Friday, 15 February 2013

Quiet and simple punishment till spring.

I think I am often guilty of forgetting that fishing is not just about chasing specific species or bigger fish. The element of relaxation involved or simply just being alone in the quiet of the country side somehow is forgotten. Mind you familiarity does bred contempt, hence the more time you spend fishing the less likely you are to appreciate the simplest things.

Having just spent the last two weeks firstly preparing for, then exhibiting at one of Europe's largest trade fairs, I find find myself  rather overdosed on humanity. Quite simply should I have to speak the same tired sales shite to another prospective customer well... I may go mad! In a very spectacular falling down moment might I just add.

Through this twelve day angling absence the things that have kept me going were the notions that it can't go on forever, and that once it was over I would seek solace outdoors away from work, fishing. Following this I would spend the rest of my weekend possibly watching a movie or dining out. Then weather permitting I might even not go to work on the Monday and instead, like some skiving kid on the wag, head off fishing whilst most went to work.

I wrote the previous two paragraphs before the weekend and before I went fishing. Since then I did exactly as I planned fishing a full day on Saturday and bumming off work Monday as well hoping both would be relaxing and enjoyable. Which nether session really lived up to!

Saturday we opted for a last minute stretch change and in a moment of shear madness decided to fish the recreation ground over the lido. Big mistake! The as usual inconsiderate Stratford rowing club were out in force and although over eighty percent of there boats were coxed, they all seemed unable or simply did not care to give any of the many anglers fishing this stretch so much a millimetre of space.

Their reluctance to share the river with us got my blood boiling very quickly indeed, as time and time again oars smashed up our swims making fishing barely possible. But on the bright side the Avon looked a fine colour and the roach which we sought did seem to be interested. If only we could keep a line in long enough to hook one.

Boat foam!
The roach though enquiring around my bread baits regularly, seemed very non committal.  I can't even think of a single occasion in the past when I have had so many bites and never connected a a single fish. By dinner time I had had enough. The rowers were driving me crazy and the roach were pushing me over the edge so I was very ready to move.

Spending the afternoon on a second usually reliable zander stretch, we did find peace and quiet. The fishing here though was much like the mood of the area, quiet! The river conditions had me convinced of some daytime zander action but the cold water seemed to be again hampering that.

The single and only bite came just after dark fell when a solitary twang of a rod fished into a deep slack on the opposite side of the river hinted that something did actually swim in the Avon. I had been waiting all day for some real action so every effort was made to try and convert this tepid gesture into a fish. But not a Jimmy bean came from it and that ended what could only be described as a torrid days fishing.

Monday I fared no better ether. Once again for about the hundredth time this winter the Avon was out of action as it lapped roads instead of banks. The back end of the season is one of my favourite times to fish the rivers and this winter that has no been an easy pastime. I get the impression just about every angler feels the same and would confirm that this has been a terrible end to the 2012- 2013 river season.

With the whole day at my disposal I planned to visit a canal to again fish for zander. After a night of snow flurries I stuck with my idea and made my way to the grand union to find it in a far worse condition than the Avon was.

Quite literally it looked like I could have walked across it there was so much dirt suspended in the water. The picture I took did no justice to how off-putting the water looked. I knew even if I did fish I wouldn't have much confidence given its current state, and  so moved on.

My last option was to head off to a friend's fishery and spend the day as men have done for hundreds of years; staring at a float as a worm wriggled below. The only poop in my plan was that it was February and quite honestly I do not find February to be my favourite of months.

Why should I dislike a month so much you will probably ask. Well here it is! February like September is a change over month. Unlike September though were fish suddenly begin to realise winter is coming and they must feed hard to prepare for the soon impending chill. February hints at Spring arriving although the temperature as we currently see fluctuates rapidly from cold to a little less cold. Yes, nature shows signs of life here and there...
Fields show signs of green
Daffodils begin to pop up
Snow drops bloom
Winter aconite suddenly colours the winter wood

But like this little flower, every living thing still finds the weather a bit too cold and would rather stay wrapped up asleep for a few more weeks until winter finally shows us its back.

Just like the shy blooms littering the woodland floor, the fish residing in my friend's lake refused to come out and play in the cold, and I soon resorted to scratching for bites. And I hate scratching for bites especially when I am half freezing to death waiting for spring to arrive.


  1. Glad it ain't just me! It's been so bad so long I've run down my stockpile of fishy tales to the bottom of the barrel and now scraping it clean. It's not just the rivers but the canals and everything else too. Truly the worst winter season in living memory.

    NIce to see the flowers at the end though. Saved us all from slitting our throats!

  2. only just found this blog, great read and I've added you to my reading list