Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Small Stream Adventures - Caught Short...

It's been a bit busy of late, and far too busy to do unimportant stuff, like fishing. It's been all work, work, work, and nothing besides and as a consequence I have become not only dog tired, but tetchy and unsettled in myself. I have kept reminding myself that going fishing is actually very important, that fishing is no mere hobby, not a thing to be picked up and put down, but the only fully rounded therapy available for the modern mind, body and soul
, and as such, crucial to my happy survival in this world. That I have not been able to do it has been, as I predicted it would be, akin to embarking upon a very long train journey and ten minutes in discovering, because you only look when you really need, that the train has no karsey.

The moment I realised I was needy, was a couple of weeks ago whilst on an afternoon fundraising mission at a local College teaching the staff basic Photoshop skills. I arrived half an hour early and with nothing better to do I decided to roll a fag and take a short walk to look at a stream passing along the college bounds, a tributary of the Warwickshire Avon.

I'd been here before, in fact I had walked some the brook many times last year when walking the dog. I'd never seen any fish other than sticklebacks along this length of typically mucky urban stream, but one day I ventured a little further downstream through a quite pleasant meadow that would, if the surrounding low rent housing estates were framed out, look very rural and there I found the first proper fish in a small pool on an overgrown bend. These were a small shoal of roach and perch, all lightweights at around the four to six ounce mark, but interesting nevertheless.

I did not expect them to be here again, but on arrival they were. The water was low and clear and the fish were clearly visible ambling around above a bright yellow police 'appeal for witnesses to an accident' sign that had been chucked in sunny side up. I got my camera out and started to shoot a video of these fish, just out of interest, but almost as soon as I started rolling, something interesting happened ~

Click on the video above

A small shoal of seven much larger roach suddenly appeared from upstream and some came into shot. I had not seen these fish coming, had no idea that such big fish would live in such a tiny trickle of water, was amazed that they did. They were not aware of my presence and so I watched their behaviour for a time and then left scratching my head. The fish were around the pound plus mark which is not a big roach in big river terms, but in a stream that can be stepped across, they are simply enormous.

I'm not going to fish for them, somehow it doesn't seem quite right, but if I return and take some samples of bait with me, I reckon they will make ideal pets!

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