Regular readers of this blog won't be surprised to learn that I was on the Avon at Alveston this week. I make no apologies for that though, as I'm really enjoying fishing there this year and making the most of the conditions.
Having seen it suffer badly with low clear water and excessive weed last year, it's been a breath of fresh air to see it in fine fettle this season. The big flush through we had during May, coupled with a few other decent rises in the water during the season, seem to have kept the river in good trim throughout.
I arrived to find the river nicely coloured and about 8 inches up. I settled for a peg that gave me a slacker area on the inside with 7ft+ of depth just beyond the rod tip.
I dispensed with the softly softly approach to groundbaiting that I'd been taking in the past couple of weeks. Instead I balled in half a dozen cricket balls close in and compressed them well to make sure the bait got down to the deck quickly. I followed up with a few big baitdropper fulls of maggots, caster and hemp.
The first fish to show was a small Roach, but the next bite was something more solid and my first Bream of the day was landed. It weighed in at 4lb 5oz. Sorry about the poor self take!
I didn't have to wait long to improve on the self take though, as the very next cast resulted in a better fish of 4lb 15oz.
I started to wonder what the day might bring at this point, as I was still well inside the first hour and hadn't even started on my coffee yet! It didn't turn into a procession, but two more Bream were banked during the session.
4lb 12oz (the shortest, but most solid of the bunch):
It was nice to be back amongst the Bream again, as I haven't had much luck with them recently. Another old friend turned up again too - the Eel, or more precisely 4 of them! Yet again with a bit of colour in the river, they seem to be on the feed during the day. All 4 were in the 12oz to 1lb range - very much the general stamp of Eel I've seen this season. Reports of their demise seem greatly exaggerated around these parts. I've seen more than ever this season. One of them was caught on bread flake, which is a first for me.
I also had a foulhooking encounter with a suspected Carp. I lifted the rod to retrieve my bait, but it just arched over and a fish powered off into mid river. The hook pulled after a few seconds and when I checked my tackle, I was left with the hook sporting a shiny thumbnail sized scale.
The river continued to rise throughout the session and my choice of peg proved to be a good one as it turned out. I'd very nearly plumped for a peg on the upstream wide section, but the platform I would have been fishing from was fully submerged by the time I was leaving. The water was just starting to creep over the bank around my peg too.
Bites were at a premium in the last hour or so and the debris in the water was increasing. With my feet getting ever closer to the water and ever colder, I called it a day mid afternoon. I'd had over 20lb of Bream and Eels, with a few bits (Roach, Dace, Gudgeon) thrown in. I went home quite content with my day's work.