Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Spluttering Along

 A lack of posts in 2021 means that little has changed for me. Family life remains eventful, chaotic, infuriating, rewarding, challenging, frustrating, exhausting and a whole load of other things - some of which I wouldn't dare print! 

All of this means that fishing continues to be on the back burner, but never far from my mind. Starved of time on the bankside, I've still been entertained by blogs and some WhatsApp chit chat / catches that keep me yearning for the next fishing fix. I might not be wetting a line all that often, but I'm certainly spending plenty of time thinking about fishing!

So what happened in the last half of 2021? For starters there were only 19 sessions for me in the whole year, almost all of which were around 3.5 hours or less. I wouldn't have reached 80 hours in total for the year. So, from where I left off on here in June, it's 14 sessions for about 50 hours to cover off. Statistically I must have spent more time in the toilet! 

The perennial quest for a 5lb chub continues. This so far 3 decade long adventure is not exactly something I've pursued with any real vigour. I've kind of figured that it would just happen through a law of averages. Perhaps after 30+ years of trying the accidental approach, it's time to realise that I might need to hatch a plan of a more cunning variety, if I want to get the monkey off my back.

The best managed in 2021 was 4lb 9oz from the small but captivating River Blythe. I acquired a ticket in the previous season and I've still barely scratched the surface of the water available to me. I'm sure I could easily get obsessed with this venue if I had some real time to spare, but I'll settle for a patient approach and take a bold punt that I expect it will finally deliver the elusive 5lb target for me in 2022.  That's bolloxed it for sure!

Time on the Warks Avon was limited to 5 short sessions. Three of those were early season in the middle of the day, just seeking out bites from a few silver fish to while away the time. One short session targeting chub or barbel yielded my only (tiny) whisker of the year. A December predator session on a chilly day proved a little more fruitful with a scraper PB zander of 6lb 1oz. 

Just one visit to the syndicate's pool. Good to see the new stock flourishing and beginning to show up in catches. Hopefully they'll continue to prosper and provide some good sport in years to come. Some excellent work has been done to this previously neglected venue and a huge thanks goes out to all those who have grafted hard to make it happen.

My old adversary, the Anker, has taken a complete back seat. A river that frustrates more than it delights in my experience, but that's all part of the challenge. There's no doubting it holds some fine specimens for those prepared to put the time in. Unfortunately it's the longest journey for me, so with time at a premium, it just hasn't figured. I'm sure I'll be back there in future (the bream will be calling me!) and I've renewed my ticket just in case.

So what's in store for 2022? 

I'm armed with the same number of tickets as usual, so despite me not putting in many appearances in 2021, it's not down to the lack of options! I'm patiently serving my time on a waiting list for a stillwater which I doubt will come to fruition for the 2022 renewal. Therefore it's looking like very little change for me, but given that I have access to waters that I've barely fished all yet, I probably need to start discovering and using more of what I already have. 

There's some new water on my river syndicate that's actually old water to me, having last fished it around 7 years ago. I'm looking forward to giving that a go again and it's encouraging to see it's already thrown up a chub over 4lb. 

The main target for the year is to just get out more again and to stay fit and healthy. Oh, and I'll be hitting the 50 milestone too (I've already put in a request for a new rod to commemorate it!).