Friday, 21 June 2013

A More Classical Approach

Thursday evening on the Warwickshire Avon. Having fished a few miles further downstream on Tuesday where the barbel refused to play - but I did manage 4 nice chub - Martin joined me on one of the regular stretches where we knew there were some, not many, chunky barbel. While he went big time with powerful quivers, pellet, paste etc., I wanted to put 2 "new" old split cane rods.

I had spent an evening a week ago with an acquaintance who is selling his big collection of old and vintage gear. As well as a pristine Hardy "The Tourney" 7' 3" fly rod which I hope to enjoy on the Windrush sometime soon and a 1908 Hardy salmon rod "The Murdoch" (when am I likely to go after salmon???, I bought a Peter Stone Ledgerstrike, by Chapmans of Ware, Hertfordshire and an Edgar Sealy "Rover".
That's eating out and little treats out of the window for a bit!

I arrived first and set both rods up, the Legerstrike with a feeder and pellet approach and the Rover with a nice cane and balsa Avon.

There was about 3 1/2 ft just off the rod tip and, feeding maggots and casters regularly, I had a good mixed bag of small chub, nice-looking dace, perch and roach. Nothing of any size but a very satisfying result on my Mr Crabtree gear. I alternated between the float and the feeder but the feeder rod didn't come up with anything.

Although Martin fished determinedly until 10, he just had "chub" knocks but no fish.

To  keep our inner man satisfied I cooked us both a couple of bacon rolls, there's nothing like the smell of frying bacon to buck up the spirits!

That, as well as the kingfisher flashing up and down the river, chaffinches making a racket and flying from the tree opposite to a bush at my shoulder, and watching the Wild West antics of several horses in the field opposite,made for a most enjoyable trip.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

When not fishing.......

.....I like to read about it. As I'm sure most of us do.

There are many delights to be found at Car Boot sales. As well as tackle, I've picked up some interesting books. Recently I bought "Split Cane and Sable" by Robin Armstrong for the exorbitant price of 20p - how dare they try to rip us customers off!

I'd never come across him before but read the book from cover to cover in a few hours, un-put-downable. He's a river warden for South West Water and also an accomplished artist. Although more about fly rather than coarse, his stories evoke the special magic which keep us all going back for more. I thought I'd share it with you.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

A Silver Lining

Martin persuaded me, well I didn't need much, to have an evening at a small pool which purported to hold a good head of crucians plus some nice silver bream. It also had the benefit of being less than 5 minutes drive from my daughter's where a ready supply of wine is always available. (Only had 2 small glasses, honest officer.)

So we met up after he left work and had the pool to ourselves, despite it being a Friday and at the start of our summer - who am I kidding?! Martin opted for a short pole and small soft pellet approach and I took my 15' rod and centre pin, fishing a sensitive Drennen waggler. Hook was a barbless 12 with a hard 8mm pellet.

Martin did suggest that the crucians would struggle with such a mouthful but I stuck to my guns. I'm glad I did as the float slipped away and a feisty tench around the 3lb mark came grudgingly to the net after dashing headlong into the rushes at my feet. I had been loose feeding a mixture of tiny through to 6 mm pellets in a little dry halibut ground bait and occasionally a few grains of corn.

The crucians were doing exactly what Martin expected, he was pulling them out regularly to around 1lb as well as some silver bream which didn't quite make the pound. When my float next slipped under, I was chuffed to see a flash of silver going over the rim of my net. A very nice silver bream, despite the quickness with which it "gave up". At 1lb 2oz it was a new PB so I could get over the lack of gold for silver.

I followed that up with another at 1lb 5oz

and then again with one of 1lb 1oz. Chuffed didn't quite cover it!

Another tench around 2.5lbs followed and then a solitary roach. To put the icing on the cake I had 2 more silvers going 1lb 3oz and 14oz.

There are some common carp in there going to 20lbs and both of us felt one on for no more than a few seconds as they raced off into the distance. Neither Martin's elastic nor my line coped!

Prior to this my best Silver was just under 1lb so to take 4 over this weight in less than 4 hours felt great. Martin and I discussed the fishing later and decided that his approach caught him over 16 crucians and half a dozen or more silvers as well as a few tench, but my "big gob" approach seemed to sort out the larger fish. A great evening's fishing.

During the time spent there, we saw a wonderful site of 10s of thousands of tadpoles gathering all over the pool in great swathes looking like weed beds or lines of smoke. The bailiff said that although they had them every year, this year's "cloud" - a name attributed to author Alon Schulman, which is, I think, a better description than the scientific "shoal" or "school" - is a first.