Resplendent, that's the best word I could come up with to describe how the Avon looked on a sunny Saturday morning. We do a lot of walks now we have a child, as I suspect most people do. Anyway having exhausted just about every civilized park close to home we headed over to Warwick to have a amble around St Nicholas park which just happens to be opposite the Myton road stretch I can fish on with my Warwick angling association book.
I kind of thought there was a chance the river would still be holding a little tinge of colour after the recent rain, but I was quite far off the mark with that theory. The water was clear, sparkling and full of lovely wriggly fishes. Quite literally the weed laden margins were swarming with roach. Huge shoals drifted in and out of the streamer weed moving in perfect unison. All over the empty river, random fish topped pulling my eyes to every circular ripple. Every now and again the threat of unseen predators would send fish scattering for safety out of the water. It was one of those times when, my God, you would sell your right testicle for a fishing rod, but nut or not I was rod less standing next to what looked like a perfect river.
There was no doubt I was going back the next day as with so many tasty tit bits flitting around the pike had to be close by. So less than twenty four hours later I found myself standing on the first peg right at the bottom of the Myton road stretch. The river looked amazing and the view of the ancient Warwick castle under the old bridge wasn't too shabby either.
I was hoping to be a bit of clever git and had rigged up a Texas rig so as I could fish a weed less lure right through the streamer weed to try and tempt a few jacks out. The weed density and probably my inexperience in using this new rig meant things didn't work out too well. I was deed keen to get going and straight away punched a zander pro shad across to the edge of the weed lining the far bank. The first and subsequent twenty casts all came back laden with rotting streamer weed. Whether it was to do with me fishing the lure too far into the weed or the late summer weed being too soft and dense I couldn't fathom, but either way it got the better of me.
In the end I resorted back to bouncing a five gram jig head loaded up with a Savage gear soft 4play roach around the weed. This had its limits as I knew the pike were using that weed as cover and I wasn't fishing in the cover. I'd thrashed half the stretch into foam before I got any interest and strangely I got a hard hit mid-river from an unusual suspect. I really thought a small pike or a good perch had nobbled the lure, but when I saw a small zander in the clear water I was surprised. Avon zander can be very condition specific in my opinion and on a bright sunny day and a clear river is about the worst time to try and get one by my reckoning. This one though had really engulfed my Savage gear roach imitation.
My day wasn't going to get any easier after that, and when I got a few pegs further up and found group of box jockeys having a unofficial knock up, the rest of the stretch was off the cards for me. My only option was to drop back to the bottom of the stretch and cover all the river I had already fished a second time. Time was not on my side and just as I reached the first spot opposite the boat hire shop the first family laden swan pedalo hit the water. After that they started coming as thick and fast as I have ever seen them. Two dragons and few flamingos later and the river looked like a scene from a Dr Seuss story.
Finally it was my conscience that drove me off the river. I couldn't with any good conscience continue casting even small lures into a river filled with families enjoying the last bit of summer afloat just in case an errant cast should find a boat. Ironically I did get a bit of tug just before I left the river which makes me think that all the activity might have forced the pike out of the shallows and into the deeper channel in the centre of the river. I actually think this will be really great section of river once the weed dies back a bit and the boat rental shop shuts down for the winter, so I will definitely be back especially as I know there are zander around as well.