Thursday, 9 September 2010

A Most Glorious Dawn.

Tuesday 7th September, 05:30 - 14:00. River Avon at Wasperton then College Pool. Warm and dry after very heavy rain the night before, rain setting in mid afternoon.

After an early morning airport run for the inlaws I now stood looking out of my kitchen window into the gloom, drinking coffee and eating a breakfast of buttered muffins. The rain from the front which had battered the country the previous night had now subsided to a misty rain but I'd seen some serious puddles at the road side during my drive. The world has an enigmatic charm at four a.m. The roads are almost completely empty and there's a post-apocalyptic atmosphere.

I drove to Wasperton village in the dark and wondered in what state I'd find the river. My plan for the day was to tough out the dace point on Leamington Angling's top meadow and then make use of my BAA day ticket and fish for pike downstream with whatever time remained. I'd not slept properly and had been up since three and so expected a mental crash at some point during the day. But by god it felt good to have a whole days fishing in front of me.

I got my first sight of the river by head torch after walking across the soaked grass of the meadow. It was up, yes, only a foot though, and the clarity was good. I intended to wade in a little and trot down the Hawthorn bush swim just upstream from the run of willow tress but the added water ruled out that idea. Instead I made my way downstream without tackle assessing by torchlight where else might offer the opportunity to fish with a float.

The height was not dissimilar to my last visit which prompted me to graph the effectiveness of  various methods against flow speed.

I set up whilst the light was too dim to fish.

I put up a stick float in a top secret swim with no identifying features:

As the sun rose the countryside exploded into colour.
 I made my first cast just before the sun broke above the receding rain clouds. I had broken blue sky ahead of me and the the river looked amazing. Wave after wave of elation hit me as I was treated to the most beautiful sunrise in my favourite fishing month on my home river.

Almost there. Mist clung to the grass.

The light of the sun was contained by the low cloud.

The river steams and the first shafts of light hit the fields.

Now risen, the sunlight was intense.

I spent as much time looking over my right shoulder as I did looking at my float.

The wooden electricity pole made a good shield against the direct sunlight.

Morning has bro-ken, like the first mor-ning.....

Thankfully the dace were obliging and after playing about with the depth of the float I found I caught pretty regularly on double maggot.

My stick float set up.
I was paranoid about a pike attack as my ever increasing net lay in the rivers edge. As Pete arrived at eight o'clock I'd just weighed in at 11ozs. I weighed in again at 1lb 3ozs and then finally called it a day when I weighed in at 1lb 7ozs.

1lb 7ozs of Warks Avon dace.

By ten o'clock I'd packed up my dace gear, driven down to the BAA water to catch up with Pete and set up a deadbait twitching outfit. We leap-frogged our way down the BAA stretch for an hour without so much as a pull. At eleven o'clock I could feel any chance of the pike point slipping through my fingers and had a tactical chat. Pete went on to focus on barbel and I made another move up to college pool to try for perch.

Both rods were in college pool by midday - an inflated lobworm four inches off the bottom and a light float outfit fishing maggots.

The lobworm rod received a bite within a couple of minutes of being cast and a jagged fight with a fish which felt like a couple of pound in weight ensued. I was sure I'd hooked a good perch. To my surprise it was a chub which came up from the depths. I'd heard about the chub in college but had never caught one myself so was chuffed with this fish.

It didn't take long for the perch to home in on the maggots and I weighed in 3lb 10ozs of them after one hour of fishing. They were a lovely size to be catching to build a weight, averaging 3oz I'd say.

During the second hour I made some subtle rig adjustments and really tuned into the fishing. I became a perch catching machine. Spurned on by lack of sleep I bagged 5lb 14ozs of them in my second hour on the pool, just one ounce short of the perch point in that second net alone.

Plus the first net of 3lb 10oz the perch point was bagged.

Totally satisfied with my two point outing I wearily packed up just after two o'clock and went back to the river to sit with Pete.

You can park behind your peg on the BAA stretch and as the rain had once again returned I indulged in some proper brummy barbel fishing, sitting in my car eating my sarnies watching Pete's tips!

Properly wired now and with the insulin hit of two rounds of sarnies in my blood I drove home.


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