An angler's journal

Monday, 6 July 2015

Tales of the Unexpected

If you're clicking this hoping to read Roald Dahl's collection of short stories then you'll be sadly disappointed. However, 'Tales of the Unexpected' was an apt way to describe my latest session on the Warwickshire Avon. The river has given me many surprises over the years. Indeed, I have caught over 12 different species from the river so it has always kept me captivated. My latest session took me to my favourite Avon venue. It's one I don't visit as often as I once did since I have other venues closer to home but following such a slow start to the river season I felt familiarity was the way forward.

The first small barbel
My number one swim was occupied so I settled a little further downstream where the river's increased pace was still evident. I decided to start by rolling some meat, a favourite method in
difficult summer conditions. It's a method that can result in a fish when all else fails. After ten minutes, there was a subtle tap on the line and a swift strike was met with a fish. I expected a chub to surface but the first surprise of the day resulted in a juvenile barbel. These are rare, in fact fish under a pound are caught less often than double figure specimens. It was, of course, in perfect condition.

After this, I then reverted to regular straight ledger tactics with PVA pags and pellet hookbaits. The tip soon went round and I was connected to what I believed to be another chub. Again, I was wrong.
Variety in the shape of a tench
This time the golden flanks belonged to a tench of about 3lbs. What was more surprising was the speed of the flow it had been happy to feed in given they prefer sluggish water and ponds. A gudgeon managed to hook itself before another young barbel put in a spirited appearance. This fish probably approached a pound and with it I had caught the smallest two barbel in almost 30 years of fishing in space of 90 minutes.

It was beginning to become a thoroughly enjoyable session so it was inevitable that some bad luck would be sent my way to balance proceedings. The rod tip once again rapped around savagely and I was connected to
The future
something much more substantial. Undoubtedly a barbel, it moved upstream before surging across river towards the far bank. This is when disaster struck and the hooked pinged free. It was a disappointment as experience tells me you rarely get a second chance on the Avon. A chub of about 3lb did follow before another of similar proportions managed to escape my clutches by finding sanctuary in some near bank reeds. As sunset came and went, the chub raps continued but unfortunately another barbel could not be persuaded to return.

Although the fish I caught were not of specimen proportions, they certainly showed off the variety of species the river holds. More importantly, it proved the future of the river is looking rosy and those small barbel of today could be tomorrow's front page news. As always, thank you for reading and please add your comments or visit my Facebook page.

No comments:

Post a Comment