Monday, 21 August 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Aioli and Adoxography

Greek Souvlaki, hummus, pitta, insanity salted chips and homemade proper aioli. The skewers of corn fed chicken thighs marinated overnight in Greek yoghurt, with lemon, minced garlic, oregano and a sprinkling of chilli flakes, for a little heat, wedges of red onion, red pepper, and courgette.

Whacked on the barbecue for a little while, a bottle of dry white….

There is something satisfying about simple home cooking….

The session in the morning was simple was well, back to a nice and deep part of the Avon, a lure rod, shoulder bag, net and unhooking mat. 

A 12g jig head and 12 cm lure was the order of the day and I’d change the lure from time to time for something bigger, something smaller so see what was doing.

The sky was clear the sun out so I after the 2nd cast when a Zander picked up the bait I was a little shocked, but this area can me like that, fish on some swims but not in others, it’s just the matter of going from peg to peg and see what is doing.

The Pike were active too, one lost a few other smaller fish banked and a tiny jack that had eyes bigger than its belly, but nothing of note.

Then a larger Zander turned up, it properly nailed the lure and I wondered if it could be the same fish that took the tail off one of the shads with an aggressive bite.

5lb 4oz and a great scrap on a short lure rod….

I do love a Zander and fancy trying some deads here in the winter to see what might turn up….

The bites got less throughout the morning so plenty of casting was required and when the same fish turned up, (I think) in two pegs down it was time to go.

An enjoyable morning that’s for sure, I need to do move of it….and less of these quick posts need some adoxography in my blogging. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

River Ise - Flake Faith

As a fisherman we are always looking at opportunities to fish, and when the Wife booked a lodge for a cheap weeks break away through a disabled charity that owns and runs it, I was on to google maps like a flash.

Now recently turned 6 year old Sam accompanies me now and lots of my outings and even he asked can we go fishing when we are on holiday. I couldn't believe it to be honest, the River Ise was literally the end of the lodge and the Ise, in the past has been home to big Roach, and Big Roach is what I'm after to increase my blogger challenge points.

I know spots on the Warwickshire Avon chock full of Roach especially in the winter, but I've yet to bag anything remotely decent despite catching a bucket load of them, excuse the pun.

Now the Northamptonshire Ise after a little googling a tributary of the River Nene. The river rises in the very field that hosted the Battle of Naseby at the north-western tip of Northamptonshire. Flowing east past Desborough and the Eleanor cross at Geddington, through the grounds of Rushton Hall it then turns south and passes Kettering, through Wicksteed Park, past Barton Seagrave, Burton Latimer and Finedon before joining the Nene just south of Wellingborough.

Apparently It is also the only watercourse within Northamptonshire to contain grayling (thymallus thymallus).

In the past the large and big Roach population has diminished and the river changed in character aplenty from it's heyday and from what I found out largely unfitted these days. Then again what brook is, a commercial fishery is just round the corner.

Now on arriving, I was shocked just how chocker it was with reeds, and lilies and all manner of other plants, it also appeared to have little or no flow.

Time for a bit of exploring, the sun was up you see, and perfect conditions for fish spotting....

And look what we found, there were a few clear areas, and my God, it was tap water clear, but within a 100 yard stretch there was more than enough fishing spots to dangle a bit of bread flake.

After 10 minutes exploring fish were spotted, a group of Chub, biggest looked around 4lb, a Pike a tiny Pike and what I was after, the red fin. You see under an overhanging tree there was a group of Roach that were sat in their sanctuary, enjoying the peace that they won't have for long.

A baited with a bit of bread mash and let them get their heads down.

Over the 5 evening trips I was gradually working the swims out....

The Chub were as spooky as hell and I despite a big pieces of bread flake under their noses they didn't take it.

The was to catch them was to fish, really difficult to access shady swims where they wouldn't likely see a fisherman's bait.

The evening was a different proposition, from half an hour before dusk the fish started to feed, the smaller Roach were happy to feed before this, but they out numbered the larger Roach tenfold which meant they couldn't get a look in.

Bread and only bread was fished and one particular swim there was two Roach that were well over a pound, doesn't sound much for the avid Roach fisherman, but for me it was a revelation, I ain't seen a stamp of Roach this big before. 

Sam joined me for all the trips bar one and that was the trip that I managed one of the bigger fish out the swim, 1lb 4oz's of it. 

Which although a mediocre PB, is a PB after all. 

The other bigger fish sadly remained elusive in the last trip, but I really do miss fishing these types of rivers, there must be some real gems of fish to be had considering I only fished a section of it. To be honest some of it needs cleaning up as it was neglected, traffic cones, tyres, scaffolding poles, is not what someone wants to see over a bridge.

Now if anyone knows of any decent Roach on my Warwickshire stamping ground, please let me know.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Momos and Mugwumps

The Nepalese momos were very tasty indeed, bite-sized stuffed dumplings with a spicy dipping sauce piping hot straight from the steamer, the lamb Gorkjali, well what can I say, rather nice, just about the right amount of spice and the garlic, well as I like it, plenty of it.

Unlike the namesake who are the most fierce, brave and the most determined soldiers in the world, the curry wasn't as fiery as expected. Although they are only 5 feet tall in average, they are still respected because of the level of bravery they have soon in the field. Throughout the years, Gorkhali have received many highest honour medals. 14 have received the Victoria Cross, cannot knock that, incredible.

So needs more chilli next time to match their reputation....

Oh and maybe I'd be better off having something other than Garlic rice next time, takes mental note....

I’m not sure I’ve found my favourite Indian restaurant in the area but the problem is when you feel happy and comfortable with one place, where you get excellent food and service it’s difficult to venture to pastures new especially when a brandy under a burner is on the house.

It’s not rocket science business owners, give the customer what he wants, to be fair thinking about it, not sure I'd rush back….

However after last nights indulgences where some ale was consumed too,  I needed a large and open swim for obvious reasons….

I’d not ventured down this end thus far this season but this session I planned to settle in one swim from early morning till lunchtime, not the time I’d usually fish for Barbel but I’ve had some success in the past at this time as often they are not expecting an angler to be dangling a line.

The river up, gradually fining down, ideal conditions to be honest....

I like to be as independent as possible when I fish, always on my terms, often at areas that are untapped, but down here the foot traffic is a little more than I’m used to, but then there is a good reason for that, there are some cracking fish to be had.

The swim well, I’d walked past it before, fished below it and above it and caught Barbel up to near double figures, but only recently noticed the now quite visible crease where the faster water hits the slacks, and a couple of days ago it was.... prominent as a light blouse wearing underdressed female out in the cold.

At least there is somewhere to hang ones wet duffel coat….

It was a swim that screamed fish, but as we all know, Barbel if they are not up for feeding, are not up for feeding, end of.

The usual spicy boilie and PVA bag was the main attack but I also had a buoyant float set-up that I use from time to time with some meat suspended under it.

Fish often hold station in the slacker water you see and venture out in to the flow to intercept any food items that are headed downstream, it means less energy is used for starters but the natural conveyor of food is ideal for a sight feeder and food grubber like the Barbel.

To try and mix it up a little a moving bait may well be an edge I needed, it would mean if there were fish up for feeding it would search them out better than a static bait.

A lovely sunrise, the field misty but upon getting to the river I realised the levels had dropped considerably, and the crease going from a DD to a fried egg.

After an hour without a bite I moved upstream and fish a peg that is always active, a few small chub later and a line ripping run that for some reason I didn't connect it was time to move on.

The peg one I'd caught Barbel from before, again was pretty quiet....

Sean had appeared upstream and after a natter I decided to change tactics and change to a truncheon float and fish it after a walk up to a much shallower but faster swim, a chunk of meat under it, hopefully the fish would be up for a moving bait.

Luckily they were, after 4 further Chub something more solid took the bait. When it surfaced, it was probably the smallest Barbel I'd ever caught but in mint condition and probably hadn't been caught before. At least not a Barbel blank, but tough going, one Chub that had been clamped big time by a Pike, it was time to go home....

Come dusk things would be different, certainly an enjoyable session even though no further blogger points were gained, 10 or so chub and 1 barbel ain't to be sniffed at.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Vagabonds and Vomitories

The dreaded sciatica was back with a vengeance, ones spinal disc herniation tweaking one of the sacral nerve roots leading to tingling pins and needles and pain down ones leg that is difficult to manage.

The last time it flared up was some time ago in work and the only thing that seemed to touch it was the opioid Tramadol donated by fellow automotive engineer and long gone fugitive Steve ‘Serial Killer’ Humphries. The problem was when taken as an immediate-release oral formulation the pain seemed to subside, but then so did my senses. After all dose-by-dose basis it has one-tenth the potency of morphine, spaced out was an understatement.

Apparently the most common adverse effects of tramadol include nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, indigestion, abdominal pain, vertigo, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness and headaches.

And I could put a tick through most of those, the drive home from work was stupid, luckily uneventful….

Scaldingly hot water bottles and exercise seemed to sort me out in the end and to be fair I’ve been ok for a while now, so this onset wasn’t welcome.

Work doesn’t help that’s for sure as I’m less active then Jeff Hatt is at fishing, and being active is the key, so this cobbled together session was to an area of the Warwickshire Avon that has been kind to me in the past with all manner of fish in residence.

It’s a gateway from the slow to the not so slow you see, where fish can have the best of both worlds as they see fit.

In the chill-out space or the full on rave, the lap dancing dance floor to the private room.

A Roach deadbait on one rod, a spicy boilie and half a saveloy of freebies on the other.

It didn't take long for the first fish a lean but long 6.04oz Pike that took a liking to the Roach but then the action sorted of halted, it didn't take long for the next bite on a dead either but for some reason despite the rod nodding I didn't manage to get a hook-up.

Dan was downstream fairly better than me I might add and after photographing a fish for him I was back at the rods.

The Barbel rod was very quiet indeed, the odd tap and pull that didn't develop in to a bite.

On to the next one....
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