Friday, 28 October 2011

Rainbow's end on the Severn?

A trip to the Severn was made this week to a stretch around Shrewsbury that I hadn't fished before. The species in mind were Perch, Pike and Barbel, a weird combo I know but the barbel rod would only be cast out an hour before dusk, the main part of the day after the pred's.
The river was a strange colour on arrival, clear but it was holding a sediment of some sort so it was a bit tea stained, locals have told me in the past that this phenomenon is never seen above the Vyrnwy confluence and they think that it is the result of farmers spraying their crops/fields? Most of the fields I passed on the day had just been ploughed so I am not sure how much weight this theory holds......
Anyway I started off in the first swim with worms on the hook and red magg's in the feeder, this was cast next to an overhanging nearside willow in the hope of luring a Perch or two out, with the clear sky though this was proving a tricky feat.

After an hour in the first swim it was time for a move upstream, after finding the next swim I had a mooch with the lure rod but again apart from a jack Pike following the jelly lure into the edge 2/3 times it was quiet.

It was towards the end of the day when the heaven's opened, luckily the brolly had remained in the holdall even though the forecast was 0% chance of precipitation! It was whilst the rain was falling that not one but two rainbow's formed and I merrily snapped away to get the best shot.

It was as dusk arrived after the colour's in the sky had departed I had my first proper indication on the tip and a Perch of around 10 oz was duly landed, I quickly cast out again hoping that the feeding spell was beginning but alas that was it for the day. The Barb rod had been out since just before the rain but again no joy on that.

It went very cold on dusk and when I arrived back at the car 5.5 deg C were the numbers, it had only been 8 deg C when I arrived so winter is definately on the way.

A day on old father Thames

I had a trip down to the big smoke last Saturday, the better half was spending a day shopping in the west end so after a couple of earlier emails to Keith Arthur from Sky Sports I was heading to a stretch nr Heathrow at Laleham.  Apparently the upper and lower part of the stretch sandwiched between the M3 & M25 were the deepest and the centre section shallower and good for the float, due to the weather cooling off prior to my visit I chose to fish the lower part of the section by the M3. With the traffic and the many aircraft from Heathrow it was hardly a quiet day!

With the wind blowing upstream at a fair rate and the river hardly flowing I decided against the waggler as it probably wouldn't have moved, so a feeder it was full of chopped worm and red maggot and a misture of the two on the hook, this was cast as close to the far bank willow as I could manage. The day was passing by fairly slowly without many indications on the tip at all, it was a wiser decision to keep an eye out for the many pleasure boats passing up and down the river though, one passing by very close in and at quite a pace resulting in snapping me off, the lady at the helm realised what she had done as I was putting the rod tip under the water but it was too late and she sailed off upstream not looking bothered at all......

My first fish came halfway through the afternoon and was a Perch of around 1/2lb, it was then another quiet spell until the sun dipped behind the trees and the last hour resulted in another 4 Perch to just under a pound. The far bank looked very Chubby to me but either they weren't at home or if so they weren't playing out!

Although it wasn't a fish filled day I enjoyed my first visit on the Thames and I am sure that I will be back to try again soon.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

River Itchen

It was my first visit down to the Itchen ( but many of the anglers I was with today had been before so I had heard how great the stretch was plus the fish it contained.
Most of us arrived in the car park around 8am and after a few introduction's I was driving up to an upper part of the stretch to begin the days fishing which incidentally would be trotting with maggots or corn as bait.
The first area I tried was just below a bridge, the water running into a small pool before turning right to head down to the next parking spot.

This first trot had the float dipping and a Grayling landed as it was for the first five trots down! Not a bad start to the day at all I am thinking but after that bites were less frequent as the shoal were obvious spooked so I walked a touch further downstream and away we were again with more Grayling and a small Salmon Parr. I tried a further two spots further down the straight, both providing me with Grayling.

I then drove to the uppermost car park passing the fly only stretch where a few of the other lads were wielding their fly rods with differing amounts of success (sorry about driving over your landing net pole Paul) to the upper coarse fishing stretch. This is a syndicate water but is open to day ticket anglers until mid October.

The peg above gave me the biggest Grayling of the day which was around 1.04 which although it wasn't the 2lb fish I had hoped for still a nice fish indeed. A Brownie of around 3.08 then nailed my trotted corn a long way down the run and that was fun in the fast flow!

After fishing three swims above the railway bridge a few other of the lads started to arrive on the upper stretch after their fluff flinging antic's had brought down a few branches (only joking guys) so I then drove downstream to the middle section to explore further. The river here was noticeably slower and deeper but apparently the chance of a larger Grayling existed.

The first swim I fished gave me another nice Brown that really tested my float gear to the limit, boy do the spotties go!

The late afternoon saw me drop further downstream to fish just above a bend, this was a lot slower and deeper than the upper stretch and was in Roach territory.

There was a lot of weed coming through by now and actually keeping the feeder nailed to the deck was posing a problem, some casts were OK for ten minutes with the next the feeder was being dragged out of position after 30 seconds. The first bite brought a mint Chub that weighed 4.05.

The second fish fought a lot harder than the above Chub but turned out to be it's baby brother, I didn't weigh the fish but guess it was not far off 4lb. The next bite was a strange affair as I thought that weed was responsible for after a strike it was obvious something was there, a river Bream of 5.04.

By this time Sash who was fishing below me on the next bend (the event organiser) had caught Grayling, Roach, an Eel (ooh err) and a great looking Common Carp of around 10lb all on bread so it was action stations.

All in all it is a gorgoeus stretch of river, that in itself would usually forfill most anglers desire's but with the addition of the fish that swim in it's flowing water I don't think it can be beaten full stop.

Upper Avon with the Northern Boy's

Last Saturday saw an annual event come around in the form of Danny & John driving south to enjoy a day on the Upper Avon with your's truly.
We arrived on a merely fresher river than of late what with the very sparing amounts of late mid-week rain, the level was up a matter of an inch or two and the water like that of vodka, bloody clear!

As usual the plan was to cover as much water during the day and personally the Barbel gear was to stay in the holdall until 6pm then fish up to dark for a last gasp fish, the rest of the day I used a small blockend feeder filled with chopped worm and maggots with the same on the hook.

The first peg produced 2 Perch on the worm and I also lost a good fish for the river which was easily over a pound but I will never know. I then proceeded to fish 3 other swims which again produced Perch (inc this minnow guzzling chav below) and a couple of Dace & Chub.

The Barbel rod did come out just before 6pm but no 3 foot twitches were forthcoming but overall I had caught a few fish so I couldn't complain.
Danny & John also had a few Perch between them during the day, John catching the majority of his on live minnow's. I think livebait has to be the way forward for the Perch on the upper as I know they are there but bait fishing attracts too many small fry.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Desperate times

I have managed to get out twice on running water over the past week without any fish being caught. The first session was a quick 2 hour trip to the Upper Avon into dark, I fished 2 swims and just had a few knocks and pulls to watch but no real confident takes although the second swim I fished on came alive with fish on the surface around dusk so I will be back there soon....

The second trip was to the Trent nr Burton, again fishing from late afternoon into dark, I had everything mapped out in my head how I would approach the swim but the one thing I didn't anticipate were the huge amounts of weed that were coming down the river, I couldn't leave the rod in for anything longer than 15 minutes so I again left for home with my tail firmly tucked between my legs.

This weekend see's me back on the Upper Avon with my 2 Northern fishing buddies then down onto the Itchen on Tuesday for a day out with a group of anglers who I know from a Barbel forum, hopefully I will have some fishy things to show you after those trips..........