Tony Miles Returns from his holidays

Tony Miles Returns from his holidays

Back from Tenerife now after two brilliant weeks in the sun, but unfortunately some medical issues to deal with. I am facing two more weeks of uncertainty as to the progress of my prostate cancer, having had the six-monthly blood test on Monday and now awaiting the consultation with the urologist on November 4th for confirmation of the latest PSA reading. Hoping I won’t need radiotherapy as that will wipe out the coming winter’s fishing, having lost the bulk of last winter after my heart attack. Don’t bother getting old!!

As well as that, Fran has been hobbling around in pain for six weeks. Her left knee has long standing cartilage damage and she could be facing surgery. So I’ve been with her at hospital for tests and X rays and consequently only yesterday was free for fishing. Because she is currently so immobile I only wanted to be local and had another trip to the Avon. This time I went to a stretch where I found a cracking swim on my last visit with a mid river raft coinciding with a depression and a near bank crease. A perfect set up. The only problem then was a bunch of spindly willow branches, out of reach over deep margins, spreading down to the water surface, preventing a cast without getting continually snagged. So this week I went prepared with my long handled tree loppers.

On arriving at the swim I went to work, taking out just enough of the lower branches and only as far back as necessary so that I could fish efficiently. I hadn’t arrived until 2.00pm and it was well after 3.00pm when I started fishing. I’d introduced around twenty squabs on my arrival. The set up was exactly as described for my first blog, but what I most definitely wasn’t pleased about was that, even before I’d cast in, there was a commotion under my own bank a few yards upstream, and then another bloody otter came swimming by. I’m sure the damn thing was grinning at me!

There’s nothing much to report. As always when using the Meat Beast small fish were attacking it continuously. There is never any question about the bait. If there are no barbel bites, the fish aren’t there, it’s as simple as that. In the event, three crashing takes amongst the myriad bumps and twitches resulted in three bream. They were average for the river, from 4lb to 6lb. The last of these came at 10.30pm and that was my signal to pack up for the night. The river was rising steadily as I left, following three hours of torrential rain earlier. Once that swim is carrying perhaps another 18”, with a good colour, I just know I’ll get a good barbel there.

Tony Miles

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