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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Whetstone - South of Leicester
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    Hey jerry. Myself and Pete are planning a trip to your local tomorrow.
    We're planning to fish the Ouzel where we saw you last year.
    Hoping for a load more roach and dace like last time. Doubt I'll be lucky enough to snag another bream- that was a welcome fluke.
    We'll be there about 9:30am tomorrow if you are around come and say hello as I doubt you'll get a green card for a day. ;-)

    Dee
    It's not flyfishing if you're throwing bait in....learn to do it properlyHidden Content

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    Doubt I'll be able to make it, family pre Christmas do tomorrow.

    I'll see if I can sneak out for an hour or so though.

    I've barely fished the Ouzel in LB this year, I tried a couple of times in the summer but there was too much vegetation to cast from the bank and I know, from doing invertebrate sampling, that it's not safe to wade on your own.

    I fished one of its tributaries yesterday, it was low and clear but with a good flow.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Whetstone - South of Leicester
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    As a follow up...
    Myself and Peter fished the Ouzel on Christmas eve. It was lower, clearer and a touch slower than the last time we saw it in early March. It also didn't fish quite so well probably down to the conditions rather than any change in fish population.
    I still managed 20 fish - 7 roach, a tiny perch, 11 dace and my final fish was a gudgeon. That one was a total fluke but very welcome as the two of us are in a comp to get the biggest number of fish and also different species for each session - part of a fly challenge for the Lure Angling Society.
    Unusually, Pete battered me on numbers landing 31 fish but his were nearly all dace, just one roach - and we all know roach are much harder to tempt.

    For the last 1/2 hour I suggested we have a quick bash on the GUC that was only a field away - rude not too when so near.
    Here I redeemed myself with 15 fish in no time taking my total to 35. Pete added just 2 so somehow I'd pipped him in the numbers game 35 to 33 and kept up my 30 plus fish average per session.

    I somehow fluked another gudgeon my 1st ever from a canal, added a rare winter roach (never get many of these out of the cut in cold weather) with the rest all perch.
    Pete's 2 fish were both quality perch - far bigger than mine so he wasn't bothered by my tiddler bashing antics.

    Hopefully he may add a few pics as he was on camera duty...Pete where are ya?

    My best fish came from the weir where the Clipstone brook entered the Ouzel.
    From this small, deeper and faster pool I took 3 good roach on a heavy (4.5mm tungy bead) pink shrimp pattern) the biggest around 12oz which is a rare fly capture...from the waters I fish it is anyway.
    You been up to that swim Jerry?
    You need to wade a fair way upstream through the dodgy gypsy/caravan zone and there are very few good swims on the way so it is all or nothing.
    Was worth it for me though as I had 7 fish from that one pool.

    That section of the Ouzel is still a descent stretch of river that is easy to catch from in winter. Shame the perch we had last season seem to have disappeared and weird that there are so few chub in it. Two sessions on it and not one chub - not even a tiddler but we've had well over 100 fish out of it! It looks perfect for them and there are plenty downstream so where are they? I'd expect them to be the main species as they are an all of my more local similar sized brooks.
    Dee
    It's not flyfishing if you're throwing bait in....learn to do it properlyHidden Content

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Shropshire & Mid Wales
    Posts
    9,081

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Skateboard Dave View Post
    As a follow up...
    Myself and Peter fished the Ouzel on Christmas eve. It was lower, clearer and a touch slower than the last time we saw it in early March. It also didn't fish quite so well probably down to the conditions rather than any change in fish population.
    I still managed 20 fish - 7 roach, a tiny perch, 11 dace and my final fish was a gudgeon. That one was a total fluke but very welcome as the two of us are in a comp to get the biggest number of fish and also different species for each session - part of a fly challenge for the Lure Angling Society.
    Unusually, Pete battered me on numbers landing 31 fish but his were nearly all dace, just one roach - and we all know roach are much harder to tempt.

    For the last 1/2 hour I suggested we have a quick bash on the GUC that was only a field away - rude not too when so near.
    Here I redeemed myself with 15 fish in no time taking my total to 35. Pete added just 2 so somehow I'd pipped him in the numbers game 35 to 33 and kept up my 30 plus fish average per session.

    I somehow fluked another gudgeon my 1st ever from a canal, added a rare winter roach (never get many of these out of the cut in cold weather) with the rest all perch.
    Pete's 2 fish were both quality perch - far bigger than mine so he wasn't bothered by my tiddler bashing antics.

    Hopefully he may add a few pics as he was on camera duty...Pete where are ya?

    My best fish came from the weir where the Clipstone brook entered the Ouzel.
    From this small, deeper and faster pool I took 3 good roach on a heavy (4.5mm tungy bead) pink shrimp pattern) the biggest around 12oz which is a rare fly capture...from the waters I fish it is anyway.
    You been up to that swim Jerry?
    You need to wade a fair way upstream through the dodgy gypsy/caravan zone and there are very few good swims on the way so it is all or nothing.
    Was worth it for me though as I had 7 fish from that one pool.

    That section of the Ouzel is still a descent stretch of river that is easy to catch from in winter. Shame the perch we had last season seem to have disappeared and weird that there are so few chub in it. Two sessions on it and not one chub - not even a tiddler but we've had well over 100 fish out of it! It looks perfect for them and there are plenty downstream so where are they? I'd expect them to be the main species as they are an all of my more local similar sized brooks.
    Dee
    Great post, I'm going to try to purposely fish for river coarse fish next year. I used to do a lot of it until the mate I used to do this with decided to move awayWinter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish
    Isn't it A shame gudgeon don't grow to 3lbsWinter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

  5. #25

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Skateboard Dave View Post
    As SKB said, trout and grayling are more active/faster to the fly than coarse fish but that isn't the main reason.

    The biggest reason is the way most people fish.
    Classic trout/grayling fishing involves casting upstream, the vast majority of the time or down and across but then with very light wt. flies.
    Neither of those tactics will produce coarse fish in winter save for the very odd one.
    To consistently catch you have to change the way you think and fish. It then becomes just as easy as trout or grayling fishing.

    Fish either directly downstream or with just a very subtle across drift...no more than an inch every few seconds. Also fish flies that will hit the bottom in the areas where you think the fish are...that often means much heavier flies than you may think. A cast made upstream with a couple of mm tungy bead fly attached may hit the deck after only 5/6 foot of drift back towards you. Hold that same fly on a tight line downstream though and it'll be hanging just under the surface in anything but almost still water.

    Like when grayling fishing I often(pretty much always!) use a bigger heavier "sacrificial" fly on the top dropper with the lighter "taker" fly dangling downstream of it on the point position.

    Coarse fish simply ignore flies/nymphs that drift past then at the speed of the current in cold conditions. I've witnessed this thousands of times over the years...this isn't some theory I have it is a cold hard fact!
    In warm water the odd one will take but still not as readily as game fish. When it gets chilly though you need the flies to hover just in front of their noses.

    There is a reason my average catch from brooks so far this winter is around 30 fish a session.

    Dee
    Cheers Dee
    Ill give that a go

    Chris

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    I managed to join Pete and Dee on the Ouzel for about half an hour. I managed 1 tiny Perch and a Roach:



    Dee, I've never made it up past the gypsy camp, I've always been put off by the stories of them throwing rocks (or worse) at fishermen!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East yorkshire England
    Posts
    427

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    The main thing is, is to actually get out and have a go.
    Try and find an area where you know fish will be present. Then try everything different depths and different retrieves.
    I remember one cold winter day fishing a deep section of river, I was just drifting a nymph with no action at all. Feeling fed up I stripped the line in quickly to recast and was bang into a fish.
    Next cast I did the same let it drift and sink, then drop the rod low and fast twitch the line back. Again another fish.
    The fish wanted to chase a fly, across the flow.
    The fish don't read books or magazines, so try anything it might just surprise you.....

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East yorkshire England
    Posts
    427

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    Further to my last post, winter flyfishing can be very hard on you.
    I try and make sure I wear plenty of layers to keep warm. I always wear a warm hat that covers my ears, and neoprene or thermal boots that you can comfortably walk in. A flask of hot tea or coffee is a must for me. It gives me an excuse to have a break reassess my fishing and warm my hands. It's also a morale booster.
    I also keep things simple I carry less fishing gear, the less you have the less you have to worry about. Fish better with less.
    Don't take chances, stay away from steep dangerous banks that are undercut or drop into fast or deep water. Stay away from pump outlet's and flooded weirs. It's no joke falling deep into icy cold water miles from home. If you get out, you will probably find you've knackered you expensive phone.
    As for keeping your hands warm fishing, well good luck with that. I have tried every glove going and none of them seem to work for me. I can't flyfish with gloves on, and if they get wet they are worse. You might be ok so have a go and try some. I just take regular breaks shoving my hands in my pockets.
    Also take a small torch, for unhooking that big roach or perch at last light. It will also help you on your way back.
    Fly fishing in winter is tough, but can also be productive and enjoyable. Oh and everyone will think your cracker's.
    Take care and enjoy.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Whetstone - South of Leicester
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T 68 View Post
    The main thing is, is to actually get out and have a go.
    Despite the crappy conditions over the last few weeks myself and Pete have both been getting out to wet a line when time has permitted.
    Canals have been coloured and/or frozen and the rivers flooded yet a few fish have been landed but not my usual 30 per session.

    After Christmas we returned to the Ouzel at LB hoping to fish the GUC there as the rivers everywhere were in flood.
    Unfortunately the semi clear canal we'd fished last time was now super coloured (boats or the rain?) and the hoped for big perch catches I knew were not going to happen. They didn't- 4 tiddly perch between us.
    Walking up the canal in search of the next lock brought us to the Ouzel which upstream of LB, surprisingly, looked almost fishable.
    Since the canal was so uninspiring we spent the next couple of hours trying various pools on the little coloured brook. I managed a 6oz chub, a roach and nice 12oz perch and Pete also had a small chub.
    Hard work but we didn't know that length of river and probably spent 90% of the time fishing empty swims. Far better than not fishing though.

    1st December - I decided to fish my local GUC as it's closed to boats all winter so would be guaranteed to have clear water. It wasn't!
    I was just a tad disappointed to find it as coloured as the LB length we fished just days earlier.
    I decided it was too coloured to bother even trying so marched and marched! After a couple of locks (and about 2 miles!) the water was a touch clearer...enough for me to want to try and fish anyway.:
    Fishing near 2 locks I managed 8 small perch, a big fat ruffe and another gudgeon. I seem to have a knack for them this winter.
    Crappy fishing but the local rivers were totally blown and it was my only option.

    Today I headed there again - it had to be clearer this time. It wasn't!
    It was walking time, again.
    Two locks along it was even filthier so it was plan B time.
    I'd had a peek at the R. Sence when out for my Sunday morning run. It looked borderline fishable and since it was only a field away and I was decked out in my Simms chesties...
    On closer inspection it was going to be a struggle not to blank - at least 18 inches up, bombing through and with only 6 - 8" visibility. Plus the particular length of river isn't "stuffed" either so I really though I would be up against it. At least I knew the good swims and where any fish holding slacks might be. I thought just 3 swims had any chance of producing.
    The 1st one didn't! It looked massive compared to usual - twice as wide and swirling currents of dirty water meant I really wasn't confident.

    The 2nd swim was a sharp bend which is usually still and only about 8" deep on the inside. Today it was about 2.5 feet deep and flowing backwards but with a nice slack between it and the main flow a little further across. Plus there is a whole load of sunken tree running across almost the whole width of the river here - chub habitat.
    I broke my rod down so I was just fishing the top 3 sections and concentrated on the far edge of the nearside backflow.
    After several leaves, twigs and small branches the line tightened and I was attached to a fish! A big fish!! It was through the sunken tree before I'd really registered what had happened. It did only have about 3 foot to go to be fair.
    I was part gutted to loose what I thought might be my only chance of a fish but also encouraged that something was willing to feed.
    Ten minutes later the line tightened again but this time I was ready. Another big fish! I was only expecting to hook small chub as proper ones are rare from the area but this was a good one. It felt even bigger when it ran into the main flow but at least that was away from sunken branches.
    Result - 1.5lb chub landed & most importantly no dry net.
    No more takes from there so I went to the final swim which usually holds some dace & and it did today too.
    Two nice ones landed and about half a dozen twitches/taps before the swim died.
    I thought that was game over but a near bank slack below a "jam" which is normally barren tempted me to try it. I was glad I did as within seconds I was hooked into an even better chub. This time about 2.5lb which was a right struggle to land. I had to jump in, pass my rod under a semi sunken branch then had to use just the top section to get it to my hand! A right palarva but well worth it.
    2 dace and 2 proper sized chub - deff. a case of "get out and have a go".
    Dee
    It's not flyfishing if you're throwing bait in....learn to do it properlyHidden Content

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Merseyside
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

    Love this thread,I have been fly fishing for course fish for quite a few years now.Going to target some river chub this year my best up to now has been 4lb,that led me a merry dance on my 3wt,Cheers Ausie

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