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Cooler Nights

Make A Plan!

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It is said that if you want to hear God laugh, then make a plan.

Regardless, Dave Slater and I made our plans for a day on the Hampshire Avon in search of some large Chub and Roach.

I booked the day off of work and travelled home on the Thursday night but, as usual, the FlyBE flight was late which meant I didn't arrive home until just after 11pm. So, I didn't bother too much with preparations and went to bed early for a 5am start.

Added to the late flight was the fact that I'd managed to catch a heavy cold/flu, so I reckoned that God was already having a big smile at my expense.

No need for the alarm as I was up and about by 4.45 got my flask made, rod quiver packed, backpack sorted and the car packed. I was on the road by 6am for the 22 miles from my home to the chosen venue.

Driving through the Wiltshire countryside in the early morning mist through the valley is always an exciting time; expectations tempered by the poor river conditions, but as I drove past the Bull at Downton I began to hope for the best rather than fear for the worst.

Meeting Dave at 7am in the gloomy misty morning we made our way to the swims where Dave gave me a little 'local' knowledge on what to expect, and handed over the pre-booked baits.

So, as Dave wandered off downstream I started to set-up; first disappointment being that I'd left my landing net handle at home! No problem as I substituted the missing handle with a long bank stick, and rigged two quiver tip rods, one with a maggot feeder the other with an open ended feeder.

Bait was trickled in for about 20 minutes before the first cast, and I settled down, still hopeful, but realising that with the ultra low water level and the general 'sour' look to the river that we were both probably only fishing for 2 or 3 bites in the day.

As the sun rose and began to burn-off the early morning mist, and the coffee from my flask began to warm me up, my hope for the day reached their inevitable high.

Well, to avoid boring you all to distraction with accounts of continued casting, feeding and changing of baits and methods; come late afternoon both Dave and I were not only fish-less, but also bite-less as well.

Dave came over and gave me some of his 'secret cheese' that he has used with great success in the past, so with my last bit of optimism I baited up and cast in again.
Looking over towards Dave I virtually missed the viscious bite that ensued; grabbing for the rod and hearing the clutch giving way, I struck into . . . . . Nothing, as the smile on God's face grew larger.

Rebaiting and casting to the same sopt I sat with my hand over the rod butt, and waited.
The quiver tip gave a few little jerks and then shot over to the right, I made a lightening strike and struck into the first resistance of the day. A short, but spirited battle followed until i saw the 'culprit' a bleedin' eel of about one and a half pounds.

Now, Dave and I both agree that the only thing worse than a 'blank; is a day when you only catch a single Eel. I've never liked Eels and never will; slimey twisting beggars that swallow hooks.

So, thoroughly dejected by now, I packed up and spent a last few minutes chatting with Dave, and making plans for another trip later in the year, before driving back home. On the way back I had to stop and collect my daughter for the weekend.

As she got into the car there was a distant rumbling that my daughter asked if it was thunder?

"No darling" I replied;

"It's just God having a damn good laugh at your Dad"

Updated 28-09-2009 at 05:48 by Peter Jacobs

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  1. Neil Maidment's Avatar
    Nice report though Peter! The rivers definately need a good flushing and refresher. I was on the Trent at the weekend, similar story there with the very, very low levels. Sean's doing a write up so I won't attempt to steal his thunder, other than to say our joint results were..... marginally better, but the highlight was the company!

    Better luck next time.
  2. Peter Jacobs's Avatar
    Cheers Neil, there was an 'echo' of the laugh as Dave wnet back the next evening . . . . . . . . and caught another bl00dy 6 pounder!

    If this 'flu eases up a little then I might try few evening sessions this week.
  3. Steve Spiller's Avatar
    Get well soon Peter, fresh air on the bank is what you need...

    Nice report mate, made me chuckle.

    Another '6'!!! Hat's off to Dave, he knows his stuff!