It was very pleasant to wet a line again in somewhat better conditions than we have seen of late. I did manage to get out briefly since my last post, for a couple of hours Piking on the Avon at Wasperton with Brian. For completeness I'll keep the report simple - we double blanked in royal fashion!
Back to this week's activities and we decided to fish a new part of the stretch. During the summer months the stretch nearest to the Wellesbourne to Stratford road has been off limits due to the uncertainty of the parking. It's a bit precarious trying to park on overgrown grass verges and you were never really certain what lay within them and what damage you might inflict of your vehicle.
Cold weather knocking back the growth, coupled with a bit routine maintenance and suddenly parking spots now opened up before our eyes. The plan is to make the effort next year to take my strimmer down pre-season. It will be time well spent because the walk to the river is just 30 yards, rather than the usual 300 yards.
Although it's only a few hundred yards upstream of the village section, it was nice to tackle a new stretch. It's a short section of maybe 15 pegs with a right angle bend right in the middle of it. Most pegs seemed to have one obvious feature on either the near or far bank and we settled on pegs 4 and 5.
I set up a couple of feeder rods with the intention of using one for bread and the other for maggots, aiming towards a far bank overhanging tree. I also had a stick float set up, to trundle it down the river with a centre pin - something I hadn't done for a while.
The float line produced just a single Dace, but the feeder rods were getting plenty of attention, albeit the bites were very shy. I had two rods on the go, but with the bites being very tricky to hit, I had to scale back to one rod so I could give it my full concentration.
I lost count of the number of missed bites on both bread and maggots and I couldn't crack it no matter what combination I tried. I managed to winkle out a dozen fish during the session - half of them Dace and the other half Roach. They were of no great size - perhaps 5oz being the best fish, which was a Roach that took a piece of bread flake.
Brian wasn't exactly pulling up trees and he had leapfrogged me, having moved from peg 5 to peg 3. He'd had the odd Dace and Roach, but then struck into something better just as he was about to join the land of nod! Wide awake now, he carefully played the fish in without any fuss and it was a nice Chub of 3lb 1oz. He'd recently acquired some new scales courtesy of his birthday, so they have now been christened!
I have to give full honours on the day to Brian - most species, most overall weight and the biggest fish. I don't tend to lose out on all three counts that often on a river, so although today was a long way from a royal blank, it was still an early Christmas stuffing for me!
That said, I totally enjoyed the day and the challenge of trying to get to grips with a new stretch. I'm looking forward to fishing more of it over the next 3 months - weather permitting! The upstream end peg looks like a classic Chub swim, while the slacker water on the inside of the big bend looks nailed on for some Bream. Hopefully I'll prove myself to be right at some point fairly soon!