Monday, 6 May 2013

Fly & Olive

Josh and I had a window on Saturday morning to get out so we made the two minute journey to our nearest river, the Sowe. This little sister of the Warks Avon does hold some jewels I am sure but access to a lot of the river is not easy due to overgrown banks and the location of the land where she meanders, loots of untapped potential! The area that we fished had provided a few Brownies to us in the past, plus Perch, Dace & Roach but when we caught the first glimpse of the pool that we had fished previously it didn't look too inviting, the EA had worked on the section last year, they had removed an old weir sill to create a cleaner flow to the river for both aqua needs and also the resident fish, since the work had been finished Josh and I had caught a few Browns but the winter floods had now levelled the playing field out and I could see every stone on the bottom of the river, no deeper area for refuge anymore, the haven had gone. We fished the first spot for 10-15 minutes but my heart wasn't in it so we waded upstream to the larger pool behind the pub, again we fished on, flies whipping all over the pool and also the branches behind us! but no takes were forthcoming and no fish were seen topping so we called it a day. I was aware that the EA were undertaking further work on the next weir downstream so we popped in to have a gander. The work so far looks like that they have re-directed the flow under the banking and back out again below the weir so again they have made fish movement the prime concern, the existing weir sits half empty and the old pool below the weir now contains a few ton of gravel. If the flow remains as it looks today it will provide a cracking peg as all the flow will be under your feet before it runs into the pool.

Flow re-directed above weir
Flow downstream from weir
New structure of pool
So the flies had been flung without any joy so the next session was aimed at catching some nice Olives, Tench. They had been slower to start feeding this spring due to the hard winter that we have just endured but they had to start some time, early sessions on a club reservoir had failed top produce the goods but today's venue was a different one, an old sand pit of almost 30 acres in a great location, blanking or catching would be a good day today but hopefully the latter would prevail.
I had a bit of inside info from to friends who had fished the previous day, the car park bank wasn't producing the goods at the minute so it was a good walk around to the opposite bank that was feeling the SW wind that had picked up so it all looked good on paper. I had an idea where I wanted to fish from along the bank, in the middle of the bank I was on there was a bar that could easily be seen in the margin at its shallowest, probably the old road used to remove the material from the site in its working days, I wanted to fish on the bottom of the bar as I thought it would be an obvious natural feeding spot for the residents, time would tell. The other issue was the water level, as we all know we had just the odd rain, hail, sleet & snow shower over the past 6 months and the level had risen accordingly, some pegs were underwater so swim choice was not a big one and it was a case of slotting in where you could. The area I wanted to fish to was reachable from a peg even though it was heavily overgrown with brambles so I had to do some pruning before dropping in there. It was a 2 rod approach today, LH rod was a heli-rig set up using an open ended groundbait feeder with mag/caster on the hook. I cast out 6 feeders to prime the spot and it was as the 5th load hit the water a fish topped next to it, at least something was home! The RH rod would be a fished using a method feeder and 8mm crab pellet on the hook. 
The first run came off the LH spot but the strike was into thin air, a fresh bait and feeder were duly cast out to the spot and before long it was away again, this time the strike was met with resistance as a heavy fish took line, I applied pressure to slow it down which it did and then I felt that horrible bump followed by zero resistance and the hook fell out.......On retrieving the rig the tell tale slime was present on the hooklink so I knew the culprit, I checked the hook and it caught on my nail so it seemed sharp, it was replaced all the same. It was the RH rod that went next and again it resulted in a dropped fish but this one fell off after a few seconds, again the short hooklink was changed but then I missed the next take on this rod.......... I was starting to feel wound up with this, it hadn't happened to this degree before on either set up and today I had missed two runs and dropped two, were the fish feeding in a finicky manner? All four takes resulted in line fizzing off the bait runner so how the hell was I missing them? The fifth run on the day was on the LH rod resulted in thin air and the hook missing, one minute they are finicky the next I received a bite off? What the hell was happening!
I swapped out the heli-rig and changed to an in-line blockend with again a short 3 inch hooklink. Within half an hour it was away and lo and behold after a decent tussle it resulted in a fish on the bank! First Tench from the water for me and weighing  in at 5lb 9oz.
5.09 Tinca (finally!)

It was the LH rod that went again an hour later and again this one hung on, a smaller Tench of about 5lb. I then sat through a quiet spell of an hour and a half before the final run of the day rattled off and after a dirty fight where the fish tried to snag me on nearside weed the best fish of the day was on the bank at 6lb 3oz, a long large framed fish that had a fair bit of filling out to do over the next few weeks. 
That was it for the day and I rue not changing the rig earlier, that would have resolved the missed runs on the LH rod but I also missed 2 on the RH rod, a strange day to say the least but not unusual to early season Tench fishing in my experience. Hopefully they will settle down into a more settled routine over the next weeks


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