I looked at the weir at Marcliffe but there were a couple of guys on the pegs so drove on to Cleeve Prior. I've never fished there before but thought I'd give it a go. A late start saw me finally on the bank at about 11:30am. I went to the bottom section near Stubbs Pool and as there was a match on the middle meadow I settled into a swim at the back of the pool. The pool itself was very low and chock full of weed. A couple of regulars who drove past told me that a lot of fish had been lost to the river during the last floods. Now there's a fish fence all around the pool so losses should be avoided in the event of more floods.
A 15mm Source boilie, which had been sitting in a potent mix of Hemp & Halli groundbait soaked in the same liquid, went across to a willow half hanging in the water on the opposite bank followed by a dozen or so similar offerings catapulted around. I then fed maggots regularly a rod and a half's length out and trotted a stick about 20 yards down until it went under a similar willow on my bank.
The tiddlers immediately started to be interested and I had loads of gudgeon, a few small chub and roach as well as spirited perch which was followed all the way to being swung out by a larger one. As I'd brought along some of my "special" home-reared lobs from my wormery I put a lob tail on a 14 and placed it roughly where I'd hooked the perch, hoping to tempt its' larger brother. Despite scattering more chopped lobs around the spot nothing happened! I switched to 4 red maggots and managed one of the smallest roach I've ever caught.
With hindsight I should have used it to temp the perch, but I'm not a big fan of livebaiting so it went back to join its' mates.
During the afternoon another angler stopped by me and showed me pics of his barbel catches from the area including one he assured me was the 2nd biggest authenticated from the Avon this year (?) at 15lbs. He was peed off that the match anglers wouldn't let him fish the, empty, swim where he'd caught previously while the match was in progress. However, when I finally packed up in semi-darkness at about 6:30 I saw his car in his favoured swim (he told me he'd be there as soon as the snatchers had departed) and took a photo for future reference.
Today, Saturday, I met a guy who gave me some info about the free stretches of the Ouse in Buckingham where there are, he assures me, large perch and chub to be had. So a recce is called for over the weekend and a trip early next week. Oh how we can be fooled!