LAST HOUR RESCUE!
Moving to a shallower swim reaps rewards on the Avon
AFTER drawing a total no-hoper in a fast rising RiverFest qualifier on the Severn at Shrewsbury I was left with lots of spare maggots!
Rather than waste them, I decided to spend the following day at a place on the Warwickshire Avon that I hadn’t fished for many a year.
The venue in question was the Birmingham Anglers Association controlled stretch at Fladbury, a few miles below Evesham.
I’d heard some good reports about the place, and with parking available right behind many of the swims there, it was just what I needed to get the Severn match out of my system. I also had four pints of maggots to use up!
The last time I fished at Fladbury you had to walk to the pegs, so to be able to drive along the riverbank and park where you want was a real bonus.
There are stages all the way along the length and some great-looking pegs, as well with overhanging trees and bushes on the far bank of many of the swims.
I arrived at the venue at 1pm and decided to try a very fishy-looking swim with a big tree overhanging down to the water and a lot of flood debris built up around it.
It was a swim straight out of a Mr Crabtree cartoon strip, and I felt sure that I would catch some chub and probably a few roach and perch into the bargain. First job was to plumb the depth, and I was surprised to find between 10ft and 11ft of water at different points in the swim. The river was very clear, but flowing slowly right under the snags, so I was sure that it would only be a matter of time before I was battling with chub!
I set up two 14ft Daiwa Tournament RS 14F rods with 3lb Pro Float mainlines and 0.10mm hooklengths tied to size 20 medium wire hooks.
On the one rod I fixed a DH 3g No4 Bolo and on the other a DH 3AAA Insert Peacock waggler.
Both rigs went through perfectly, but after two hours of fishing I’d got next to nothing in the net! If I was to get anything out of this afternoon session, I knew that a change of swim was in order.
I moved upstream and settled in on my second swim of the day, a few pegs below the bridge. It was much shallower here, with around 5ft of water two-thirds across the river. I swapped the insert waggler for a straight 3AAA peacock with just two No6 shot down the line and a size 18 hook tied to 0.12mm Pro Rig line.
By the time I started fishing I’d got just about an hour left to try and get something from the day in the form of a catch. A couple of chub would do it, but what followed was the most frantic hour I can recall for a while!
With time against me, I went for a bold attack and loosefed heavily with a good pouchful of maggots every put-in. A few small chublets came first and then, after 10 minutes, I struck into a good chub which came towards me at such a speed that it was difficult to keep up with. Sadly, the fish won this battle, burying its head in the nearside rushes. One-nil to them!
I stepped up my hooklength from 0.12mm to 0.14mm and tied a size 16 hook to this. Two big Lane’s maggots filled the gape nicely, and it wasn’t long before the score was pulled back to 1-1.
For the remainder of the short session I seemed to be playing chub all the time, and all was going well until a pike of around 15lb tried to ambush a 2lb chub on the way in! This happened several more times before the pike eventually got one of the chub straight across the middle and just swam off with it! Most of these were caught in the last hour!
Heavy feeding soon switched the chub on. DAVE HARRELL: RIVER TACTICS
A move upstream saw a change for the better.