Sunday, 25 January 2015

Chub and Deer

An extremely sharp overnight frost and all the still waters were frozen over. Not that that bothered me in the slightest because the rivers had dropped back to normal levels and although I enjoy fishing lakes and ponds my true love is the river, especially my regular mistress the Warwickshire Avon.

Bright blue skies and not a drop of wind, stunning scenery and not a sole in sight, whats not to like about Winter fishing-as long as you wear enough layers!!

I wandered the crisp banks looking for a likely place to start satisfying my photography urge as I went. My plan today was two-pronged, a slow deep steady swim would give me the chance of Roach and overhanging trees where I could maybe winkle out a Chub or two.

Having picked a likely looking spot I mashed some bread and fed the central line fishing with an open cage feeder and a chunk of flake on the hook. A lump of cheese was cast towards the cover along with a few free offerings to try and tempt the Chub out from their snaggy lair.

Tazzy in the meantime explored the area sniffing at nothing discernible and keeping a close eye on the wildlife, namely a busy Moorhen and a friendly Robin.

I thought the plan was a good one. I didn't expect the fish to crawl up the line but thought the first couple of hours would amount to more than just a couple of twitches on the flake and a lunge on the cheese all of which amounted to nothing in the net. Lunchtime arrived and while Tazzy munched on her biscuits I decided to instigate plan B, a roving approach. I downscaled my amount of tackle to one rod, a net and one bag and wandered off downstream.

The fishing remained tough but eventually in swim four or five I connected to a decent Chub that used the flow to its full advantage. Thankfully the hook and tackle held firm and the relief was tangible when I eventually slid the net under a rather pale 4lb 3oz fish. I thought I had cracked it and more would follow but sadly that was it, still at least a blank had been avoided.

Spotted a trio of Roe deer on the way home, one of our native species and very rare to see them out in the open in the middle of the day.

They allowed me to take quite a few shots while I was still in the car but as soon as I tried to get closer they flashed me a big white moony and shot off for cover-charming!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Blue Sunday

With only a small window of opportunity this weekend I needed to fish somewhere local. The Avon was still up and coloured so my choice was limited to stillwater and that meant either Perch or Trout. A sharp overnight frost meant the local Perch puddle was likely to be frozen over so I grabbed a fly rod and headed to the Lenches lakes.

Despite the brilliant sunshine more and more ice was forming in the margins as the day wore on but there was still plenty of spots of open water to fish.
The spring fed water was crystal clear making fish spotting simple but I didn't see a single fish the whole day. There was no lack of effort on my part as I tried several different flies and lures from small and dark to large and bright, I varied the retrieve, I fished shallow and deep in several different areas but I could not even muster a half-hearted follow let alone a bite and therefore ended the day a complete blanker.

That aside it was lovely to spend a few hours in the country at this stunning venue and I wasn't too disheartened to go home fishless, I got some pretty pleasing photos as compensation.

The fishing hut has seen better days!!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A Test-ing Start

What better way to start the new fishing year than a trip to a premier English Chalk stream namely the river Test. Our anticipation was high as we made the two hour journey into deepest Hampshire fuelled by our memories of a wonderful visit last year jam packed with Grayling and Trout aplenty. Sadly as can often be the case the sequel was not a patch on the original.
On arrival the river looked in prime condition but the heavy overnight rain and its continuation throughout the whole day soon coloured it up and the fishing deteriorated rapidly with the ever increasing loss of water clarity.
Having said that both Martin and I still caught fish, the odd small Grayling and some good conditioned Trout fell to our trotted maggots before lunch.

Now I know they are out of season and there will be a few that think it is a travesty to catch these fish on maggot but I must say I really enjoy it. When the Grayling have not read the script Trout provide thrilling sport on light tackle. They fight hard often leaping clean out the water and as long as they are looked after swim off none the worse for wear.

The only other entertainment on this dull dark day was a friendly little Jenny Wren that flitted around the swim even getting brave enough to land at my feet for a quick feed on the spilled maggots. I have spotted these birds many times before but usually only in fleeting glimpses and never in such close quarters.

A bright point in an otherwise dull day.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Five Years of Blogging

The time of year when we look back over the previous twelve months and set targets for 2015. Over the next few days there will be a flurry of annual reviews to add to those already posted. Nothing wrong with that we all have egos!
My ego must be bigger than most as having just completed my fifth year blogging I feel like being even more self indulgent than usual and have done a review of all five years. Over 200 posts, over 600 comments and nearly 200,000 page views. Thank you to all that have visited and those that have commented. I just hope you were ever so slightly entertained.
Time flies when you're having fun! When I started this blog journey all that time ago I didn't realise what an addictive and self-motivational tool it would become. I get a lot of enjoyment looking back over past successes (and failures), am amazed at the number of hits and always grateful for any  comments. It has had its uses too in helping me make new fishing buddies and finding old ones too, some that I had not seen for decades. It has also inspired me to improve my photography and learn the finer points of taking pictures.
Over twenty personal bests landed including lots of new species both home and abroad. To venture to new venues and explore new methods. My bucket list is still long, that is the beauty of angling, no matter how many targets are achieved more often than not it creates more.
So here are the highlights of the first five years, I hope there will be many more and I hope you will continue to join me along the way.

Happy NewYear and Tight Lines!!