Archive for December 30th, 2011

My old buddy Jules was keen to try out his new float rod with some trotting tactics, something he had not done before.  So I arranged to take him to the Hampshire Avon to hopefully help him catch his first ever grayling.  Of course, as you would expect, Geoff and Kev didn’t want to miss out on a days grayling fishing on the Avon either, so they joined us for the day.

On arrival the river looked a little coloured and up since our last visit.  Overall conditions looked good. So after a full English at the local cafe, we headed to the river.  It was even colder than yesterday and again looked like it was going to be a windy day.  We grabbed the tackle from the car and headed off upstream to find a few likely looking runs.

I helped Jules set-up his tackle and guided him through the basics of using a centrepin.  He took to it reasonably well and more importantly enjoyed the experience.  After a while, I left him to it, confident that he would soon catch.  I opted to fish a run just above him.  I waded out and ran the float through a nice 4′ deep run.  The double maggot hook bait was soon snaffled up by a fish.  It turned out to be a feisty trout and a couple more followed that one.  Then the float shot under and this time a really nice grayling was the culprit.  It looked about 1lb 8oz+ but I didn’t weigh it as I was wading out in the river.  I followed that up with another nice grayling of about 1lb 2oz and then another trout.

Julian hadn’t had much luck so I stayed with him for a while.  He was doing all the right things but failed to get a bite.  I suggested a move and after a few trots through in this new swim, the float dipped and we had a fish on.  It was a beautiful grayling of about 8oz and Jules’ first ever one.  He was well chuffed.  We carried on fishing for a while.  I managed another grayling but we struggled.  We decided to move downstream.

Julian's First Grayling

Both Geoff and Kev were struggling on the grayling front too. I think Kev had managed one and nothing but a few trout for Geoff.  We left them to it and moved down.  I had a few more grayling and then lost a big fish.  It may have been a big trout, but who knows?  Julian found a couple more grayling a a few trout, so was over the moon with his first experience of trotting, centrepins, the Avon and grayling.

As the day wore on it seemed to get even colder and windier.  Kevin found a small shoal of good quality grayling, taking several over a pound.  Geoff also found a few.  Overall we struggled at what is normally a fairly easy venue.  I can only assume the conditions just weren’t quite right for the fish.  Virtually all the fish came to maggot and I couldn’t but a bite on corn, which is normally good in coloured water.

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With the recent run of mild weather, Geoff and I both felt it was worth taking a break from the usual winter roach/grayling fishing and having a bash at the barbel again.  So on Wednesday we headed to Aldermaston on the Kennet.  It was a bit colder than earlier in the week and the wind was biting.  The river looked good.  It had a touch of colour and looked to be up since our last visit back in about October.

The Kennet

I opted for a mobile approach whilst Geoff decided to stick it out in one swim.  I went for the boilie and paste wrap method and I think Geoff swapped around with baits a little.  He also used two rods to my one (although I did use 2 in one particular swim).  I ended up fishing four swims, all with similar results: bugger all, the same as Geoff but at least he didn’t trudge up and down the river all day, like what I did!

I had one halfhearted bite, which was probably a chub, otherwise the only thing moving the rod tip was the gale force winds!  I suppose the highlight of the day was seeing a couple of Red Kites wheeling overhead and a couple of Roe deer in the adjacent field.  However it got progressively colder as the day wore on.  By early evening it was bloody freezing, so we packed up and headed to the Reading services for some well earned fish and chips.  Well, we had to get something remotely fishy in the end.

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