I said goodbye to last season with good intentions of some closed season encounters, but it petered out very quickly before March was at an end.
I managed a couple of short failed zander sessions across the Coventry and Oxford canals. Initially I was quite taken with the lack of preparation required for these short, local jaunts. An altogether simpler proposition compared to my usual fishing.
The problem is that I prefer to see as few people as possible when I go fishing. Fellow anglers are fine - in moderation of course - but I don't even see too many of those on my visits to running water. Non-anglers are where lines begin to be drawn and canals have an abundance of them.
I just never feel at ease on the cut. It's borne out of years of seeking solitude wherever possible. Even with a stillwater it's often possible to find a quiet corner away from others, but canals are somewhat restricted in that respect.
I did stumble on an interesting bit of cut though, while out on a random walk recently. It might just be the closest thing I'll get to the solitude I'm after. The closed season is nearly over though, so it will have to wait for another day - next closed season I'd imagine.
So, April and May dissapeared without a line being wet. I will now sit tight and wait for the 16th and the prospect of a few days off work to mark the return of the rivers. Conditions permitting I'll be taking in four rivers in as many days. Two more will follow not long after. Very much a feast after the famine.
I haven't totally abandoned fishing for two months though. I've built and instralled a few pegs for one of my clubs and cleaned up the bankside - a thankless task at this time of year when growth spurts are the norm.
I also discovered while on bank duties that the closed season is arbitrary it seems, depending on which side of the river you sit. Or should that be which side of the EU you sit? A quick photo and a few choice words of advice, saw the offender scampering off. A report to the EA followed. They were very helpful and are following it up. I hope for a positive outcome.
A new bloggers challenge has also kicked off with 18 takers, encompassing three separate elements ( river/drain, canal, stillwater). With no Stillwaters across the four tickets I hold, coupled with my canal phobia, I might struggle to pull clear of last place! I guess that leaves me with no excuses when it comes to rivers though?!
The 16th can't come quick enough in all honesty. This is now the longest period of angling inactivity I've endured for many years. Great news for the house and garden of course, but not so good for my peace of mind.
I'm looking forward to exploring a completely new river this time that could turn up something special, as well as reacquainting myself with a smaller river I fished a lot back in the 90s. The Avon and Leam will feature as usual.
Talking of the Avon it's promotion time. Alveston Village Association Angling Club are now selling tickets for 2015/16. £20 for adults, £5 juniors. It's around 2 miles upstream of Stratford-Upon-Avon. All usual Avon species are present. It's above the navigable limit, so there's no motor boats on it. No matches take place either, so no need to check out club bookings - it's open for pleasure fishing every day of the season.
Quiet and relatively untapped, in recent years it has thrown up barbel to low double figures, pike over 20lb, perch over 3lb, chub to 6lb, bream to 7lb. Plenty of roach and dace too. Always a possibility of carp too. It's a varied section with around 20 pegs ranging from depths of 3ft to 10ft+, with lots of features.
There's a link to their Facebook page on this site if you're interested. Or, just add a message to this post and I'll help you out (I'm on the committee).