I fancied a change of venue and species for Sunday and headed down to the Avon at Ryton Bridge and the stretch towards Bubbenhall. I can't believe that it's been six months since I was last here in search of a Chub or two and has it changed. The first couple of fishable swims nearest the hotel were occupied by a couple of novice anglers (budget rods from the local supermarket) who were rather enthusiastic about their lager intake, I think they may have fished here often as the banks had seen some heavy use and I fear it was before the season opened last week so I hastily made my way past them as quickly as the long grass would let me.
Further along the bank I spotted another angler moving from swim to swim in search of his quarry so I made a diversion completely missing out one corner of the field and river, the further I went the more evident the effect the lack of anglers walking the bank over the recent months had had on the surrounding flora and fauna, my arms are still aching today from carrying my gear over my head as I waded armpit deep in the stuff making a new track as I went whilst trying to remember where the dips in the bank were from when I fished here in the winter and the place had been laid bare by the freezing conditions. Most of the swims I'd fished in the winter were now overgrown with bull rushes so I only had a quick look at them on my way through and eventually reached my first swim with only a few scratches and stings for my efforts. The swim was already occupied by the Polish angler I'd spoken to at Ryton a few weeks ago, I didn't realise this stretch was so popular as I don't normally see anyone down here, so, I carried on to the next meadow and another swim that had seen a few fish on the bank for me at the beginning of the year.
It looked like I had this stretch to myself but it took ages to find any fish, I'd spooked a few on my way down the field but crept up on one spot to find three good Chub milling around in front of a willow stump, I crept up behind the stump and flicked out a large piece of bread flake and to my amazement it was scoffed immediately, an ill timed strike followed which merely pulled the bait out of the Chubs mouth spooking it and it's friends at the same time, game over for this swim, time to move.
I tried a few other swims but the Chub just melted away as soon as a bait was placed in the water and I fear someone may have already visited these swims before me, I eventually came across a couple of good fish in a swim that had a bed of reeds between me and them, one of those Chub was mine.
The Chub didn't know what was going on but I had it in the net in a flash.
There were no more fish but I did see a couple of new spots to try on my next trip.