Due to the numbers of teams and the difficulty in pegging for 168 anglers participating in Angling Times South West Winter in a more or less straight line on the Bristol Avon the League was divided in to two divisions – A and B. I had now left Ridgeway AA and joined Golden Carp AC captained by Colin Golding. Golden Carp was in the A division and were always a team challenging for top spots.
The second match of the series was to be fished at Limpley Stoke. I drew A section the Avoncliffe end which was always a good section as there was plenty of flow at this end. I was drawn at A6 which was six pegs below the Avoncliffe Aqueduct. I found myself below the good bush pegs 2 & 3 which are where the fast broken upstream water slowed due the change of the depth of water, both good Roach pegs. I often wished for these pegs but never got to fish them. I was also above the sought after “below reed bed swim” peg B2 where a Bream shoal resided, but didn’t always show, a match winner if they did.
After a long drive to Avoncliffe where the parking is very limited (there is now a small car park just over the aqueduct). It was always touch and go whether you could park close; you didn’t want to be left up in the narrow road. Luckily an angler had dropped his mate off and I was able to jump in his space. After climbing down the steps to the train crossing and climbing over the five bar fence I only had another 200 yards to go! The picture left is a view upstream from the Aqueduct looking towards Barton Farm.
The weed bed just below the weir is where at the age of 14 Dad allowed me to wade out to the edge of the weed bed, which I always liked to do and taught me how to cast up stream and allow the float to move past me working it down stream. We did this using the centre pin reel and lifting and lowering the rod tip. Dad insisted I keep the line with less than 3 inches of slack above the float tip making the striking of the fast biting Dace easier. We caught both Roach and Dace to 10 oz on caster or malt hook bait. Dad could do this without the line touching the water without lifting the float
Back to the match. Matey Gordon Jones from the Charlie Jones dynasty fishing for City of
had drawn peg 3 – lucky bugger – he will catch the Roach if they’re feeding. My
peg was where the water shallowed again picking up speed and was wider than
most pegs. At the end of the peg there was streamer weed. I set up two float
rods. Both 13 foot ABU Zooms. One for the Crow quill, the other for a home made
3AAA Peacock waggler. I started on the Crow quill with maggot hook bait and was
soon catching a Minnow every cast. So it was on to the caster and I had two
small Roach but was missing loads of bites – more Minnows. I was going nowhere.
I had a walk up to Gordy who was as expected catching quality Roach on caster.
I went back and decided to fish the waggler to the far bank close to a small
tree with caster, Unfortunately it was too far to feed, but once again I was missing
bites from minnows. On pleasure sessions I had been catching Chub on the
Shallows at Saltford with hemp and tares so I switch to tare hook bait and
loose feeding tares which because of their weight and aerodynamics I was able
to feed close to the tree. I then landed three Chub in three casts; I then lost
one in the near side weeds. I was please with the ratio of 3 to 1 as the
Bristol Avon Chub are famous for diving into the bank in a blink of an eye. That
was it for me the three Chub and bits weighed 7lb 10oz for 5th
As expected Gordon Jones landed 14lb 14oz of quality Roach for 2nd overall.
Melvin Holbrooke won the match with a good net of Hybrids.