What a gutter, Friday night I get taken ill with a fever and stomach ache. Saturday sees the fever gone but Stomach ache was the worst I've ever had. I couldn't stand or sit up as I was in so much pain. I really did not want to miss the first round of the commercial house because that would mean my chances of individual and knockout glory would be gone. However, I was feeling so bad I did not know if I would be right for Sunday and in the end let Mark Harper know I could not make it. I could have waited longer, but then it would have made Marks job of finding a replacement harder. As it was I made the right call as I could not do a thing Saturday and am still not right today. I cancelled my casters with Tony Rixon who text me a sympathetic "ha ha ha", I did not expect anything less! So that's that, I was looking forward to Melksham as I don't get to fish the upper Avon as much as I used to.
Having spoken to Glenn Bailey I've found out it has fished pretty much how I thought it would in the conditions, good in places hard in others. Somewhat of a surprise is how well the Forest sections have fished, apparently Paul Issacs had 18lb of roach, Bob Sheppard 14lb on the wag, and Martin Reyatt last in the section with 9lb! Glenn drew at Scotland Road where he managed 3lb 8oz for only 2 points! He drew away from the fish and also managed to break a no5 section... In his own words "I wish I'd had bad guts like you!" Thatchers legend Steve Tucker has bagged a pair of last in sections, after a 1 point last week at Newbridge he equalled the feat this weekend. That's the story on clear rivers, fish shoal up and you need to draw like Rolf Harris! What a difference to last year when the Melksham match was called off the river due to flooding and put on the canal!!!
Warren Bates was practising on the Avon at Frys on Sunday (he didn't fancy the Frys match at the Kenn)and he had some nice roach and dace on the pole after balling it in. Caster was the best hookbait as is the norm with this method. On the peg just above the lone tree there were half a dozen decent chub cruising around a snag and lots of small chub in the shallows on the barge swim.
Can't say I'm really looking forward to Newbridge next week with conditions as they are, but you have to take the rough with the smooth in this game and prepare the best you can. Off to the docs so hopefully can get things sorted and avoid another alcohol and fishing free weekend!