Back on the rivers at last -Silver Fish in Winter.

starsky

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May 21, 2006
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214
Hi all,

Had my first go today on a section of the river Eden in Kent. I’ve never been before so it more of a reccy than anything else. The river was at a good height after recent floods but due to the steep and slippery banks most of the water is inaccessible . It’s a shame as there was some lovely looking water but you just can’t get close enough to get a cast . I did manage to get down to a couple of swims but had nothing. Getting out was much harder than getting down to the water I can tell you !

I visited the Upper Rother for a reccy earlier in the week and it was much more accessible than the Eden. I will concentrate my efforts there when I go out later in the week .
 

Jason 70

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Jan 3, 2020
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The congested SE
Hi Dee,
Thanks for the excellent reply and info you provided.
I had a walk around one of the stretches yesterday and it’s a nice small size so easy to cast a line on it without wading. The access is limited with steep banks and slippery as hell but there are a few spots
I can safely get a line out . Some of the runs will be perfect for the French leader .
I’m trying out the Eden on Wed and I will let you know how I get on. I’m told that the Upper Medway is about that same size as the Eden so hopefully I’ll have lots of water to cover.
From what you’ve explained the fishing is not that far off grayling fishing with the exception of fishing downstream. It’s having the confidence that you will pick fish up in coloured water.
The stream you’ve been looking at , is it the Wandle?.

Mark


Mark,

The Wandle is very close to me if you give it a bash then try and avoid the weekends it does get very busy. At weekends I travel out away a fair way for peace and quiet, leaving the Wandle for midweek sessions only.

Nice thread.
 

starsky

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May 21, 2006
Messages
214
Mark,

The Wandle is very close to me if you give it a bash then try and avoid the weekends it does get very busy. At weekends I travel out away a fair way for peace and quiet, leaving the Wandle for midweek sessions only.

Nice thread.

Hi Jason,

I’ve never fished the Wandle but walked it many years ago while I was in the area. That bit outside the bus garage looked really good. I saw loads of Chub in the park section. The reason why I never ended up fishing it was because like you I like a bit of peace and quiet with my fishing.

Where do you travel to for your fishing ?
 

Jason 70

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Jan 3, 2020
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451
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The congested SE
Hi Jason,

I’ve never fished the Wandle but walked it many years ago while I was in the area. That bit outside the bus garage looked really good. I saw loads of Chub in the park section. The reason why I never ended up fishing it was because like you I like a bit of peace and quiet with my fishing.

Where do you travel to for your fishing ?


Mark,

The various Thames Tribs.
 

Skateboard Dave

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Mar 20, 2007
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636
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
Hi Dee,

Now that’s very interesting as the Ravensbourne is my local river. I live ten minutes from the source at a place called Keston which is near Bromley. I never even thought of checking out the stretches near me as I’ve always tended to drive out to the countryside more to fish.I know your into your urban fishing but I tend to avoid as my job( tube driver) means I’m surrounded by people all day and I like to get away from it whilst fishing.
I know Goldsmiths well as my missus went there for her three year degree many moons ago.
If your going to fish on Sat I might be able to get out for a few hours if you fancy meeting up ?

Mark

Hi Mark.

I'll be down there on Sunday not Saturday.
I plan to drive down v early on Sunday morning- go for a run from Goldsmiths with my daughter to Lewisham. Kill two birds - get in a run plus recce the river at the same time. ;-)
Unless it looks a total no-no then I'll return and fish it early afternoon. I'm hoping to be back there and fishing by 1pm at the very latest.
If you are free Sunday afternoon?
The area I've been looking at is Ladywell fields which despite being in an urban area should be quite secluded - get in the brook and before you know it you are hidden away from the hoards.
I fish lots of stream in similar locations - you would be surprised how sometimes you won't see anyone all day when you could be just 20 feet from a footpath.
There looks to be about a mile of river there in a thin green belt and much of it looks to be heavily tree lined. Give me a few secluded swims with plenty of fish in them and I could be happy for an few hours there.
If you try the city zones you may be surprised to find they hold 10x more fish than the picturesque countryside brooks. Shame but that is the way it is. I'd much rather be fishing in the middle of nowhere but unfortunately that is often not actually fishing. It's going for a walk with your fly rod along a fishless river.

Dee
 

Skateboard Dave

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Mar 20, 2007
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636
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Whetstone - South of Leicester
I am also enjoying this thread as I live in the same area as Dave. For information Dave I live in Barrow upon Soar within yards of the river by the Navigation. I don’t fish at the moment but thinking about getting my old Chapman Chess rod out and giving it a go.How do you rate my chances of a trout in the faster runs between Barrow and Quorn. This stretch should be good for chub as well I think. Have you ever fished it Dave?

Hi Cooperman.

Weirdly I really don't know your neck of the woods much at all.
I've only ever fished the Soar out your way once or twice- a few years back in summer. Then I caught a few small chub and perch on tungsten headed tadpoles.
The weirs on the Soar always look superb but I tried one once when fishing a little side stream (full of small roach). That was in the middle of winter when despite the weir looking a sure fire banker I just could not catch a thing from it. ;-(
I know odd big trout come out of the Soar around Loughborough but my trout are all south of Leicester if on the Soar itself.
Check out this thread of mine if you want to know about Leicester's wild trout populations:
River Soar-Middle of Leicester

Quite a long read as it's over 10 years old but you might be shocked by some of the brownies and the numbers too.
BTW that is an old rod. ;-)

ATB

Dee
 

Cooperman

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Dec 17, 2019
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57
Location
Leicester
Thanks Dave,
Yes it is an old rod but for the amount of fishing I’m likely to do it will be fine I think. I probably bought it about 40 years ago. I’m thinking about re ringing the bottom section and trying to get some information from Chapmans but their business and website now closed but I think John Chapman may still be available to help me. I was given his contact info via this forum but as yet not able to contact him. My old Diawa 231 is loaded with a 7 weight line and I wanted to check if this is the best for the rod.
I’m sure I should be able to get a chub out of the Soar on a fly. Anyway thinking of trying now in my old age, I’ll keep you posted.
Cheers Gareth
 

jerryrum

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Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
319
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
Although my last visit to Tongwell brook (sewer?) was unexpectedly successful, at the back of my mind was an image of stripes in the clear water.
At the back of the mixed Chub and Roach shoal had lurked a few Perch that had evaded my hook.

While none of the fish were big, the Perch looked like they might have been a bit more chunky than their silver cousins. With this in mind I headed back to the brook this lunchtime.

We had had a bit of rain overnight (quelle surprise), so the brook was higher than last time a carrying and bit of colour. This meant all the fish were vague grey shapes so I couldn’t pick out the Perch from the rest. My tactic was simply to aim at the larger shadows and hope for the best.

This quickly proved not to work as I hooked in to a series of small Roach.
1e.jpg

I changed the fly to a fry pattern, safe in the knowledge that the size and colours would put the Roach off.
2e.jpg

My plan worked, to an extent. I didn’t catch anymore Roach, but the Chub came thick and fast.
3e.jpg

So another successful session, and the Perch are still a challenge for another day.

P.S. this was the first time the telescopic rod has cast a unbeaded fly, it worked fine for half an hour, but you wouldn’t want to use it for much longer than that.
 

starsky

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May 21, 2006
Messages
214
Hi Mark.

I'll be down there on Sunday not Saturday.
I plan to drive down v early on Sunday morning- go for a run from Goldsmiths with my daughter to Lewisham. Kill two birds - get in a run plus recce the river at the same time. ;-)
Unless it looks a total no-no then I'll return and fish it early afternoon. I'm hoping to be back there and fishing by 1pm at the very latest.
If you are free Sunday afternoon?
The area I've been looking at is Ladywell fields which despite being in an urban area should be quite secluded - get in the brook and before you know it you are hidden away from the hoards.
I fish lots of stream in similar locations - you would be surprised how sometimes you won't see anyone all day when you could be just 20 feet from a footpath.
There looks to be about a mile of river there in a thin green belt and much of it looks to be heavily tree lined. Give me a few secluded swims with plenty of fish in them and I could be happy for an few hours there.
If you try the city zones you may be surprised to find they hold 10x more fish than the picturesque countryside brooks. Shame but that is the way it is. I'd much rather be fishing in the middle of nowhere but unfortunately that is often not actually fishing. It's going for a walk with your fly rod along a fishless river.

Dee


Hi Dee,

I won’t be able to get out long enough for a fish on Sunday as i do the family thing at the weekends.
I will try to pop down and say hello and hopefully pick up some tips whilst at the same time having a reccy if the river for future trips.

What time are you planning to fish ?

Mark
 

Skateboard Dave

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Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
636
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
Hi Dee,

I won’t be able to get out long enough for a fish on Sunday as i do the family thing at the weekends.
I will try to pop down and say hello and hopefully pick up some tips whilst at the same time having a reccy if the river for future trips.

What time are you planning to fish ?

Mark

Hi Mark.
I hope to be there by 1pm at the latest and fish until dark - unless it is totally pants then I might pack in earlier. Fingers crossed it is fishable and holds some fish too.
I'll PM you my mobile so you can find me as I'll be doing my best to hide. ;-)

Dee
 

Skateboard Dave

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Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
636
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
Hey Jerry.

Sounds like that Tongwell brook stretch might be a winter hot spot.
I'll have to nip down and give it a bash sometime soon.
Are there fish all along it or just up near the lake overflow? I can always head to the Ouzel if it is fished out in an hour.
Also is it a freebie or am I going to get kicked off?
Didn't you have any tungsten bead flies for the perch or split shot? I bet you would have caught everyone with the right fly action.

Peter (bakerlite) had a brook/drain out his way that looked rubbish but once in a while it would fill solid with good roach ( they must have come from a connected lake). When it did the roach fishing was the easiest I've ever known - unmissable takes on huge flies (huge for roach that is - #14s & #16s). Shame there was only about 50 yards of bank with fish available but it did give a superb half hour of sport.
He'd not seen anything in it for years but late time we spoke he mentioned seeing fish there again. ;-)

Cheers

Dee
 

jerryrum

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May 13, 2016
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319
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
I’ve started ‘tying’ these at my desk today. I’ll add a hackle and some weight and see if I can’t tempt a Perch or two.
Capture.jpg

The Tongwell brook holds fish wherever there is a slightly deeper pool. The problem is these are few and far between, so much so that I use a bike to get between them.
On the map, the concrete area I’ve been fishing recently is in red, the green circles are where I have seen or caught fish and the purple circle is an area I’ve never explored as you’d have to wade due to the bankside vegetation.
Capture2 .jpg
In all honesty this is a tiny little stream, that you could jump across in most places, and that is heavily culverted in the rest. That said I have had a lot of fun exploring and winkling fish out from under the noses of the general public. The whole of the stream is free fishing (It’s so small I don’t think anyone even realises there are fish in there).
Capture3.jpg

As you can see at the top of the map, it empties in to the Ouzel. As far as I can tell it is also free fishing here. I’ve only made it this far once, and due to the distance from work I only got about 15 minutes fishing in on my lunch break. Where I fished the Ouzel was slow, shallow and wide, but a bit further downstream is a weir, and (from google maps) it looks like it gets back to a more natural course after that.
I reckon you could have a good day starting on the Tongwell brook, following it down to the Ouzel and then following the Ouzel down to the Great Ouse. Plenty of access the whole way.
 

Dominikk85

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Mar 11, 2018
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121
Location
Frankfurt
I also bought some squirmy worm material. What hook size would you use for roach and how long should the squirmy piece be? Shorter than for trout I guess?
 

Skateboard Dave

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Mar 20, 2007
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636
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Whetstone - South of Leicester
Last week I briefly tried the Ravensbourne in Lewisham (London) but that was a total waste of time - never saw a fish or any sign of anything scaly but a few local park users looked decidedly slimy.
The only interesting thing that happened was meeting Mark (Starsky) for a chat. Other than that it was a complete no-no. It did look nice though but fishless probably due to the lack of predator hidey holes- no sunken tees, no undercut banks, no streamer weed, no log jams. Nowhere for a fish to hide! I did see the sign asking "Have you seen the otters in London". No, but I've just seen one of the rivers they have emptied!

Today myself and Simon (Swelly) got out for a few hours on the little river Ise in Kettering. We chose the Ise because it is the most fish filled brook I know of. I wasn't going anywhere that might be fishless after last weeks disaster.
First thing in the morning it was minus 4 degrees, according to the car's thermometer but the sky was cloudless and there wasn't a breath of wind so it was going to be pretty nice anywhere in the sun but freezing in those shady swims. Wrap up warm and it should be superb just to be out and about.
We arrived just before mid-day a little surprised to find the water high and very coloured. The rain we had here on Tues/Wed must have been worse than I remembered it. We had caught plenty a few weeks back when conditions looked quite similar though so both of us were not too concerned.
We were both soon missing takes! Better than no takes and we knew it would just be a matter of time before we'd catch.
I drew 1st blood with 3 small roach from a near side cattle drink - why is there a cattle drink in a public park though!?
Simon then had a couple, also roach, from a swim where he had failed last time but I had caught after his failure! He'd learnt and had them for himself today! Damn, I'd have liked those two. :cool:
A little way upstream I winkled this little beauty out of a tight spot between near bank trees.
ise_19th_jan_20202.jpg
Once again it was roach or nothing - not complaining it's just strange how easy they are on this brook especially when it's coloured. On the wrong venue they can be a complete nightmare to the point where you give up trying. Find a location where they will have it though and you're laughing.
As I was missing too many takes I changed the point fly to a tiny #20 micro squirmy with a 2mm tungy. I expected this to be too small in the dirty water but it out fished the bigger fly on the dropper. Maybe the water wasn't as coloured as we thought?
I added a string of these:
ise_19th_jan_20202_roach.jpg
...and even a double header of roach from this nothing looking swim:
ise_19th_jan_20202_1.jpg
We were both adding roach from here and there as we leapfrogged our way up the stream.
As it was faster flowing upstream of the park I changed to a 3.5mm and 4mm tungy only about 18 inches apart in an attempt to get down faster in the tight little pockets of slack, fish holding water. Simon had altered his rig too but maybe a touch heavier than mine.
 

Skateboard Dave

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Whetstone - South of Leicester
The rig changed worked as I had a nice little perch followed by another roach from a pillow sized eddy behind a hawthorn bush.
ise_19th_jan_20202_perch.jpg
The first non roach catch for either of us after around 3 dozen red fins.
I headed upstream, after Simon, to find him struggling with a small chub - another non roach!
ise_19th_jan_20202_simonChub.jpg
I then poached his swim and immediately had this double header of small chublets.
ise_19th_jan_20202_doubleChub.jpg
That was the action all over for myself. A long march upstream to a hole that holds huge roach, only to find a bait fisherman in residence, ate up the remaining daylight.
Simon managed a couple more small chub and a nice roach whilst I was taking a walk! One day I'll have a 1lb plus roach from that pool. One day.
A long, muddy, very slippery hike back to the car left us knackered and far too hot despite it being around freezing again. Much of the bankside had remained frozen solid all day but the sun warmed areas were slime central.
Another great session for us. Lots caught, masses of takes and as usual not enough hours of daylight. Roll on summer.
I ended with 26 fish - 23 roach, 2 chub and a perch.
Simon had 16 fish - 13 roach and 3 chub.
A minus 4 degree frost and over 40 fish caught - winter coarse river fishing is easy. :whistle:
 

jerryrum

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May 13, 2016
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319
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
Well I have had an attempt with the worm patterns and still no Perch!

Plenty of Roach and Chub, so I shouldn’t complain, but it is very frustrating.
td1.jpg

The water has cleared down again, so I could see the different fish in the mixed shoal, and I could even see their reactions to the fly.
As the fly lands the whole shoal darts away, but only a short distance. As the fly sinks the Roach are the first to come back and investigate. If I just let the fly sink, or only use a slow retrieve the Roach will take it.

If I use a fast retrieve the Chub swoop in and take the fly, but the Perch always hover toward the back. I have tried a jigging / jerking retrieve and I tried changing to a size 10 weird very red fly (self tied) which works for Perch on the canal. None of the fish took that.

So short of anyone on here coming up with suggestions, I am going to give up on the Perch and just go back to enjoying the more obliging species.
In the meantime here is a photo of my rod straddling the more natural, but less accessible section of the brook. I might yet put my waders on one lunchtime and give it a go.
td2.jpg

Only trouble is I might have to squeeze through here to get to it!
td3.jpg
 

jerryrum

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May 13, 2016
Messages
319
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
New venue this time.

This is a severely straightened roadside ditch but (as far as I can tell), it's technically a chalk stream.

CS1.jpg

That said, the natural spring is heavily augmented by the outflow from a sewerage works, and a road widening scheme means that there is almost nothing natural about the course of the water.

Just to add to the issue, it looks to be dredged and have vegetation cleared pretty regularly. Leaving the fish no cover from predators, of which I found evidence:
CS3.jpg

So two hours and and about two miles of walking later.

One, beautiful, Chub

CS2.jpg

A lunchtime well spent.
 
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