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  1. River Kennet - Marsh Benham 0830 - 1330 Cool, calm and mainly overcast with milky sunshine at times. AT 1º - 6ºC. River still quite full but down a few inches on my last visit 4 weeks ago. 4 Chub; 5lb 2oz, 4lb 7oz, 3lb 13oz and a pounder. A doz Roach - mainly quite small with a couple of 'netters' of around 10oz. 1 Brownie; 1½lb. Surprisingly scratchy start to the morning - fished the carrier down and only had fish from 2 swims (the smaller chub & trout and the roach). Thankfully the main river had dropped enough to A: be accesible and B: be fishable - if still a little
  2. River Kennet - Thatcham 0900 - 1245 Bright and sunny after a frosty start. AT was 11ºC when I packed up. River very full - but quite clear. 2 Chub: 3lb 13oz & 2lb 5oz. A dace and a brownie - both around 6oz. Bit of a gamble which nearly backfired - very few floodwater swims at this venue - though there is a nice near bank eddy which usually produces a nice chub. Alas if it was in residence it wasn't hungry as all I extracted from the swim were minnows (yes, Martin - there are some still in the Kennet!). I didn't really have a plan B after this inauspicious start however
  3. River Kennet - Speen Moors 0830 - 1300 Cold, cloudy with a stiff, chilly breeze. AT around 1º-2ºC all day with significant wind chill (!), showery drizzle for last couple of hours. River very full - but clear. 4 Chub; 3lb 5oz, 2lb 12oz, 2lb 7oz, 2lb 2oz. 5 Dace - all small. 3 Brownies 1½-2½lb - also lost an enourmous trout - had it on for ages and got a good look at it - my pb is 8¾lb and this was a similar size - don't usually mind when a brownie throws the hook - but a bit gutted when this one did! Surprisingly productive session given the conditions - a strong cross wind
  4. Kennet Carrier - Marsh Benham 0815 - 1345 Cold with fog - which eventually cleared for the last hour. AT -2º -> 4ºC, rings icing up till midday. Stream very full with just a hint of colour - perfect winter nick! 8 Chub: All bar one over 2lb; Best, 4lb 4oz, 3lb 9oz & 3lb 4oz. 2 Doz Roach & Dace (2/3rds Roach) A couple of the dace were lumps - one went 10oz the other, unweighed but of similar stamp. 1 Perch- small(ish). 4 Trout between 1¾- 2½lb. Day got of to an inauspicious start with 3 trout from my first 3 trots - not what I wanted from a morning's winter chubbi
  5. River Lambourn - Shaw 0930 - 1200 Cold and cloudy. AT 0º-2ºC. River very full but, as always, crystal clear. 10 Grayling - all small with a couple around 8-10oz. 11 Trout - a netter (probably close on a lb) with the rest parrs - bit of a nuisance - in the same way minnows are! Repeat of last weekend with the Kennet completely out of sorts after 1¾ inches of rain since Weds. A couple of hours on the bank to cure cabin fever - after being stuck at home yesterday with no electricity for 8 hours - the fishing stove was pressed into domestic duties for copious amounts of soup an
  6. River Lambourn - Newbury 0830 - 1130 Cold & bright. AT -2ºC -> +1ºC, line freezing in the ferrules most of the morning. River 'full' and crystal clear as always. 17 Grayling; 4 'pounders' - best 1lb 9oz & 1lb 5oz. 6 Brownies a pounder (actually probably nearer 2lb) and 5 smalluns/parrs. Default venue when the Kennet and conditions are sub-optimal and a much better return than my last two trips here - the extra depth of water clearly making a big difference. Still most swims produced just 1 or 2 fish apart from the last one which yielded 5 including both of the bi
  7. Kennet carrier - Marsh Benham 0915 - 1345 Cold, calm and cloudy. Temps hovering around 0ºC all day (-1º when I arrived, +1º when I packed up). River in fine winter condition - gin clear and at normal levels. 9 Chub; 6X2lb+ - best 3lb 3oz (first fish caught!). A doz Roach - all a 'nice' size but nothing to trouble the scales. 5 Dace; best a clonker of 13oz. Half a doz Brownies - most around the 2lb mark - with one nearly double that. Got a few days off either side of this coming weekend as I have a 'big' birthday coming up. Original plans had been to get away somewhere (Jaq
  8. River Kennet - Hambridge 0915 - 1315 Cool, calm and bright. AT 3º - 6ºC. River at normal winter levels and quite clear - looked in great nick. 1 Chub; 1½lb. 3 Perch; 1lb 9oz, 1lb 6oz and a sub lber (but not by much!). 7 Roach - all handsized. 7 Dace - 3 in the 6-8oz class. 4 Brownies - a lber and 3 smalluns. Usual tactics to snaffle a decent chub from the off meets with a rare failure (I'm blaming the bright conditions and a trout first cast!) - only chub I did get turned up amongst the dace mid session. Nice to see some perch turning up here (they seem to appear once a yea
  9. River Lambourn - Shaw 1200 - 1400 Cold with 'milky sunshine. 2 Grayling - a 'netter' and a tidller. 3 Brownies - one close to 1lb, the others only slightly bigger than parrs. Bit of a struggle - with none of my usual swims producing so much as a bite - probably because 2 other anglers had already worked there way up the water!
  10. Northcroft Stream - Newbury 0845 - 1115 Cold and bright. AT 0º - 3ºC. River still up a tad but with little colour. 2 Chub: 4lb 5oz & a chublet of around a pound. 6 Dace - a couple of gooduns. 3 Roach - handsized and a 1lb+ Brownie. Successful plan to start 2021 with a good chub achieved within 5 mins of wetting a line (though had been trickling in maggot for a good 15mins before starting to fish). Smaller chub turned up amongst the dace and roach and being a little washed out in colour had me skipping a heart beat as I netted it - thinking it was a 1lb dace!
  11. River Kennet - Speen Moors 0800 - 1430 Cold and bright - clouding over after lunch. AT -1º - 3ºC. Line freezing in the rings for the first couple of hours! River up a good 6+inches on last visit (over the bank in several places) and carrying quite a bit of colour - way more than I expected to see! 2 Chub; 2lb 14oz, 2lb 9oz. 6 Roach - all small. 2 Dace - one good fish of 8+oz and a tiddler. 1 Brown trout (though it was bright silver - sea trout???) 1½lb. Plan for today was originally to explore some new swims - a strategy that was quickly abandoned when I saw the conditions
  12. River Kennet - Hambridge 0900 - 1230 Cool & overcast (4º - 7ºC). Calm before the storm! River up a good few inches with a tinge of colour - looked in great winter nick! 3 Chub: 3lb 14oz, 2lb 15oz & 1½lb. 5 Roach - all quite small. 4 Dace - one clonker of 10oz the rest all small. 1 Grayling & a Brownie (both around 10oz), 1 Bleak. Pre-emptive strike before Storm Bella arrives this evening and stuff's the river up for the next few days! Slow but steady sport all morning - didn't move from one spot - everytime I thought about resting the swim I had another fish.
  13. River Lambourn - Newbury 0800 - 1045 Bright and cold (2ºC) with a 'fresh' northerly breeze! River up a couple of inches on last visit but gin clear despite heavy overnight rain. 9 Grayling - best 2 weighed in at 1lb 1oz & 14oz - the rest around half this stamp. 2 Brownies - a 'pounder' and a parr. Usual pre Christmas jaunt to use up some bait due to the bait fridge getting its annual deep clean - as the maggots get evicted for a few days and it's comandeered for Christmas duties. Fishing was usual catch a couple and move on tactics - still a little 'scratchy' for here
  14. River Kennet - Thatcham 0915 - 1245 Bright with squally showers. AT 9ºC. River up a few inches with a tinge of colour. 1 Chub; 1lb 13oz. 1 Grayling; 1lb 5oz. 5 Roach, 2 Dace & 4 Brownies - an old warrior of 4lb 12oz & 3 parr fish. My first visit here this season - mainly due to the fact that the venue has been closed whilst a new foot bridge across the Kennet was built. I usually consider this more of a summer venue so quite pleased with this morning's return especially as the river was sub optimal. Grayling in particular was a surprise - rare to see them this far d
  15. River Kennet - Speen Moors 0745 - 1345 Overcast start (drizzling when I left home) becoming bright and breezy. AT 7º-9ºC. River at normal levels. 8 Chub: 4lb 7oz, 3lb10oz, 2lb 15oz, 2lb 11oz & 4 small ones. 7 Roach - most hand sized, 4 Dace, 1 Gudgeon, 1 Bleak & a 2lb Brownie. Pleasant morning playing hunt the chub, started off with the 3lber from a spot that only usually gives you one chance - and so it proved as resting it for an hour produced nothing more. Fished around half a dozen more swims in all with the rest of the decent chub coming from the penultimate on
  16. River Kennet & Carrier - Marsh Benham 0745 - 1315 Cool, calm & cloudy. AT 1º - 3ºC. River quite full - though somewhat surprisingly (and contradictory!) the carrier was on the low side. 4 Chub; 4lb 10oz, 3lb 1oz, 2lb 2oz and a chublet. 18 Roach - few of any size bar one which went 12oz. 4 Dace, 1 Perch, 8 Brownies - 2½ - 3½lb & 2 Rainbows 2½lb & 4+lb. Pleasant morning's trotting - chub as ever were the target - though most of my 'banker' swims were full of trout. Did eventually find a swim where the chub got a look in and had all 3 decent fish in quick succe
  17. Northcroft Stream - Newbury 0745 - 1000 Misty & murky 7ºC. River at normal levels and quite clear. 3 Chub; 2lb 14oz, 2lb 13oz, 2lb 5oz. 6 Dace & 2 Roach - all small. Successful chub hunt - though was hoping for something a little bigger. My usual 'banker' swim here produced not so much as a bite - thankfully they were all in my back up swim!
  18. River Kennet - Aldershot Water (Brimpton) 1400 - 1530. Still misty and overcast. 10°C. River at normal levels. 1 Chub; 3lb 3oz. 1 Dace. 3 Brownies; 2XPounders - (probably same fish!) So the plan was to end the day as I'd started it - hunting chub, and a return to a spot I last fished back in September. Chub first cast which was an excellent start - alas trout then trashed the swim - had all 3 in quick succession and they all jumped and caused a commotion on the surface - resulting in just a solitary dace for the final hour.
  19. River Lambourn - Shaw 1030 - 1300 Still dull and misty. AT 9ºC. River on the low side. 11 Grayling; A real mix of year classes (and hence sizes). Biggest 1lb 13oz (!!) with another 3 an ounce or so either side of 1lb ( the usual maximum size here). 6 Brownies most 6-10oz with one well over 1lb. Well I wasn't expecting that! Pretty sure that's my biggest grayling from this stretch - I've gone back over 20+ years of diaries and can't find a bigger one! Caught from a very shallow run as well, not the spot I'd expect a big lady to be hanging out (though looking at the size of t
  20. Kennet & Avon Canal (flowing), Thatcham 1100 - 1330 Dull and breezy. AT 11ºC. River at normal levels and quite clear. 6 Dace; 5 over 8oz - biggest 15oz !! 1 Gudgeon. Another trip to an infrequently fished (and less than reliable) venue but one which has thrown up decent dace and chub in the past. Nothing quite in this class however - a female almost in full breeding condition (3 months early). My biggest dace for 11 years, since this day.
  21. River Kennet - Arrowhead (Thatcham) 0715 - 1030 Dull and quite breezy, temps around 10ºC. River at normal levels with little colour. 6 Dace, 1 Roach & 2 brownies - all small. Scratchy session to a venue I only visit every other year or so but which in the past (well 13/14 & 14/15) was a nailed on banker for big chub and perch ( see here as an example). Strange as the place still screams fish but I've caught very little here since those 2 winter campaigns (And not a whole lot prior to that). Today I did have the excuse of a couple of splashy trout - the first 2 fish
  22. River Kennet - Speen Moors 0930 - 1415 Bright and breezy, clouding over with the wind dropping. Mild. River in good nick. 4 Chub 4lb 14oz, 3lb 12oz, 2lb 6oz & a chublet. 4 Roach - best c8oz, 2 Dace, 1 Gudgeon & a brownie. Had planned to do quite a bit of wandering today but ended up refamiliarising myself with a favourite swim of old. Back in 2004 (25th Sep to be precise) I had 4 chub for over 21lb from this spot (fish of 6.05, 6.0, 4.11 & 4.06), plus 2,5lb bream and a 2lb perch! However since that red letter day I've had nothing remotely that spectacular from h
  23. River Kennet - Hambridge 1045 - 1345 Cool, milky sunshine. River at normal autumn levels - much lower than expected after a really wet month. 4 Chub; 4lb 6oz, 3lb 6oz, 3lb 2oz, 1lb 15oz. 7 Dace (4 chunky ones). 1 Grayling, 2 Gudgeon & a Brownie. Hooray - banker chub swims gives up more than one fish! Had three in the first 20 mins with the 4th one coming after resting it for over an hour whilst I explored elsewhere.
  24. River Lambourn - Newbury 0700 - 1000 Cool and misty. River quite low especially given how wet October was. 8 Grayling; All between 8-10oz with a couple a tad bigger. 6 Brownies - a couple of netters - the rest were parrs. Scratchy morning's trotting - fish thin on the ground - most of my usual banker swims turned up nothing - think they were just too spooky in the clear shallow water.
  25. Lower Itchen Fishery 0800 - 1800 Bright and breezy, clouding over in the afternoon. River quite full (though has clearly been a lot higher recently) 20 Grayling; 9 over lb - best 4, 2lb 2oz, 1lb15oz, 1lb 12oz, 1lb 10oz. 4 Chub; 3lb 13oz, 3lb 6oz & 2, lbers. A dozen plus (too many!) trout to 4lb+ - mainly browns with a couple of silver tourists! 2 Salmon Parr. Very slow morning followed by a lively afternoon. My first half a dozen swims produced just one decent grayling (first cast of the day as well) and a LOT of trout. In hindsight I should probably have stopped using
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