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Sunday, 9 January 2011

I popped down to the mill this morning just for a brief session and to finish of the lobworms from yesterday.

I was really up against it today as there had been a heavy overnight frost .This coupled with the already coloured high water would not bode well to any angler worth his salt. When I arrived at the river I expected it to of dropped over night and the debris coming down to of lessened.

The level was down around a couple of inches and still there was detritus floating mid stream.I really did not fancy it today but decided to give the island below the weir a chance for half and hour thinking the far end of the island may offer some steadier water on the inside line.How wrong I was and I felt very disheartened to see the river really pushing through right across the swim.

I fished on for half an hour then decided to wrap up and head up through the woods to the peg that I had taken the small chub from yesterday.After a long and bitterly cold walk up to the peg I settled in my chair when suddenly an enormous swirl and eruption of water occured just off the end or my rod.

I looked up to see what at first glance resembled a PENGUIN!!!!! ( it was cold but not quite that bad).There staring back at me albeit very briefly was the huge white breasted cormorant that had been stalking the upper stretch every time I had been there.

He took to the wing and shot off up stream leaving me looking on in total disbelief and dejection .Oh well I thought im here now and am going to give it an hour or so.The wind increased and came across the river at me from upstream causing my eyes to run and face to burn such was its arrid coldness.

After an hour of the arctic blasting I decided to head off and may be even return home.I had some final bits to tie up before departing for the big smoke tomorrow and thought it a good idea to be well prepared.On heading back through the woods and down towards the pub the idea of dropping in the bottom peg came to me .There are alot of small fish down this end and I thought that I may try a piece of lobworm cast across to the far bank.By this time any fish would of done just to spare my blushes ,this was getting ridiculous and I really felt that I had been putting the effort in of late.

I flicked a small lead and piece of worm across to the far bank and let a bow form in the line below the lead .The purpose of this is to pull the tip round and when a fish picks up the bait. The lead is disturbed the fish hooked and the rod tip springs back showing a drop back.

After fifteen minutes the tip trembled and sprang back .I struck and felt a small fish was hooked .It came gently across the river and surfaced under the rod .I looked down to see what I thought was a small chub but on having a second glance I noticed it was a decent dace .I netted the fish and unhooked it now feeling rather pleased with myself.Gently the fish was placed in to my sainsburys weigh sling and the scales pulled around to 8oz dead.I weighed the fish another 4 times just to check it wouldn't go any heavier but I got the same result each time .

Another few casts were tried but the cold wind and impending new job start etc began to weigh on my mind so I decided to call it a day and left very pleased at having pulled a small result out of the bag .

All the best


Saturday, 8 January 2011

The saxon mill billy!!!

Once again I returned to the barren wastelands of the mill.

After last weeks non event I had planned to go armed with my 15ft float rod and fish a wire stem stick float down one of the pacey glides at the top end of the woods upstream.The river is perfect for long trotting and a comfortable depth .I felt that I could of chipped away at the challenge chart with roach ,dace and maybe perch .

The weather on the other hand had other ideas and after alot of overnight rain my plan was scuppered.Never the less I still wanted to fish and felt that lobworms would be favourite in the coloured dirty water of the Avon .

I made my way up through the woods above the pub and out to the right of some fencing at the bottom of the meadow.At this point the river begins to straighten out and is pacey with lots of creases and near bank features.I set up low to the water my favourite way of sitting and flicked a whole lobworm out in to the middle of the river .Fishing just two AA on a paternoster the rod is the placed in the rest and the worm is allowed to bounce across in to the slack water of the near bank thus creating the effect of being washed there naturally.

After some ten minutes and a couple of turns of the reel handle the rod tip wobbled in to life bringing me to my senses immediatley .Eventually the tip pulled around slowly and I lifted into a fish.
The air was filled with joyous expletives and the net was placed under a small chub of around 1lb.I unhooked the fish and reached in to my bag for the camera.Alas the camera was not there and was indeed residing in my float tackle bag ,placed there previously during the week.

Still not to worry it was not an earth shattering fish and should I catch a better sample then i had my phone with its BOND type camera.I slipped back the fish and re cast .Now brimming with confidence after recent dry days on this stretch I settled back and watched in amazement as the tip signalled another touch.

Then it went WRONG.......
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something fluorescent heading upstream towards my nearside feature .......UNBELIEVABLE ...a river Terrorist !!!!! here in the middle of no where (well compared to Stratford town centre).I looked down stream towards the terrorist and lifted up my green balaclava to reveal an expression of shock and deep deppression to the canoeist .

He saw me eventually and moved out slightly to the middle of the river .As he got level with me he decided to engage me in converstion and to do so began to tread water with his paddle.

"Are the fish biting today ?" he asked
"yes !" came my retort, "what species do you catch here?","CHUB I replied".

"Do they taste earthy ????"

I did not reply and he went on his merry way.My confidence was now shot to bits and I decided a move up the meadow was on the cards .I fished all my usual haunts back down to where i had started and eventually settled down again .I had a slight pull on the tip and began to feel positive again .UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!! I muttered as Fred Dibnahs twin brother mooched his way along side my near bank towards me .The next ten minutes I was then hit with a flurry of questions on the river ,the club etc before matey boy then mooched of back along my near bank on the skyline pausing occasionaly to peer into my run of river .

At this point I decided to call it a day and do the walk of shame back to the car .

On the way back I once again happened upon the largest cormorant I have ever seen and I now beleieve to be a white breasted cormorant .

I have seen it several times and when I do I make as much noise as possible in the hope that it sticks in its memeory next time it fancies a few pound of Saxon mill roach .

Back out tomorrow and I am now all prepared for my new job start on Monday so can go fishing with even more relaxed confidence.


Monday, 3 January 2011

Sod it!!!!

Yet another blank today and to top it all I now feel like death warmed up.

Head ache ,body ache and complete loss of sense of humour ......

Nice to meet you and Jeff ,Keith .Did you catch on those maggots .

Any way short and sweet by for now.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

last gasp!!!!!!

I returned to saxon mill again today and fished from the top meadows down to the weir again .

Same approach as before and the river was in perfect condition .The level had dropped by 5 inches and the colour was a deep green .I was buoyed by this and really felt that the pegs I had fished before would produce today .How wrong I was and all the way down the meadow my tip remained motionless.

A chub of 1lb 6oz.
I plodded my way down from swim to swim and tried every bit of water craft I had in my arsenal but I just could not get a bite .Over the past 2 days on the river I have seen 2 cormorants and a shag all of which have been in the upper meadows of the stretch away from the pub and weir and more importantly people activity.

It is well known that in the winter the fish shoal up in the steady water immediatley above the pub and pleasure bags here are plentiful.The theory is that the cormorants push the fish down here but won't venture down due to public activity and also the many overhanging trees hamper their escape.

My fear is that they are also pushing the larger fish down there as well .The river in the upper meadows just looks so perfect that I refuse to believe that it is barren.Over the next few month's I intend to try it over and over again and make it my mission to catch fish from this section.

Disheartened I walked down to the weirpool , and ventured left over the stile to another stretch of Warwick water which is banked on an Island down below the weirpool.Down here the river is around 6feet deep and pacey .The plan was to flick out a small piece of flake and let it wash round under some overhanging brambles.After several casts the tip rattled and pulled slowly round and was met with a firm strike .At last a fish was hooked and after a brief but spirited fight a small barrel shaped chub was in the net .

I have never been so pleased to see a fish and it was the only one I was to see for the rest of the day.

Still its my first of the year and a great boost for my confidence.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Angler Saxon

December 31st 2010
I returned to the Mill today with renewed enthusiasm.Over night I had made up some green lip muscle flavoured sausage meat paste ,re spooled my reel with 6lb line and stepped up my rod to a quiver tip barbel rod to cope with the extra flow.
I started in the swim in the photo and as you can see it looked perfect .It was pacey had lots of features and I was able to sit in amongst the undergrowth very low to the water.
Unfortunatley the swim failed to produce even a rattle of the tip .I went on to fish another 5 swims along the length all equally as promising but the bites failed to materialise.
I fished all the swims for a good half hour and before I moved on I tried a lobworm in each of them.I have always caught here on worms but even that failed to coax a take.
To be honest the day was very enjoyable and I was wrapped snuggly up in thermal clothing and boots and matching olive green balaclava ,like some kind of chub fishing sex gimp!!!!
I was amazed at just how close wildlife came to me including the most timid of birds the little grebe (dab chick).
I would love to know how the snow melt and saline content in the water was affecting the fish's behaviour.On leaving I spoke to a roving lure fishing pike angler who said he had not had a fish for 2 dyas and he usaully gaurentees 2-3 pike per session.
I will return over the next few days.