Artificial

 Lite

From the water’s edge

June 2014 - Go with the flow

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.

It might be tiny but this pretty little fish heralds the start of yet another, hopefully glorious,river season. Back on the Warwickshire Avon and looking to capitalise on what little we learned about this stretch last year. Top of our list of priorities were bigger chub, bigger perch and fewer pike. I suspect that one of these noble ambitions will be far harder to achieve than the other two.

Not having seen any rain for a couple of weeks around here, we were slightly surprised at the depth and colour of the river. Maybe the depth should not  have been so unexpected. The water tables are nothing if not handsomely replenished by the wet winter, but the colour? That set us worrying about the amount of brown algae that seems to coat all our water plants these days. A surfeit of fertiliser run-off and high nitrate sewage outfalls have taken their toll over the years, but even so by canal standards this was gin.

It didn’t make the fishing any easier though. We struggled more than we expected really. The fish may have been pickier or more likely we were looking back at last season through rose-tinted polaroids.

Working from the top of the stretch down, we managed to sneak a few small perch out of most of the usual places, with more natural and darker colours seeming to work better than the more commonly used canal yellows and fluorescents.

The third of our ambitions fell by the wayside almost immediately, when a five pound pike shot out from under a bush and nipped my tiny grub off. I never felt a thing and was sure that he would not have been spooked so I tied on a new clip, hooked a short wire trace onto it and loaded it with a 3” copper and black hammer which was taken, as expected, immediately.

A couple of swims further on and another little jack was threatening my perch tackle and had to be extracted using the same technique. So much for my new seasons resolutions. Today I fulfilled none of them, but did we enjoy ourselves? You bet we did. There really is something extra about fishing rivers. Dealing with the current which seems to put so many people off these days is for me a bonus. It can instil more life into otherwise inert baits, used to present lures in places that cannot be accessed by casting, and the fish fight harder using the current to aid their efforts.

Already the ideas I started with last year have gone by the board. Lures are 3.5 grams or less and not 6 or more as I had initially expected they would be. The rod is shorter and lighter than I was intending to use, in fact I am using all my canal gear. It is so much more pleasant than anything heavier. The gear is the same, it is the attitude that has to change. Swim selection and exploitation are different. The fish hold on in tighter spots and stealth is far more important.

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