Monday, 29 September 2014
The river has held its own since the worst of the winter weather. High groundwater levels have meant we have had higher flows on the Avon than we ordinarily see over the summer months. It has only really been these last few weeks that river levels are starting to look like they could do with a top up. The temperatures have been unseasonably high too making the scene positively balmy. Not like autumn at all. Real Indian summer conditions.
My first forays of the autumn after Barbus barbus have seen me in shirt sleeves and packing bottles of water rather than a Thermos - if only the Barbel would oblige. They are there, but only come out at dusk from the shelter and cover of the Ranunculus beds for a tentative nose around, but as the old saying goes there is always a chance.
I thought my luck was in the other evening. Two huge fish were spotted nosing around my carpet of free offerings (spam, hemp and sweetcorn). The sort of sight that almost makes you hope they don't take the bait! A fine and handsome Avon Chub was first on the scene. He had a liking for my huge lump of Spam and was most welcome. They don't hang about with their greedy bully boy tactics.
Then at dusk the rod thumped over.......for the first few seconds I thought I was going to catch my first barbus of the season. It's not only Chub & Barbel that have a liking for the meat - a fine Pike of around 7lbs decided on a meat rather than a fish supper. True, there is always a chance, but it will have to wait until next time.