Saturday, 26 September 2015

Warwickshire Stour – Going bread-handed with the underachiever

The humble earthworm, has spent millions of years evolving amongst the dirt, dead organisms and fecal material, yet weirdly despite the abundance of them, over that time they didn’t put in a little extra effort required to become a snake. It already has well-developed organs, circulatory and nervous systems neatly packed into a successful tubular body plan. Relatively speaking, how much more DNA mutation is involved to conjure up a simple venom gland and a couple of fangs. This lack of follow-through is perplexing and disappointing, to say the least.

Following this gargantuan evolutionary blunder, the earthworm got itself involved in some pretty weird stuff. As a hermaphrodite earthworms wield male and female reproductive organs, meaning that any given earthworm can, and, unfortunately will, mate with another. This process is well described and probably more off-putting than you might think as it involves the formation of cocoons and the mutual exchange of fapple juice. Because of this epic failure to actualise its full biological potential (opting instead to pursue a lugubrious ecological niche eating rotten organic matter, aerating/enriching soil, and engaging in copious amounts of rogerisation ) there was another, smarter, biding organism by the name of Homo sapiens waiting in the shadows for a chance to profit from the earthworm’s poor self esteem and enticing body parts. Ok, a bit of a simpleton but they do have fantastic anatomy earthworms as they have five hearts (well aortic arches) and the ability to regenerate lost segments of their segmented bodies. These are profound features, for sure, but, again, they go to waste wriggling around in a cesspit.

As an angler though, I love them and they would feature in this session….

After an enjoyable trip to the diminutive Stour last weekend I decided to return. (not to retrace my steps for my camera this time though). The section I prefer is off the beaten track and doubt sees another angler for weeks. It’s not for the lazy you see as it’s is a bit of a trek on foot. I’ve said many a times I’m a roving angler that seeks solitude and if it’s just me and the sheep I’m happy, it’s my kind of river. The fish really are in stunning condition and it’s a river with very few predators, well apart from the feathered or Franek. It’s the potential specimen Roach that gets me coming back, the Chub are nice but grow nothing like the Avon fish, they are scale perfect though, even the chunky ones.

Having fished it a number of times now I’m beginning to think that I’m wasting my time feeding liquidised bread by either hand or feeder. I really don’t think it matters too much as bread appears to be such a magnificent attractant, if there are fish in the swim they will find it. The thought I had was rather than feeding ALL the fish with the blended bread and hemp concoction as it was probably causing a Roach melee, fishing a singular large folded punched bait, the larger fish would bully the plebeians out the way and it would be a bit more size selective.

I was pestered by the minnows last time so as an alternative to the bread I also had a few juicy lobworms that I’d halve. Every fish likes the humble worm as the stimulatory amino acids that leak in to the water get the fish looking for the belly filler. Being large it’s a veritable minnow gobstopper so it’s likely to be a half decent fish when the float was dragged under. Talking of float gear there were a few tasty looking swims on the previous session where a static bait would have been an advantage so for this trip I changed to a light link ledger.

There was a slight ground frost and the sky was clear so I knew it might be a little tough. There were plenty of fish still though, just not big sadly, I had the usual suspects chublets, dace, roach and perch. The bread out-fished the worm, the method, well to be honest I'm sure the float would give much better presentation as the bites were half what I had last week and there was plenty of weed on the bed. The Roach give a cracking pull of the tip though, the small knocks were minnows and them wham, the tip would violently head towards the river. In one particular swim I had 10 to 15 fish in quick succession The river was clear albeit with a slight green tinge so I'm sure it also helps that the bread is very visual because of the differing colour contrast. I'm not ready to fish the Avon for Roach yet but that's where I expect to beat 12oz and also pick up a decent Dace. Downstream there is an area that is much deeper, even when the river is low you can find 10ft of water so maybe that's where I'll try next time.

Now I know Martin has been doing well for the Barbel so I might try and squeeze in an evening session next week, I could do with a proper bend in the rod.


  1. I reckon you need to go upstream to the very narrowest reaches, Mick. The Sowe holds its biggest roach as far up as they can be. Below the average is much lower, High up it's very good.

    I guess it's all farmland though up there?

    1. You may be right Jeff, apparently there is trout up there too, might give it a go. So much to go at as I'm itching to get back to the mill.


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