All week long I'd been monitoring the Avon river level and had been encouraged to see things improving day by day. The drop in level had been very gradual though, with the Avon almost stubbornly refusing to return to normal. By Friday the river was only a few inches up and the temperature was on the rise too. A long overdue return to the river was on the cards surely?
Sadly the big band of rain predicted for Friday became a reality and with the ground still relatively saturated, it wouldn't take long to push the levels beyond comfort. I got up at 6-15am on Saturday and checked the river level. 1.6m (and rising) at Warwick. Relating that figure to my normal stretch would mean that all platforms would be submerged and water would be lapping over the bank.
I decided against the river and instead headed off to College Pool which I last visited back in April. How things have changed for the better down there. On my previous visit the water level was very low. OK, the pool was still bloody deep, but the drop from the neatly laid out pegs to the water was about 4ft and it made things a bit uncomfortable.
All the rain we've had has solved the problem though and if anything it's gone too far! Most of the slabs that make up the pegs were under water. I settled on the end peg which afforded me a bit more shelter from the wind, with the bonus of being fishable from the normal peg position.
I only had a shade over 3 hours of actual fishing time to play with, so I decided to put out two rods with a simple straight lead set up, fished over groundbait. Other preparations included setting up a brolly to keep out the wind and rain, along with donning the winter hat, having first popped in my earpiece for some essential test cricket listening. Soup and coffee were also to hand and I was as happy as a pig in muck. All I needed now was a bite or two!
It was tough going and bites were hard to come by. Seeing a few fish topping I started to think that I should have gone on the float instead, but I was committed now and decided to stick it out on the lead. A Robin kept me amused, momentarily even perching on one of my rods. It lapped up the many free offerings I threw its way.
Finally the blank was avoided when a Bream of about 3.5lbs obliged.
A couple of small Perch were also caught before I had to call time on this brief session. Hopefully the weather will settle down to allow a return to the river next week. The forecast suggests that might be wishful thinking though, but at least the temperatures are milder.