I seem to have been able to fish the town waters at Stratford upon Avon rather a lot this year, due in large part to the convenient habits of my womenfolk who like to take a stroll around the town, buying a little in the way of baubles and bangles, eating a lot of expensive Italian nosh from Carluccios and generally having a girlie time out while I do the manly thing, and get right out of their way...
However, Miss Stratford Avon, so generous earlier in the season, has lately turned against me in a most demonstrative way smiting me with not just one, not two, but now three consecutive blanks. I have been skunked and skunked, again and again. Perhaps it was something that I said? Or even something that I didn't?
The first blank has been reported already and does not need repeating, the second of my trio of misfortunate trips was an early morning zander foray with Danny and Andy where Danny had a near four pounder early doors, then neither one of us had a thing for the rest of the session, and I'm not sure I had any bites whatsoever. I did take some very pretty pictures of the steaming river in its frosted meadows, and some action shots of Danny netting his zed, and they can be seen on Danny's blog as they are better off there accompanying a capture, than here illustrating a dud. We all ended up strung along the one swim, six rods out and chatting away merrily about all things fishy, so a roaring success on the social front, which was compensation enough.
The third was just last Saturday, a barbel session by plan but one frustrated on two fronts. One, the weirpool itself was like a vast bowl of swirling minestrone soup laced with lashings of weedstuffs and leafstuffs of all kinds. Very autumnal n'all, but a line could not be kept in the water for more than a few minutes without dragging lead and you ain't catching barbel recasting that often. And two, when I finally did find a way to keep the cubed meat on the deck for enough time to have a barbel find it, I was plagued by chublets twanging the rod tip every few minutes but never hooking up, no matter what I tried with them.
As usual I talked to passing anglers for at least half of the entire session and from one, extracted some very interesting information concerning the location of some very interesting 'roach', a lead that I will certainly be following up this winter.
I also struck up a working relationship with a big one eyed cob and his cohort of mates who I had eating sweetcorn out of my hand in return for them not crossing my lines and it worked because every time they wandered off to see the regular bread chuckers and then returned, they always came to see me for a little more of the mighty yellow grain and of course, stayed under my rods and lines ...
... and out of trouble.