I couldn't get on the river for an overnighter at Barford as the farmer had a big herd of frisky bullocks in the fields and my mate (who knows the farmer) is rather suspicious of things bovine. Wuss! So I met him at Harvington for a pint and some grub. Only problem, both pubs in the village don't open for lunch on Tuesdays! The landlady of the first needs people-facing skills as, when I knocked on the door, she looked blank and said "What d'ya want?" I thought it was pretty obvious. Still we found a more welcoming hostelry - The Bell at Salford Priors - a mile away and had a great hot steak sarnie and chips.
We had planned to fish the island at Anchor Meadows (to do a crafty recce before the BIG weekend) but all the pegs were taken, and not only by fishermen. Some had chairs and rod pods set up, obviously fishing themselves - spooky! Maybe the people on the other side of the lock who were sitting around having BBQs and beer owned these set-ups? Heaven forbid that they had merely put their gear there ready for the evening! Germans and towels spring to mind.
So we drove downstream, along the golf course, to what I think is part of Manor Farm's fishing. My mate had fished matches along here several years ago and assured me it was stuffed with chub.
We set up about 3 ish and struggled, like the other four anglers nearby, to get a bite. I went from 4 ft long mono hooklengths with size 14s to short braided hooklengths . I tried pellets glued to long hairs, boiles and meat, all to no avail. The strange thing was, on a couple of occasions, a large drilled pellet and a chunk of meat had disappeared when I wound in. No indication of a bite and the bait stops were of a size to ensure that the pellet etc stayed on. Not sure if there are any crays on this stretch?
I noticed that there were hundreds of minnows at my feet so I decided to feed them a little Hemp & Halli mix to build them up a bit. Then I remembered my nice new Fuji was made for such underwater magic so I screwed the camera adaptor on to a spare bank stick and, having set the self timer, gently lowered it into the river. Here's just one of the great pictures I took.
Of course, having a monstrously huge black space ship descend into their world, just a few inches above their heads, made them do the most sensible thing. They instantly buggered off!
By about 6 I started to pick up chub like peas in a pod. All around the 1.5 - 2lb mark.
My mate packed up around 7 having blanked but I stayed on til dark. I started to get more confident bites (to be expected as the light levels dropped) and finished just before 10 with a nice healthy looking fish of 4lb 7oz
It fought more like a barbel than a chub so I was slightly disappointed but it was in nice chunky condition so I can't complain. Also, while relaxing during the fishless afternoon, I watched families of long tailed tits and some reed warblers (?) messing about in the reeds each side of me as well as several fly pasts by the resident kingfisher. All in all a most enjoyable trip.