June 16th dawned and I wasn't even sure if I was going to wet a line. With the weather forecast suggesting rain and a stiff breeze I'd decided that I'd give it a miss if conditions were poor. I got up at 5-30am and all was fine outside. The EA river levels site suggested that the river would 1ft+ up, so it was still in the right ball park. Game on!
The Avon at Alveston looks idyllic in the picture above, but you can't see the state of the banks. It doesn't take much to flood the middle section and a good few pegs that were recently renovated were out of commission.
I settled for peg 9 where I had nice access to a back eddy created by the extra water. There's lots of lily pads to get over though, so I had to fish from the platform. The water was about an inch below it when I started. Fish were topping all around, which is always encouraging.
After a quiet half an hour the fish became more obliging and I had about 15 from the peg in around 3 hours. There was nothing of any size, but plenty of variety with Roach, Chub, Dace, Bream and an Eel.
I then moved pegs, but the decision wasn't down to the fishing. It was simply that my feet were now sat in water - in fact the whole platform had now gone underwater. For safety's sake I decided it was best to get off while the going was good.
Other platforms were in a similar sorry state.
I headed downstream to peg 4 where it was easy to fish from the bank. I added some Perch to my tally and I lost something else on a sleeper rod that had bread on it. It wasn't anything big though. I could see the bad weather was closing in and I decided I wasn't going to take a soaking on this occasion. It's a long season and the fish will be there another day. I called time before midday and went home content with a pleasant morning's work - and there wasn't another angler in sight!
The good news for the section is that the dense bottom weed that blighted it for the whole of last season (right through into the depths of winter) has finally gone. I'm guessing the floods a few weeks ago played a big part in flushing it out. It's opened things right up again and my confidence in this water has rocketed up. Is it misplaced - time will tell?!
Either way, I'm really looking forward to the river season ahead now. As I write this the levels are settling back down nicely and it should be more or less bang on right now. I hope it's playing ball at the weekend though.