Three of us headed out to execute a simple plan involving fishing, food and beer. First stop was our usual haunt on the Wye. We've used this stretch for a few years now and it's an absolute gem. There are more prolific areas I'm sure, but the access takes some beating. The pegs have also been improved massively and many now have steps and comfortable areas to fish from. No ropes needed here!
Conditions weren't ideal - bright and with low, clear water. That's always the gamble when you need to pre book hotels. You have to take what's thrown at you. Our first visit here was the polar opposite - 10ft+ of floodwater hammering through and it was a struggle to hold bottom in the margins with 5oz of lead.
Only light leads needed this time though and I concentrated on a mid river line. I was surprised to bag a chub of just over a pound on pellet first cast. Things didn't take off though and a switch to maggot resulted in some chublets and a solitary dog bleak.
Back on the pellet I connected with a barbel, but the battle was short lived as I suffered a hook pull. No more barbel encounters in that swim, but I had a nice battle with a brownie of around 2lb that was quickly returned.
I played the bites game with maggots and eventually got a bonus chub of 2lb 14oz. Not quite the monster I hoped for, but the best of the season for me so far.
The bailiff was badgering us to move up to the banker peg that he rotates around his customers. We agreed to give it a couple of hours to end the day. Operating two at a time we all winkled some fish out. I had another brownie and a couple of barbel - 4lb 5oz and 6lb 9oz.
We headed off to pastures new for food and beer. The change of location was down to problems booking our normal room at a sensible rate. It wasn't too bad though. Excellent food at the nearby pub and they didn't kick us out until gone midnight.
Next day the plan was to tackle the Teme. With BAA tickets already purchased we headed for one of their waters. With wet, slippery conditions we needed to drop lucky. Sadly we didn't.
Venue one required some serious mountaineering skills. Venue two was too unsociable with just two obvious pegs available - the next closest being a lengthy walk. Venue three required some major gardening skills. Clearly not much traffic seen on the bank here.
With a lot of time wasted we gave up on the Teme and headed for venue four - via a cafe in Stourport while the rain cleared. Fuelled up, we eventually settled on a stretch of the Severn slightly upstream.
For me and Brian it was tough going. There were loads of very small fish in the peg and although I caught my share, my landing net remained dry throughout. In all honesty I fished poorly and was probably too tired from the effects of the weekend to do myself any justice.Charlie had better success, with some quality perch in a mixed bag of 20lb+.
Next weekend is looking tricky for me and I might not get out at all. Totally out of character, I'm following up on an interesting stillwater option that will hopefully be the answer to my closed season blues next time around (and for occasional sessions this season).