Finally on the river bank with a 13foot float rod and a feeder rod, net, bait bucket and a few spares in my pockets, time for a walk.
Took a long leisurely walk along the bank, looking for signs of fish…wasn’t hard as there were fish moving everywhere. The water was gin clear and in places a bit shallow, this would make it fun.
A 4 no.6 stick float, size 18 hook on a 3lb flourocarbon hooklink and single red maggot was the approach. First cast and immediately the float dips, I strike and I have a 3oz Perch….not quite what I was after but a good start non the less. This was to be the pattern from this first area, little Perch and Minnows in abundance.
Moving back to the next area and I can see Grayling and Chub moving in the swim. A bit more bait into the water and I watch as some lovely fish move in for a free feed. A gentle flick and the float lands just upstream from the feeding fish, within 4 seconds the float dips and i’m into a feisty little Grayling.
This was to prove to be the way it was going to be for the day, lots of little fish, Perch, Grayling, Dace & Minnows, but at least I was catching. And it was great fun watching the fish in the totally clear water.
Moving up to the last swim of the day, a shallow glide behind an island with deep gulleys either side, lots of streamer weed and some sunken trees. There were Bream and Chub sat there feeding on what ever drifted down stream. I sat there behind the bankside cover and flicked maggots into the water, watching them drift through the clear water. The Chub were straight on to them, closely followed by the Bream then little Perch.
The Bream and Chub in this swim were certainly heading towards the 6lb mark, some lovely fish….now all I had to do was get them to take my hookbait!!!
After several casts it was clear the Chub had seen it all before. They would wait for the bait to move past them, looking for the float of shot, then move back around the bait for another look. Then, and only then, did they decide if they would take the bait.
Lots of refusals and Chub swimming up to the shot and pushing it around with their noses, this was going to be tough. A drop to 3lb mainline and 2lb fluoro hooklinks, a long drop from float to hook and hold back hard to get the bait presented correctly. I was in 2 feet of water and fishing 5 feet from float to hook, all the shot under the float with a little number 13 shot as a dropper a foot from the hook. A gentle flick to the far side of the clear gravel patch, just into the deeper, faster water and the float shot off immediately. I could see the fish clearly in the water and it was a good Chub. Now, this was going to be fun, 2lb hooklink, big Chub and snags everywhere.
A lot of gentle persuasion and taking my time and I eventually slipped the net under a lovely looking Chub. On the scales it went 5lb exactly. Big smiles.
Not to sit back on my laurels I was back in after another fish and soon had a Bream of 5lb on the bank. By now the swim was empty from all the disturbance so it was time to move. Looking at the time I realised it was time to go home so a yomp back to the car park, pack away all my tackle and the long drive home, made much more tolerable from having had a great day on the Avon.
Over the day I caught Bream, Chub, Perch, Minnows, Gudgeon, Dace, Grayling and Brown Trout….over all a fantastic day.
Many thanks to Stuart, the bailiff on the river, for his help and advice and showing me some great fishing spots…all round top bloke.