Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Wednesday 30th October -Chew Valley Lake Fly Fishing

I intended  to fish for roach on my local river Kenn as I had loads of left over bait, another option was to fish the Avon at Swineford. get to the Avon I would have to que in Bristol traffic and as for the Kenn the wind was stronger than forecast so.....a session on Chew it was.

A bank ticket in the winter is only £18 and you can take 6 fish plus catch and release.

I got up to the Lodge around 1015 and the wind looked OK in order to fish the Lodge bank but after getting my ticket it had increased and was blowing north to south, bit chilly as well.

In the interests of comfort I headed around to the North Bank were the wind would be off my back.

I already had the rod set up with 2 red dawl bachs and 1 green.

4 other anglers were on the bank plus a couple of boats in the vicinity.

I decided to settle in nearest the car park with an angler 30 yards to my left and only reeds to my right. I waded out up to my waist.

Casting was easy with the wind off my back and 4th cast I had a take and the others looked at me in astonishment lol.

After I netted it and put it in the bag two came down to me and asked what I caught it on as no one else had a pull.
I freely showed them my set up and off they went to change their flies.

I waded back out and had guy shouted down and asked if I came here often. I said no I am a match angler.

The guy nearest to me then had one on a red dawl bach.

I had another 3 fish but put one back as it was only around 1lb.

At 3 o'clock I called it a day as it was getting colder.

Quite a nice few hours.

Open match on Sunday....Bristol Avon Swineford to Jack Whites.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Sunday 27th October - Bristol Commercial House League Round 5, Bristol Avon, Swineford and Crane

The rain we had on Friday was of no real concern but the down-pours we had on the Saturday were. I did check the gauge on line at Saltford which is upstream of the match length late Saturday afternoon and it looked OK. Further checks in the evening however did show a steady rise leading to a very steep rise before I went to bed.
With the clocks going back I had a troubled nights sleep and was more or less awake from 03:30.
When I did get up at 06:00 I checked the gauge again and saw that it had peaked and was slowly dropping.

When I went out the door it felt very cold and the van windscreen was frosted over (1st one of the year). I decided to leave the pole gear at home and just took 2 feeders rods, a long rod and a whip.

I met team mates Sam and Chris in McDonalds before joining the others at the Crown Pub in Keynsham.

Team today was the same as the last outing.....
Chris (c)

When we got to the pub the word was the Upper Thames Winter League which was scheduled to be fished on the river at Melksham and Chippenham was cancelled due to the level of the river.

Chris done the team draw and came back with peg 3.
A sect (Swineford) was Brian
B sect (Swineford) me
C sect (crane) Chris
D sect (crane) Mike
E sect (crane) Sam
F sect (crane) Rich

Mike was also in the semi final of the ''knock out'' and was fishing against Rich Lacey.

As a team we were 5 points clear in our Div so needed to build on that as well.

Only one fence to negotiate today which was OK but someone had taken all the pegs from the fence posts but found my peg in the end with the help of Shane Caswell who also lent me a rope to get down the bank safely.

On the face of it the peg looked OK with a slack down the left hand side although there were a few boils. It was a full river and plenty of colour.

I just set up 2 feeder rods with a view to fishing short 30 gram and 45 gram feeders with a 14 and 12 hook. I was all set up and settled with 30 minutes to spare when I noticed a few small fish topping a rod length out so decided to set up a whip. 

A look in the rod bags and no whip.....left in in the van so decided to walk back and get it. As I passed team mate Brian on A3 he asked were I was going, told him and he lent me a whip which saved some time. I attached a 0.6 gram float and set it 10'' deep with a 20 hook.

On the whistle I went straight in with the 45 gram feeder, plenty of chopped worm and caster and a lobby on the hook. It sat there nice but when I picked the rod up to recast it was snagged and lost the lot. Went out with the other rod and cast a bit further out but that also ended up getting snagged and lost the lost again. 

So 20 minutes in and it wasn't going well. I felt my feeders and end tackle were ending up on parts of the bank which would have been visible had the water not been so high and there was also a sunken branch of a tree in the peg as well.

At this point I decided to forget about the feeder and try and get some bleak etc on the whip.

Loose feeding maggot it took me 20 minutes or so to get my first fish a small dace at 6 metres. I soon got into a rhythm and took a few more but only when the ''boils'' in front of me calmed down and the whirl pool ceased.
Lee Trevitt came down walking the bank (after coming back from the cancelled match at Chippenham) and watched me for a while and said I was doing ok.
So the whip it was for the rest of the match, caster brought a couple of better fish as did feeding small nuggets of sloppy ground bait.

I had a real mixed bag, roach, chublets, dace, bleak and minnows.

My net went 3lb 6oz which was 2nd in the whole section but also second in B Div section behind Paul Purchase who fished the feeder all day a rod length for a couple of late bream, a skimmer and some roach for 14lb 8oz.

Paul actually went on to win the match

My section board

Back at the pub we appeared to have done OK ish with Rich and Chris winning their sections and Brian and I second in section.

Our team sheet

Mike also got through to the final of the ''knock out'' so well done to him. He's up against Vince Lunn on the canal in a few weeks time.

Section weights as follows some my default....

            A Div          B Div
A         6-8               5-0
B         2-3               3-6 (me)
C         1-5               3-3 (Chris)
D         4-3               5-15
E          5-9.5           1-5
F          4-3              3-14 (Rich)

Full report and positions courtesy of Vince Lunn.....

The 5th round of the Sensas Commercial House league was fished on the Bristol Avon at Swinford and the crane. Heavy rain the previous day made the river high and coloured. There was an overnight frost with bright sunshine all day. The weights were low with only 8 anglers catching over 5 lbs.
Paul Purchase of M&N Electrical won the match from permanent peg 20 with 14 lbs 6 ozs. He fished the feeder all day just 1 rod length out to catch 2 skimmers and a couple of roach before catching a couple of late Bream up to 5 1/2 lbs.
2nd was Luke Sorokin of Preston Innovations Thatchers with 10 lbs 9 ozs from the beach.
He caught 4 to 5 lbs of bleak on the whip and then caught a bream, a skimmer and a decent roach on the feeder in close.
3rd M Kent (Mosella Bathampton B) 8 lbs 1 oz
4th S Hutchinson (Preston Innovations Thatchers) 8 lbs 0 oz
5th K Dicks (Mosella Bathampton A) 6 lbs 8 ozs
6th L Warden (M&N Electrical) 5 lbs 15 ozs
Preston Innovations Thatchers won the A division to take a 10 point lead into the final round.
In the B Div, M&N Electrical won on the day to move into 2nd place, but Sensas Nomads still have an 8 point lead.
The knockout final will be Mike Withey vs Vince Lunn
On the day A div:
Preston Innovation Thatchers - 14
Mosella Bathampton B - 12
Mosella Bathampton B - 10
B div:
M&N Electrical - 15
Sensas Nomads - 12
Midland Spinner - 8
League positions:
A div
Preston Innovation Thatchers - 68
Mosella Bathampton A - 58
Mosella Bathampton B - 54
B div
Sensas Nomads - 65.5
M&N Electrical - 57.5
Midland Spinner - 56

So still leading our Division with a few points spare and one round to go.

Open on the same stretch next Sunday.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Sunday 20th October - Bristol Avon Open, Newbridge

I was toying with going over to fish the Port Talbot Docks Open but that would have meant leaving our little dog at home alone for too long as the wife was away. Another option was trying to fish for the Hospital Team on the canal at Devizes in the ATWL but again meant I could be away for quite a while due to distance. I then remembered that Dean Harvey and Kev Dicks were running a Team / Open match at Newbridge, perfect.

Dean and Kev have filled the gap during the winter on the river as a result of the S W Winter League folding a couple of years ago. They bill the matches as teams of 4 or you can fish them as Opens.
A quick call to Dean and I was booked in.

After all the rain we have had the river would be spot on. Draw was in the Willow Cafe at Willsbridge with breakfast from 08:30 and draw at 09:30, fishing 11:30 - 17:00.

I spoke to Dean after he pegged it on Saturday morning and he advised me to take float gear as well due to the river dropping fast. I had already set up a couple of feeder rods so had to sort out my Flat Floats and some heavier top kits in case I drew a peg which was steady on the inside.

The draw was done in the order you had booked in (I think). With around 30 fishing I was in the last 3rd and picked up peg 36 plus scales and board. Not a bad peg in the winter to be honest, in the middle of the straight and with some slack on the inside.

Parking up and looking at the river I think everyone agreed it looked spot on for a bream fest.

I took the pole gear as well as the feeder rods and on arrival the peg looked good.

I set up 2 feeder rods, one for 3/4 across with a 45 gram and one this side of the middle with a 30 gram both with B560 hooks 12 & 14 to 0.15.
A 5 gram flat float top 5 at 11 metres with a 16 went through lovely, I didn't set up any other rigs.

20 minutes before the all in I walked back to the van to get a bit more ground bait, that's how confident I was.
At the start I put 8 big balls in on the pole line and then started on the shorter feeder line with half a lobby and maggot, 10 minutes in a couple of rattles but nothing positive. After 30 minutes a run though on the pole produced a net roach followed by a could of 4 oz fish then they got smaller and smaller.
Back out on the longer feeder line with a big bunch of red maggots got me a small hybrid but then nothing for ages until I had a perch.
To be honest the feeder lines were poor and I upped the feed to try and make something happen but it was a lost cause.

No one was walking the bank so it was hard to tell how it was fishing, most anglers were going bream or burst.

I wish I had set up a couple more pole rigs as the roach were definitely up for it responding to little balls of ground bait every couple of run thoughs, a long rod trotting with a crow quill would have worked as well so I now regret not setting these up as apart from Jeff Surmon on peg 40 my section was dire.

As you can see out of 6 pegs only 4 of us weighed in.

My 5lb 10oz was caught now and then in around 90 minutes, had I stuck at it longer and concentrated more I could have done double figures but as they say hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Jeff had 3 quality fish and I believe snared his big bream in the last hour to easily win the section.

Mark Harper won the match with 30lb odd of bream from peg 59, Ben Rendall had 20lb plus from peg 24 followed by Chris Ollis with 19lb from peg 22 A and Tim Ford had 15lb from peg 18.

There were quite a few double figure weights but not the bream fest everyone was expecting. I think the drop in temperatures overnight affected things.

Bristol Commercial House League match on the river next week, Swineford and Crane so should fish well.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Sunday 13th October - Bristol Commercial House league Round 4 K & A Canal Bathampton and Claverton

The K & A in this League is usually fished after Christmas but after last year it was decided to put the 2 matches in the autumn instead. My Team Sensas Nomads were responsible for pegging it, this was left in the capable hands of Mike Withey, Rich Whitmarsh and Brian Melksham.

Prior to our squad meeting on the Tuesday we decided to peg it ''out of town'' i.e. Bath and in the main the Claverton area. Not many anglers would fish this area so it was a bit of a gamble.

Team manager Mike Martin and I decided to meet up on the Tuesday before the match and give it a go. So I got 2 day tickets and obtained the gate code for the Bathampton AA car park at Claverton although I wasn't quite sure where it was.

On the morning I did drive past it and had to be talked in by Mike but it was all good and a great facility in an otherwise limited parking area.
Mike suggested we go up towards the old Swing Bridge beyond Ferry Lane. The access down the side of a bridge leading to the towpath was a little bit of a challenge but overcome. It was a fair walk up to where we wanted to fish.

Mike set up about 4 pegs below the old Swing Bridge (which incidentally isn't there anymore but you can see where it used to be). and me 1 peg below. The Canal had a nice bit of colour to it and looked lovely. Bit of early boat traffic but otherwise ok and we both had a good day catching on everything and both of us ending up with about 7 to 8lbs.

Loved the session and lost 2 decent big fish one of which I think was a chub.

After the session we went to the squad meeting in Keynsham to share our experience and thoughts on pegging.

The guys were going to peg it late on Saturday afternoon due to boats continually moving.

Rich phoned me on Saturday evening around 19:30, he had just got back and sent the pegging plan.

Parking was going to be in in 2 places, Bathampton Village by the school and in the George Pub car park courtesy of the land lord (A & B sections) and then everyone else in the Bathampton AA car park so no stress whatsoever about parking which is really important these days.

The draw on Sunday was in the Crown at Keynsham where they really do look after the anglers before and after the matches. 

Team today was..... 
Chris Hook (c)
Sam Johnson
Rich Whitmarsh
Mike Withey
Brian Melksam

Team mate Leigh Wakefield was also fishing but standing in for one of the Bathampton teams.
Mike and Rich were also in the ''Knock Out''
Team draw put us on....
A - Rich
B - Brian
C - Chris
D - Sam
E - Me
F - Mike

So I was in the same area I fished on the Tuesday and happy with that, even better when I got to my peg it was where Mike had been.

The canal had a lot more colour in it due to the continuous rain all week but I was fairly confident. To my right I had former Nomad Geraint Powell now fishing for Thatchers and to my left Kev Dicks Bathampton A. Leigh was also in my section end peg 6.
Fishing was 10:15 - 15:15 due to the loner walks.

I had already set up my rigs with hooks at home and they just needed some fine tuning. To be safe I set up 2 for down the track (4x14), 2 for across just off the shelf straight in front (0.3 gram) and 2 for the shelf left and right, 0.3 gram, one to 6 elastic and one with 5 elastic for bigger fish. Doubling up on the rigs would save time if I trashed any.

I fed some bread down the track to my right before going across left and right with choppy and caster, the worm was very finely minced and I would leave these line for an hour. Casters were catapulted across in front of me as Mike had caught well doing this. 

I had just put in my 7mm punch over the feed when I heard a splash to my left and saw Kev net a big skimmer so looked promising. I also soon had a skimmer but only about 6oz and bumped another next put in. I topped up with a small ball and this brought some roach, not big but very welcome. 

Boat traffic was quite heavy, makes you wonder where they all go!

I was keeping an eye on what was happening up and down the section as far as I could see and thought I was doing ok.
The bread line slowed so I fed a ball of ground bait down the track to my left with choppy and pinkie.

The first hour was nearly up so I had a look right across to my left towards the tree and had a good run of fish on maggot. After 20 minutes or so I topped up this line and had a look across to the right and had bites instantly mainly dace. Again didn't stay too long here and topped up before having a look on the caster right in front of me.....nothing. 
A look on the track line to my left produced a few small roach and perch but not fast and furious. Boats seemed to me getting worse and a load of canoes came up as well so decided the only place where the fish could find refuge was across by the tree.
I took fish from this area off and on the rest of the match, not big but at least I was putting fish in the net compared to others.

I ended up with 6lb 4oz which was enough to win my Div but was also the best weight across the 6 pegs. 

Full section board .....

The Canal fished well to be honest, here are the winning section weights (some by default)....

                    A Div                B Div
A                 5-11                   5-7
B                 8-5                     11-5
C                 7-0                     5-5
D                7-12                    5-3
E                 6-1                     6-4
F                 8-12                   10-8

As a Team we ended up with 14 point from 18 which is quite good and enough to win B Div.

Full results and match report courtesy of Vince Lunn..........(well done to Sam who took 3rd overall and Mike for getting through to the next round of the knock out).

Steve Kedge of Mosella Bathampton B won the match from peg D1 (downstream of Ferry Lane bridge) with 15 lbs 3 ozs. He fished bread down the middle to take 20 big skimmers up to 2lbs and roach. He had a few fish on castor over and also had a big perch on worm.

Matt Challenger of Preston Innovations Thatchers was 2nd from peg D3 with 14 lbs 4 ozs. He started on bread and had a 2 lbs skimmer first put in then had 6 smaller ones. He also caught on chop worm and castor and had some big perch and roach.
3rd S Johnson (Sensas Nomads) 13 lbs 13 ozs
4th N Johns (Mosella Bathampton A) 12 lbs 1 oz
5th J Pocock (Midland Spinner) 11 lbs 5 ozs
6th L Warden (M&N Electrical) 10 lbs 8 ozs
The 2 Mosella Bathampton teams tied for the win in A Div to gain a bit of ground back on Preston Innovations Thatchers.
In the B Div, Sensas Nomads won to slightly extend their lead.
On the day A div:
Mosella Bathampton A - 13
Mosella Bathampton B - 13
Preston Innovation Thatchers - 10
B div:
Sensas Nomads - 14
Midland Spinner - 13
M&N Electrical - 9
League positions:
A div
Preston Innovation Thatchers - 54
Mosella Bathampton A - 48
Mosella Bathampton B - 42
B div
Sensas Nomads - 53.5
Midland Spinner - 48
M&N Electrical - 42.5

Looking for match options next weekend...

Monday, 7 October 2019

Sunday 6th October - Clevedon Club match River Kenn

Well it's been a while since I have been out and mainly due to a cruise around Italy.

I had a number of options today but decided to stay local and fish my Club's match on the River Kenn in Clevedon. I am Secretary of the Club but find it hard to fish these matches due to Team commitments.

Only 8 of us today which was to be expected due to other matches around and the River Kenn is not everyones cup of tea. The River has been weed locked for a couple of months but is now almost completely clear after the EA done some serious cutting.

The decision was to put 4 pegs above Strode Rd and 4 below.

I drew peg 16, end peg below. We had plenty of room with a spare peg in between us.

Forecast was for a dry day with a moderate wind and high tide was due at 12:47 but only 9 metres so should not affect the flow too much. Lots of cold rain went in overnight and despite this the river was still clear.

Due to the upstream wind I didn't set up the waggler. I did set up the feeder but never used it slough I should have given it 30 minutes perhaps. I concentrated on 2 pole lines, 1 at 6 metres just beyond the reeds to my right with a 4x14 to a wide gape 16 where it was just over top 3 deep, target species was perch using choppy and caster. Out at 13 metres and top 4 deep I had 2 rigs, a 1 gram with a 18 and a 2 gram with a 16. Ground bait was black river and gros gardens with a bit of noire.

After feeding both lines I started at 13 metres one the lighter rig with maggot and it was going through lovely although the wind was a bit difficult at times. After 20 minutes not a bite so fed another ball laced with caster and hemp and came in on the inside with half a worm.

In 20 minutes I had a run of perch 5oz plus before it dried up so re-fed and went back out to 13 metres. Small roach had turned up and I mean small but anything was welcome.

Club mate Scott came down from peg 18 and said he hadn't had a bite, he had started on bread and it hadn't worked. While he was there I took a few more roach.

I swapped between both lines on a regular basis and kept the bites coming to finish with 6lb 11oz which was enough for 2nd on the day.

Up on peg 20 Barry Fowler didn't have many fish but what he had was quality, 3 tench and a couple of skimmers. Barry took 1st prize easily with 15lb plus.

Scott 2 pegs above me went back and refocused and managed 4lb 11oz of perch including a 2lb specimen which was enough for 3rd.

I know it was only a small knock up but I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, good access and the fact that everyone had plenty of room.

Next up for me is the 4th Round of the Commercial House League 13th Oct on the Kennet and Avon Canal.