Monday, 31 December 2012

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!

A combination of foul weather and family duties has prevented me from wetting a line this Christmas. The odd days where I have been available to fish, it has bucketed down and I took the easy option of staying at home. The days that had slightly better weather have seen me otherwise enagaged or just far too hungover to venture out.
The river has been mostly buggered throughout though, so I haven't missed much really. We have been promised some dry conditions in the week ahead and I hope that bears fruit. I have plenty of deadbait in my freezer that's just screaming out to be used before the season is done. 
As I have no reports to post, I thought I'd go back through some of the year's photos and share some of the best and worst. The worst ones are those that never made it on to the blog. Most are self takes and anyone who has attempted these will know how tricky they can be at times. Even when you prepare things properly, if that fish makes a lunge at the wrong moment, then you can end up looking like a right fool!
Here's a dozen that went wrong:

Pike Wrestling
Sleeping beauty!
Pike Wrestling 2 and where did that dog come from?!

A small carp - honest!

An interesting view of my seatbox!
An angler has a lobotomy mid photo!
An eel is returned - but it was way too quick!
Wrong on so many counts!
Half a head - a blessing some might say!

Chopped head again!

Bream wrestling!

Timing could have been better!

With that dubious selection out of the way, here's a few shots I've taken on my travels throughout 2012:






Happy New Year and tight lines to you all.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

It Never Rains, It Pours!

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.

Friday, 7 December 2012

I'm Starting To Wonder...

... if I'll fish again this year!

The recent floods wiped out my fishing over the past few weekends and I've slipped into a routine of catching up on jobs around the house. Each week I keep convincing myself that next week I'll be able to escape down to the river and it ends up with the same result - more decorating!

I know the Avon is fishable right now, but the level is still tripping on the wrong side of what I'd like it to be. If it was warmer I'd have no qualms with having a dabble with extra water on, but I've no desire to slog it out in colder conditions on a river that's still struggling to offload the extra water.

I know others have mentioned it in their blogs, but it's noticeable that the levels have been almost static - the problem being that for the gauge I use as my reference, they have been static at around 1ft above normal for some time now.

Yesterday's rain is now going through the system and has scuppered any hopes I had of wetting a line this weekend. The levels are pushing up again - only slowly, but it's just more water that the river is going to struggle to expel.

I know I could go and fish a stillwater or a canal, but I'd rather bite the bullet and score some extra points on the home front until the position improves. At this rate I'll have the entire house done before the season ends!