Probably fishing I expect ...... Well I have finally found time to tidy up the last couple of weeks and bring my blog up to date at last....
As a youngster I served my apprenticeship on the local canals and pools of Worcestershire. In time I progressed on to rivers such as t...
Well what a non starter of a year it has been for me personally. You name it, it has happened at some point this year . Angling time has bee...
A crispy Warwickshire Avon. I arrived at the river Sunday morning to find it coated with thick frost and resembling something fr...
Saturday saw me heading down to my local stretch of the Warwickshire Avon in search of a large Dace. My plan was to fish waggler and maggo...
After finishing work at a reasonable time on Friday I decided to try a different stretch of my new stretch of the upper Avon . The day was...
After a somewhat barren time on ryton pool I eventually returned on Friday the 30th April. I had managed a day off work and after spendi...
As I said yesterday I had found a swim fairly out of the wind and was being plagued by bites that I just couldn't hit.When I did connec...
With swims like this to offer it was no wonder that after a short trip to Cheltenham I was making my way back to the upper Warwickshire Av...
I awoke Sunday morning to the sound of the cat going positively ape shite and tearing around the house. He extends his claws as he runs so t...
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
My theory was to feed little and often and catch as many fish as I could in the hope that one would be top quality.I started fishing but found that the fish were not quite having it, and were right down at the end of my swim . I fed more often and hoped to draw them up whilst nicking one occasionally .
Despite my best efforts I could not seem to get in to a rythmn with the bites coming every 2/3 trots. The remedy would be to fish a stick float on my side of the centre of the river. I set up a 5 number six stick and strung out the shot shirt button style with two number 11's as my bottom shots . The depth was comfortable and my control over the float was giving me confidence .
As well as plenty of Dace and the odd roach I also caught several of these defiant little blighters. A three spined stickleback!!!!
Monday, 5 March 2012
Thursday found me back on the river but this time in search of a late season Barbel. The days had been warm but the nights were not so good and water temperatures were dropping along with my confidence . The night was another blank without so much as a movement of the tips . I was off sharpish as a cold heavy fog came across the fields and the church bell in the village rang out eerily!!!!!
Not to be detered Friday saw me at it again. This time the more intimate upper Avon in search of a barbel. When I arrived at the river my heart sank as it was gin clear and the sun was high in a blue cloudless sky not ideal conditions . I set up in a known barbel peg and cast a good way down stream to a raft. I received to bangs on the rod all session and both times my barrel bait had been robbed from the hair . I decided to head for the pb and seek inspiration in a pint of Guiness.
Saturday I had the pleasure of a pike trip with Andy (piscatorial pastimes). We headed to the river which we heard had been producing some Pike action of late . Im fairly new to pike fishing and so wanted to iron out some of my tactics and had Andy there to give me some pointers on what I was doing wrong etc.(Thanks Andy).....I fished on rod on the float with a smelt and the other I fished sink and draw with a small dead roach. On my fourth cast the bait was snaffled by a small jack close to the bank . He flung his head around and threw my hooks . Andy said to chuck my bait back out asap and re trace the line and sure enough the pike took the bait again almost instantly .After a spirited fight I had a 5lb jack in the net and another box on the challenge ticked.The rest of the day was dead and I sat and watched as Andy put together a lovely bag of Dace with very little effort . There were hundreds of fish just off his rod tip.
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
On Keith's advice (thank you old chap) I dropped in at the top of the run and set about getting my self comfortable . I wanted to enjoy every single moment of this sacred day and so made my preparation very slow and deliberate so as not to ruin any opportunities.
After the numbers ceremony was completed I stared in disbelief for one last time at her and then held her in the current until she kicked and moved slowly away under a weed raft to sulk.
Next trot through the float was away almost instantly and another powerful fish was hooked . This time the fish just sat in midstream and was hard to move . Gradually the fish came across to me and I saw a long slender trout like shape holding in the flow . The shape came to the surface and went mental charging around the swim and creating a real din . I took the opportunity and scooped the fish first time in the manner of a time served ghillie . The fish was so long it bent in the net and sort of flopped in .
I had it down as a sea trout but on seeing Jeff's fish of the same build and colouration I have now concluded it is a young grilse Salmon (I am open to correction though).I slipped it back and decided a move was on the cards and had a lovely looking run upstream to explore.
I arrived in the swim and hooked a brown trout on my first cast . As I was returning the trout Keith was making his way downstream for a go in my Grayling swim. As I was returning the trout I was rather un sportingly nudged towards the water by a now mentally contorted Mr Jobling, who as well as receiving a call from me telling him of my huge Grayling, had also received information that Dan had landed a very large chub .
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
There had to be a fish under the tree it screamed chub!!. After several trembles the rod shot around and a very powerful fish was hooked bending my rod in to a painful arch . The force of the current through the narrow swim was too much for my line and we parted company .....BUGGER!!!...
I left mentally disturbed but on leaving lumped in 5 more large dollops of my cheese paste .
As I mentioned I had not fished the stretch before and still have several other whole meadows left to explore next season . I fished several other chubby looking swims on my way up and baited them for my way back down . The last swim resembled a huge deep looking vortex and comes with something of a reputation in the area .
As always thanks for listening .
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
I wont bore you with all the ins and outs of the session as I have given the same descriptions before form this stretch. I managed three fish all chub and had a great day !!!
I may have one more go for my 5lb Avon chub before the gloomy 15th but for now I will be looking to develop my pike angling not to mention a little trip to the Itchen for some roach and grayling !!!1
Tight lines .
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
The only time he gets like this unless I'm hunting him is when its windy, and my god was it . Feeling slightly the worse for wear from the previous evenings cider escapades I decided to have a other hour in bed and see if the wind petered out. It didn't !!! In fact it got worse as I sat eating my breakfast . I decided to go out and give it a go, maybe I could find somewhere out of the wind along the river .
I had another fifteen minutes in the swim but just could not settle and tip fishing was proving impossible . I opted to return home for an afternoon of football ,food and some more cider . I was more then happy with having caught a 4lb plus chub in such a short time and also my cheese paste recipe seems to be well liked by the upper Avon fish.
Thanks for listening.
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Cat ice lined the slower flowing sections of the river and I felt that the session could be hard going. I dropped in to the end swim that I have grown to love and that is consistent with its production of fish. I cast my cheese and bread offering down tight to the margin and with in minutes the tip was away . On the strike I felt contact with the fish but the line fell slack . On reeling in and inspecting the line I could see I had been bitten off by a voracious fish. I tied on another size 10 hook and flicked another savory morsel to the same spot . Within two minutes the rod was away again and a good fish made off across the river towards the far margin. I dropped the rod to my right and brought the fish towards the surface it boiled and the line fell slack SHIT!!! . The line had parted under reasonable pressure and I could only think that it was because I had changed from my usual Drennnan double strength (3lb 6oz) to a Preston lower diameter version which was also 3lb 6oz B.S.
The line was stripped off and the old faithful double strength was tied on . The swim was dead and after half an hour I opted to feed some pieces of paste and head off upstream to 4 swims that I had pre baited on arrival. I went on to fish a total of seven swims through the morning without so much of a rattle on the tip . There are some real chub haunts up here but they are not producing . I believe it is due to the low clear water again and that the fish are shoaled up at the far end of the stretch.
Before returning to the car I dropped back in to the end swim and managed to winkle one out at 3lb 15oz's.
. The fish was more than welcome on the cold morning and its timing was perfect.
In the distance I could hear the faint thud of a drum . I new its was a drum as I new that there was a wassail taking place at the organic gardens, and that my better half and the border Morris group that she belonged to were dancing there . Speedily I made my way back to the car and shot around to the organic garden centre.
Thanks for listening
Friday, 13 January 2012
My plan was to drop in to the end swim that I had caught from Saturday morning and try and put a fish on the bank. Once I had caught again I would be off up stream to pre bait some spots on the way . More importantly a fish in the net would give my confidence a boost as well.
Arriving in the swim the river looked painfully clear and there was very little flow .The Sun was bright and as high in the sky as a Winter sun can get which made me slightly apprehensive. Also the river was like a sheet of glass. The swim offered a lot of bankside cover and the water was out of the suns glare. I attached a small piece of the crust from the bread hooking it through the tough outer skin so that the flake side would be exposed to the water. On to the remaining length of the hooks shank I wrapped a small piece of cheese paste and molded it to the bread crust forming a bread cheese pyramid .
My confidence was low due to the condition of the river but I intended to fish and sit on the bait for at least half an hour before making my way upstream. The bait was cast down stream tight to the near margin and I sat back to take in the glory of the still winters day. It seems that the old dead tree in the meadow opposite is the haunt of a pair of buzzards. I listened again to them calling to one another as one flew whilst the other perched in the withered branches of the trees corpse.
The rod tip gave the smallest of movements that could of so easily been a dace or minnow or even loose leaf cascading downstream. The movement was enough to get my adrenaline surging though and I sat forward clasping the rod with concentrated menace . Again the rod rattled, this time very chub like . Then it went around in a series of pulls and I lifted in to the fish . All hell broke loose and the creature charged in to the reed bed down the swim forcing me to give line or risk breaking the fine nylon. I turned it and drew the fish upstream watching in the clear water as a reasonable chub twisted and turned under the rod tip intent on ridding itself of my hook . Eventually she gave in and was drawn in to the net .
Camera, scales and return upstream, in that order.
After returning the fish I decided to have one more cast . Last week I managed two fish in short succession.
The bait and casting ritual was performed again with the offering dropping in close to the margin a good distance down stream. I was elated at catching a fish within five minutes of settling down and decided to quickly text my long suffering partner who was at work . I new she would be as pleased as punch that I was sat by the river as she chored away (NOT). As I completed the text the rod shot away again . My expectation of a bite so quickly was very small and so I mistimed the strike and the fish was gone with out even a hint of contact being made.
The phone was placed in to a pocket and out of harms way not to be seen again until home time!!!!
As I always do in this situation I recast a fresh bait . My theory is that if the fish got away with the bait then they may of not been spooked so it can be worth a gamble just in case one is still present. Out went the bait rod in the rest and my full attention focused on the rod's tip .
After some five minutes or more the rod pulled around stopped and then pulled again . I struck setting the hook . A slow heavy weight moved across the river down stream and I dropped the rod low to the water so that it bent in to a fighting arc. The fish came to the surface and a large boil appeared followed by bow waves making for the far bank. This was a better fish and I turned it to mid river only for it to bore deep down and thud under the rod . The fish felt heavy and slowly but surely I gained line until I caught sight of its latticed broad back . HOLY SHIT !!! I declared . This was a good fish and a proper warrior eye balling me defiantly through the clear water . Please don't come off was muttered and the fish wallowed in to my net .
As I pulled the net towards me I could feel its weight and peeling back the mesh I was astonished as it lay their. A proper old school battle scarred Avon chub. Placing her in to the carrier bag I was convinced that it was my five. The needle flew around to the 5lb mark and then settled at 4lb 13oz just 2oz's and 8 drams off my personal best.
The quest for the five continues and I'm very glad too as I get to do and see all this again another day.
Thanks for listening.
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
I have spent a lot of the Summer watching and walking this river and to be honest not seen a lot of fish .The river has been so low and clear that it has been a huge drain on my confidence and likewise my wanting to wet a line on this particular stretch.
When making my way to Luton on Friday I took time to view the upper Avon and was enthralled to see it with some colour and even some movement in it . I did not have the time to travel and fish Friday so opted to stay local and have a dabble in my local Blythe . I had an enjoyable couple of hours and it acted as a catalyst for the following morning and my first venture on to the new stretch.
I cast far down the swim and let the bait swing around in to a deep eddy at the near bank. To say I was excited would be an understatement . The thought of would could happen if the tip went round really got the fires burning . After another flick out due to some crap on the line the tip gave the wobble and twitch . I shot up and poised like a predatory animal over the rod . Chub are so obliging in the right conditions and even more so I feel with bite indication . In my experience there is always the warning twitch followed by the pull round, its as though you are being forewarned so as to prepare yourself for battle . I struck at the pull round and felt the kick of a hooked fish . My heart was in full flow now as I had hooked a fish of God knows what piportion. The fight didn't last long as I was using a 6lb hooklength not willing to pull any punches in the snaggy water should a big old dog chub fall foul to my bait. On the scales the fish went 2lb 12oz's, not huge as chub go but my first on the new stretch so more than welcome.
This small chub had succumbed fairly easily to my somewhat stout tackled and so I decided to stay in the swim for one more flick out. The swim was a long wide stretch and an end peg so I felt that one more cast was justified . For my second cast I opted try my new cheese paste along with a piece of crust to balance it out. The bottom of the river still has a lot of green coloured weed in place as light has been able to penetrate and keep it in reasonable health. I feel a very big flush through will benefit the angler and help give some swims a good clearing .
The savoury morsel was flicked down stream and I sat back feeling fantastic after catch my first chub on the new water. The air was mild and for the time being reasonably still as I listened to the shrills of a pair of Buzzards in the far off dead trees down the meadow . I had found my Nirvana and the place was really starting to feel comfortable when again the 2oz glass tip rattled and pulled around to my left . Fantastic I was in again and on a bait my by my own fair hands making it even better. This fish felt heavier and held more in the current, moving upstream and in to my near bank it put up several lunges on my light feeder rod . Once on the surface I could see it was bigger fish, not particularly thick set but very long and empty looking . I slipped her in to the carrier bag and read the dial .3lb 6ozs and my second in half an hour. Also may I add the fish had the tail of a blue whale as the picture shows....
I headed upstream and was almost spoilt for choice as there were so many chubby looking swims to be had . However time was not on my side so I baited a few swims on the way up and then dropped in for fifteen minutes whilst making my way back to the car park end of the run.
Monday, 9 January 2012
Friday morning found me up with the lark and thundering down the hateful M1 to the delightful town of Luton ??.
Once I'd completed the job I took half an hour to pop in to Leslie's of Luton . As tackles shops go Leslie's is my idea of paradise .I have been there four times all told and have yet to make it around the whole shop, you name it they have it .
3lb 4oz Chub my first of the day.
I was soon thankfully heading away from Luton and back up an unusually quiet M1. The plan was to pop into Kenilworth on the way back to get some vegetables, then head home and pop out for a few hours fishing . As time was at a premium I opted to head to my little free stretch of the River Blythe. Although not the most picturesque of swims I know the river well and I know that I can get some sport in quickish time.
Such was my confidence on this little pool that I set the camera up first. I really want to try and get some self take photos done this year as the obligatory fish and rod in landing net shots have become a bit bland .
On arrival the river was in perfect shape for a few chub, there are some nice perch in this swim but with the water being coloured I felt they may not be first on the list. I set up my light feeder rod with a 2oz glass tip and a length of 3.6lb Preston hook length. I use a small length of fluro carbon attached to the hook length by 2 drennan float stops this enables me to adjust the length of line between shot and hook. The hook was a size ten drennan specimen and a lobworm with the head nipped off was the offering.
The urban bridge pool at pack horse bridge.
The bites dried up and so I decided to move ten yards down stream and cast under the arch of the bridge. Having settled in again I cast and watched the tip as the line looped around in the current and bounced the worm around in to a drop off at the end of the swim. The tip rattled and and then pulled around with great intent. I lifted in to the bite and a powerful fish shot of under the bridge causing me to lower the rod in to a fighting angle whilst trying to gain line.
The fish held midstream in the current then steadily plodded up in front of me . Then as chub do it came in to the deep water in my near margin as if offering me a toe to toe fight . It went mad in the margin but eventually a thick head crowned by a pair of white lips arose form the murk and graced my awaiting net. On the scales she went 3lb 4oz, a nice fish for this stretch.
I went on to catch another chub of 2lb 10oz and then the rod shot round and I connected with a much more powerful fish . The fight was very chub like, heavy and deliberate lunges and it felt larger but then don't they all when left to the imagination . The line fell slack and the fish was away, on inspection the line had been bitten off some where near to the hook. Maybe a pike had taken a liking to my worm or maybe it was the throat of a big dog chub. I re tackled, this time with a 6lb hook length, the light was fading and that coupled with the loss gave me a spurt of inspiration that maybe the big old boys and girls of this suburban swim were out on the feed . After recasting and awaiting in the fast fading light the tip swung around again and another fish was on. This time a chub of 2lb 12oz was netted and weighed before being put in front of the awaiting camera.
As I prepared for the picture out of the gloom and betwix the trees materialised a shape . I was startled to say the least and very nearly followed through!!!! . Gently forward came the hairy snout of an old hound.She ambled towards me cautiously but not fearfully . As I held the fish for the photo she gently moved in to shot in a non intimidating way .My fear eased and I agreed that she could be in the photo and that she could gently sniff at the fish. Once the posing was complete and the fish returned she gently ambled ofF in to the trees leaving me in fits of laughter and asking myself if what had just happened was true.
I left in great spirits and chuckled to myself all the way home .
Thanks for listening.