Thankyou for taking the time view my mutterings.

"We sit on cowslip banks, hear the birds sing, and possess ourselves in as much quietness as these silent silver streams, which we now see glide so quietly by us"

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Get the kettle on mate, I'm gagging. Part two

..................Before i forget, i must add at this point that earlier in the afternoon on that first day, our in house weather forecaster Mr Steve Beale had said as we looked into the distant clouds that were gathering "we should be alright it looks like it'll miss us"!!
How wrong was that statement? Direct bleeding hit, as big black clouds drew in, water was literally bouncing off the ground and soon become hail stones the size of golf balls!!
Myself and Trefor not being the sort to take the mick, of course said nothing about this event as after about half an hour or so it cleared and was soon forgotten!!

So day two began as we woke at just after 6am, guess what? we put the kettle on!!
I had a bath with a baby wipe while waiting for the kettle to sing and watched the mist rising from the damp fields, all was quiet apart from the odd chub rising.

Tref insisted that we toughed it out in the same pegs due to the baiting strategy of the previous day 'surely some things got to move through us today?' I thought to myself.
Right!!....New day, new head and a fresh cuppa!! Lets have it!!

By 7am the rods were back in position and by nine we had devoured bacon and sausage sarnies and was just sitting back watching the world go by when out of the corner of my eye I could see Steve's rod trying to leave us, 'fish on' I yelped.
A short battle commenced and soon we had our first babel in the back of the net, she came in at upper sevens and this had given us the encouragement we were waiting for so we celebrated with yes you've guessed it.......A brew, but this time round we dunked biscuits too!

To be fair I think we all expected another fish quickly after, expecting a pod of fish to be moving through together, but it was a whole two hours later whilst i was ambling back from a wander a few pegs up looking for fishy movements and managing to net a chub of about the 3lb mark when a call was cried out to say a boat was coming.

It was on this call and on seeing Steve winding in but looking like he was weeded up, that it soon become apparent that he was indeed into another fish. He'd actually picked the rod up to wind in and at that precise moment his rod lunged over and as they say.......' the rest is history'

Steve had just caught his new personal best barbel at 13lb 5oz!
He looked like a startled rabbit!
It was one of those angling moments when nothing else really mattered and 'did that just happen?'

A quick couple of shots were taken, Steve was still not saying too much and left myself and the Westy fella to lie the fish up in the margins for a well earned rest.

I'd like to just say again at this point..........well done fella.

Lunch was had, more tea was had but nothing else looked forthcoming apart from some horrible looking black fluffy things in the sky!!! Yes.......clouds, rain clouds!!
Steve this time kept quiet and we took the pee just a little by asking if they would miss us but no reply was had!

We'd set a time of 5pm to call it a day but at 3.30 it all became a little too much, wind, rain and the lack of tea had ended our trip.
So for me, I didn't get my first Avon barbel but I saw two, with one being a right beast!
I will return as I have a score to settle and I won't be leaving it too long either.

Thanks to Elaine for the grub, thanks to Steve for saving the day with a clonking fish and great company that will live in my memory forever along with the other great angling events I have witnessed over the years.

And last but not least thanks to Trefor for keeping us upbeat and amused with his story's, but most of all for...........Making a lovely cup of tea!!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Get the kettle on mate, I'm gagging. Part one

4am arrived and on turning the key to the truck thoughts in my mind were of a virgin river to me.
The Warwickshire Avon was calling, but first I had to stop off and collect a certain Mr Beale.

As planned I drew up outside his shack at just after 4.30 and he waved me in for a brew!
Little did I know that this, my second brew of the day was setting the scene for the next 48 hours.
Let me explain, for those that do not really know me, tea is my second love......gallons of it can be consumed and I still won't get up for a pee in the middle of the night!!

Truck was loaded and we headed out of Milton Keynes bound for the M40 with no postcode, all we had was a field somewhere on the Avon where Mr Tref would hopefully be waiting with the kettle on!

One hour and twenty minutes later after black thunder was ragged off the clock and we drew up through a farmers field with only one vehicle in view, true to his word there he sat at two minutes past six waiting to greet us, "how are you boys"? "thirsty" I replied while shaking his hand.

This particular section Tref had been doing well off the past few weeks and from the off he started his confidence strategy, explaining the plan of attack for the next couple of days.
With the tea consumed and the time now seven(ish), Tref made the call to get tackled up.

Open ended feeders with a mix of groundbait and pellet, free running to a slightly longer hooklink than normal was completed with a size six hook and two or three glued pellets on the hair.
The plan was to feed small with the feeders and loose feed a dozen or so pellets with the catapult every 45 minutes or so depending on how events unfolded.

Eggs and bacon  were now singing in the pan, kettle was on and we sat back watching the tips as the water was running from left to right.

The day was pleasant with sunny spells but the wind was blowing straight at us, causing a ripple on the surface that made viewing very difficult to say the least.

Most of Trefs captures from this stretch so far had been in the afternoons, mainly between 1 and 5 pm and surprisingly nothing was occurring during the evenings?

Mid morning and the odd boat started to show , which in turn meant winding in, re baiting and focusing once more.
Tref would, in spells sit there and tell us one of his many tales, some recent some old but boy does he know how to tell them, as plenty of times both Steve and myself would be rolling around with rib ache.

That first day was indeed very quiet, but Tref kept us upbeat and encouraged us to hang in there, "the methods been good, and we just need a pod of fish to move through us" he said.

At six pm we lit the gas under Elaine's chilli con carne and whacked on the rice to boot!
I must just take this opportunity to thank her for this, and as Steve was feeling slightly under the weather this only meant one thing........I got more!!
A bottle of red completed our little snack and a relaxed manner was restored once more.

This set us up for the evening and lit the flames once more that just maybe we might be able to get Tref a barbel  in out of favoured hours due to the form book.
We angled on till roughly 10pm and all we managed for our efforts was a small chub for yours truly and a bream of about a pound for master Beale of which a certain Mr West found highly amusing.....................

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Speak soon

Warwickshire waits

Just been confirmed that my two day break with Trefor is to be on the Warwickshire Avon.
Not once have I stepped onto its banks so hopefully a new treat is in store for me.

I'm off to sort my gear!!

Speak soon,

The master guide

Some of you may recall this time last year of my two days in the company of a angling friend (Steve) while being guided by the legend that is Trefor West.

Well its that time again!
Early hours of this coming Wednesday the 18th August will see us heading to a destination that is still to be confirmed.

If last years Teme trip is anything to go by then it should be a giggle for a couple of days, with the odd fish thrown in for good measure.
Trefs ways are so simple and straight to the point but at the same time hard work, constantly on the move every twenty minutes or so following his sequence if nothing has occurred.

Steep banks, the walking and putting up with us customers must take its toll?
But Tref loves it and you can tell by the way he puts his points across that it still excites him to see a customer put one on the bank and pass on his years of knowledge.

For anybody that is thinking of booking a guided barbel trip then i recommend that you give Tref a call, you wont be disappointed.

I'll update after the event if my sides are not hurting me too much.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Wearing out 'the old uns'

Although commercial carp lakes are frowned upon by some, they do have their place in the angling world.

A couple of times a year myself and and two work colleagues book the odd day off in the school holidays to take our 10/11 year old's carp fishing.

I would just like to say here, that I know it's not every body's cuppa but for the sake of the junior angler they're a god send!

It was noticeable from the point of the first fish that was hooked by each of them that their angling skills in terms of playing fish had progressed so much due to practice.

'12ft zig rigs are not the easiest it has to be said for playing fish for lads with such short arms and long rods'.

Joe Briars
I'm not going to bore you with a blow by blow account of the day as over a hundred carp were caught and all but a couple were wound in by the lads, while us old un's kept casting out fresh bits of 'plastic grub' and spent most of the day spodding to keep the fish out in front of us.

To say us old un's were knackered was an understatement!!
The wind, the spodding and and twelve hours on our feet had just about done us, but the boys loved it.

A big well done to Jason, Joe and Louis but just remember when us old un's are even older......Please take us fishing and make sure you show us the way and catch us some fish!!

Well done to Jason, Joe and Louis.  "Top angling" <",)))>{

Doubled up with luck

On this occasion whilst planning at home, I decided to try things a little differently.

One jar of chillie hemp, a small handful of corn and a scattering of 1mm pellets were placed into a bucket and mixed.

The plan was to bait drop my chosen swim on arrival then leave it for an hour or so while i took a wander down the beat.

A two rod attack was decided upon (which is against the grain for me usually), so ten large droppers were deposited to the chosen spots, one to the left hand tree that runs along the fishable bank rather than out and the right hand rod was placed just upstream, again to a tree but this time the said branches run to the centre of the river causing a crease.

After my stroll I then started to tackle up, both rods were baited initially with three small glued pellets, a pva bag was then attached and the small Stonze weight was gently lowered into place.

After about twenty minutes or so it soon became clear that Ronnie and Reggie (crays) were very active and very hungry!!

Both rods were wound in, and the baits were replaced with two large pellets which in turn were then wrapped with a big ball of Elixer6 paste.
The idea of this was just to give the baits a bit more of a chance of lasting a little longer while Reggie was having his feast, but twofold he would also be picking little bits off to give me a bit more attraction flowing downstream.

It was now dark, the cray taps continued and the odd chub tap had occurred.
11.30pm just as i was pouring one from the flask the right hand rod sprung round and slackened off as just as quick.
A shortish fight took place but soon I was unhooking a nice little fin perfect barbel just shy of seven pounds.

Things then went very quiet, and after texting my brother who was a little further downstream, to say we'll give it till 1am.

Just after 1am when I was thinking of calling it a day, the tip on the left hand spot rattled a little.
Paul then pulled up behind me, and to the words of  'I'll just give it five mins mate' 'something has just shown an interest'.
We were just sat there chatting about the findings of the evening when the left hand rod whacked over and nearly left me as the result of it!

A good fight pursued with the fish trying to stick me in the snags either side of the swim, the tackle held firm and we soon had a barbel in the net that weighed in exactly eight pound on the nose, and to date is the best one I've captured from this new stretch.

Now, was it the hemp mix or the paste? Or both? Was the paste still on there when the fish took even?
Or were they just having it and i got lucky?