a deadbait as a sleeper and then fish maggots under a float which I rarely do.

Well the small roach deadbait had no interest whatsoever but the maggots well, after loads and loads of minnows I decided to switch swims and fish a deep swim with some cover. This is where ones fortunes changed for the better. You see after plumbing up and moving the float up the line and again some more I got fishing.

The first fish was a minnow and then a gonk, a really nice one too, some of the biggest I've caught and as the session went on they were queuing up to get the red maggots.

I love a gudgeon Soooooo much character and I must have had at least 40 of them which is pretty mad really considering it wasn't that long. They also seemed to be concentrated in one particular area but it was a bite a chuck with the odd dace and trout mixed in-between. The swim was around 6ft deep and minnows few and far between which was nice.

The light started to go and I'm sure I'd have kept on catching them but I decided to call an end to the session and maybe return with Sam, as he loves a gonk as much as I do.

A bit of a surprise session, gonks in numbers are rare these days especially with pike, zander and perch frequenting the waterways so the Alne could well be one of those rivers where because the fishy predators are few and far between gudgeon are thriving. An enjoyable session and I will certainly fish maggots again because you never know what other surprises will turn up. 

Friday 22 September 2023

The Tiny River Alne - Weeds and Weatherometers

With weeds as big as car roofs it's a shame the river Alne doesn't hold fish to similar statue. Well I say that, there is the elusive big trout that reside on this stretch keeps me coming back, and now there are some decent dace to be had, it will always remain on ones radar. 

These fat frustrating feral trout are the top predator here, well unless you discount the otter and cormorants, you see I got speaking to 'Lord of the Manor', well, ok, he might not be a lord but he owns a huge property that backs on to the river, and he said many moons ago it held some pike. They seem to be long gone now as I've fished this river plenty of times and yet to hook one, an he said they don't show up anymore. 

Now I've mentioned many a time I've lost two BIG trout on the lure over the years with the biggest I have managed to land around 2lb in weight. These bigger trout are twice that size I reckon so I will keep plugging away (excuse the pun) till I catch one.

I did think about putting out a small deadbait, but 'that's not cricket' I suppose, but maybe I need to change tactics to buck the trend. 

For this short lure session I headed down to the Alne to fish a bright lure that I was hoping would show up a bit better in the coloured water. There is a couple of foot of visibility with this head turning colour where a more natural colour doesn't stand out at all well. 

This is a slow sinking lure so the thought was to fish a little deeper than I usually do and hopefully try and locate where these bigger trout are laying up. When I've hooked and lost them they seem to come from the depths out of nowhere to show the other fish in the stretch who is the boss.

3 swims down without a follow or a take I did wonder what the heck was going on. Usually the smaller trout are up for a snatch and grab even though most of the time they abort right at the last second. But no, cast after cast, after cast the fish were just not playing ball. 

Even the weir banker swim didn't produce a bite so I was on last chance salon especially when there was heavy rain on the way. I retraced my steps and when further up the stretch to the deepest swim where eventually I had two hits on the lure that sadly didn't result in a fish.

The swim above this though is much narrower and cover in abundance and the first chuck of the lure a fish grabbed he lure before I could count to 4 seconds. I thought it was a trout but when it surfaced after making a mess of the swim it turned out to be a chub.

A welcome fish but not what I was after, however nothing wrong with a blank avoider and it was a welcome sight in the gloom. Then the rain started and got heavier and heavier and another half an hour biteless I decided enough was enough and vowed to come back in better conditions. 

Thursday 21 September 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Spraints and Splanchnology

Despite angling magically transporting us to a more tranquil world and the mystery of water, prior to the escapism I made a rather grim discovery a year or so ago on this section of the river where an otter must have had a close encounter with a motor vehicle. I've seen probably >100 otters over the years whilst fishing and its only when you see them close up you realise what an apex predator they really are. Impressive animals I must admit.
Anyway I bought this book on a whim from the rather impressive Old Hall bookshop in Looe for £2.50. Now the otter is one of our finest British mammals, but because of the nocturnal nature of most of its activities it is a difficult animal to study in the field. 

This book tells how H. G. Hurrell, the naturalist, and his family endeavoured to become more familiar with an otter's life and behaviour. 

The whole family have always been intensely interested in natural history subjects, especially those near to their home in Devon, and the discovery of otter traces a few years ago led to a spate of activity to find out more about this animal. 

Regular searching on the rivers south of Dartmoor produced evidence of otter activity, and information from local people helped to fill in the picture. 

At the same time the Hurrells began to learn a new language appropriate to the study of otters and such terms as spraints, seals, holts and hovers came to have real and vivid meaning for them.

Further information about the early development of the otter was gained when the Hurrells kept two otter cubs, Topsy and Turvy, for a considerable time. It also enabled them to enjoy the first-hand experience of knowing the charm and fascination of an otter's temperament.

Meanwhile, they continued to study indirectly the behaviour of wild otters. A completely new method was to try a special apparatus designed to record the movements of the animal more precisely. 

The methods used in Devon were tried in other parts of the country to study otters and were found to be equally reliable. These are described in detail so that amateur naturalists anywhere can carry out similar investigations in their own area.

A lighter side to these intensive activities was the making of a film about watching for otters. So it was that otters came to dominate the Hurrells' household and no wonder the author thought that at times she and her family seemed to be taking on the characteristics of otters themselves! I'm not a reader of books, I've never have been, but it was a rather interesting read I must admit. 

Anyway for this session I fancied a pull from a chub, especially when good friend Nic from Avon Angling who has recently hit 8k subscribers messaged me to say "fill your boots" as he and others have been making hay with the extra water on and been catching some nice chub. 

Nic though was using the matchmen tactics of Wag and Mag with maggots but for this session I planned to stick to my usual hunks of bread approach.

When I was here last there was chub milling around but they were so spooky in the clear water and after losing one after it took some bread off the top and did me over good and proper, and they vanished. So I was back in more favourable conditions to try and winkle one out.  

What an odd session that was, you see after fishing a float with maggots in one of the swims all I could muster up were some tiny bait fish. Nice to see the next generation but not exactly what I was after. I could have persevered I suppose but you know me those restless legs I got in the move with the quiver rod and fished a large piece of bread flake.

I baited a few spots as well and would return to them if the other swims were not producing. The colour and level really did look perfect but swim after swim the bread was being mullered by small fish but nothing big was showing whatsoever.

In one of the swims I was getting some decent sharp pulls as soon as they bait hit the bottom but not really strikable so as dusk approached I was getting desperate. By the willow swim there is a nice slack and I had primed that with bread mash only to find a swan with its head down when I got there.

The rain had started in anger ten minutes after the swan vanished and with a torch having to illuminate the rod tip thankfully a proper pull round a fish was on. I knew from the first pull it was only a small chub and it was soon in the net. A 2.5lber maybe but not big enough to get wet taking a selfie with it. Very odd session and to be honest very disappointing. Oh well, these sessions happen from time to time.
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