As I write this with one further day of 2022 to go I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms – not been to Bowood for over a month and amount of times out on the bank has been severely curtailed by family matters and illness. Anyway to cut a long story short I have managed to get on the bank with Gareth for a couple of hours at Christian Malford on peg 8 of the Calne stretch of the Bristol Avon where we took two rods, a bomb rod and a pike rod with the idea of alternating as we caught/didn’t catch!
As you can see, the ground is frozen solid with a heavy frost and the air temperature was just above freezing! The pike rod was put down the side of the big slack next to weed beds while the bomb rod was also put down the slack with double maggot. Ten minutes in and there were a few bobs on the pike rod followed by it heading out from the slack- a strike brought nothing! Back out and another 20 minutes before it bobbed again and disappeared, this time a strike resulted in a feisty fight from a 4-06 jack.
No further action on the pike rod and after various minnows from the slack a few casts out into the flow with a small maggot feeder produced a few bites including a small dace of an ounce or so. After two hours and coffee finished we headed home relieved that at least we had caught.
A few days later I had a couple of hours to myself and decided to investigate the upper reaches of the Marden in Calne as Gareth had taken Zachary there and had lost a good fish, possibly a large roach. Although I have lived in Calne for a good few years and fished the Marden lower down, the stretch below the town was just a typical brook (or so I thought!). I eventually found the swim Gareth had fished and armed with a bomb rod set to with double maggot – to no avail.
I gave it half an hour and then moved further down stream, finding only one more fishable spot, that again produced nado!
Backtracking I crossed over to the other bank and discovered that the river opened out into clear swims further down that I will investigate further at some point. The one swim I did try again bore no fruit!
Christmas came and went and the only other expedition I made was to accompany Gareth and Zachary to the Kennet and Avon canal at Great Bedwyn’s Church stretch for pike. Fishing a single rod, with a brolly set up to keep the rain and chill wind off Zachary, my role was that of ghillie/fish spotter, alas there was not a single fish that topped and the pike float stubbornly remained visible despite Gareth trying various positions. Still Zachary enjoyed the two hour or so experience and was happy to see six GWR trains go by.
2023 beckons and the Teams of Four series on the K&A at Pewsey starts on the 8th which will be an interesting if difficult event. Here’s hoping for a healthy New Year to you all.