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

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
I tried Jerry's water today - the Tongwell Brook overflow next to Tongwell lake.
It wasn't great! Right next to the lake outfall there was a deeper clear concrete enclosed pool of about two and a half feet deep. Unlike when jerry described it though the water was ultra clear. There were shed loads of fish in it - I estimate around a thousand! many small chub, roach and a sprinkling of stripy perch plus a tiny jack enjoying being surrounded by it's lunch.
Because of the super clear water the fish were stupidly spooky. I find when it gets like that the more fish the worse it gets are fear transmits through the shoal.
I managed 3 tiny chublets after a few fly changes - a black and peacock spider with a 2mm tungsten head worked. There were no fish to be seen anywhere else in the brook. Just downstream of the shoal the depth was only 3 or 4 inches so the fish were/are trapped in that "hole" until rain or a cormorant finds them. ;-( They looked so vulnerable to a predator attack. Fingers crossed for them as it would be a shame if they were to all get scoffed.
I toyed with the idea of getting in the pool and kicking up some silt and then plundering the captive shoal. I'm pretty certain it would have worked but I fancied exploring as I knew exactly what that swim held and an element of the unknown really adds to any fishing session.
I followed the Brook for about a mile down to where it joins the Ouzel which is a proper sized river not a ditch. The Ouzel was high and coloured in stark contrast to the crystal water of it's tiny tributary. It wasn't overly fast or high though but, like almost every river, had been over it's banks recently as evidenced by the piles of debris deposited on the adjacent fields.
ouzel_25jan20205.jpg
Wider than my usual venues but a colour that I'm use to now. ;-)
A local bait dangler was catching sliver fish regularly from a slack swim so I was pretty confident.
I had a string of small bleak right from the off by casting almost anywhere - the river must have been full of them.
ouzel_25jan2020.jpg
Cast anywhere in the flow and you would get instant takes but hitting them was another matter. I was trying to concentrate my efforts anywhere that I thought might be a little deeper and slacker in an effort to find roach and perch. After maybe a dozen bleak (I've not had any for ages!) I finally got something better from a deeper hole under some near side tree cover - perch.
ouzel_25jan20203.jpg
That was the only take from that zone so I headed on trying to find somewhere that would throw up a red fin.
 

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
Finally a swim that I thought was too rapid for my 2 flies to get down in produced my target species.
ouzel_25jan20202.jpg
No more from the area though and even the bleak had dried up so I marched on towards the Ouze itself.
The last few hundred yards of the Ouzel were much better - every swim gave loads of takes and every couple of swims along the bank was occupied by a coarse fisherman - they obviously knew where to go.
Along here I added another perch, 3 more roach, a couple of tiny. tiny chub, loads of bleak and 4 of these:
ouzel_25jan20201.jpg
Winter rudd! Been having a few of these this winter.
I had to leave at 2:30 but wished I could have stayed until dark trying for a better roach or a proper chub.
It was really nice fishing a bigger unknown stretch of river for a change.
A also had this ridiculously tiny roach - about as small a fish as you can get on fly!
The picture will show you the type of micro squirmy that I use -#20 fine wire with a 2mm tungy bead.
ouzel_25jan20204.jpg
The ex small squirmy material is from a "tangle hairy junior" toy. Each toy has masses of "hairs" in 4 different colours so if you choose well you only need buy one.
After extensive searching (on ongoing task) this is the best source of micro squirm material I've found.
The dubbing an all of my red "worms" regular or ex small is Hends Spectra dubbing in a deep blood red - works as well as anything.
Dee.
 

jerryrum

Well-known member
After reading about Dee’s successful excursion on the Ouzel, I have been eager to get back down myself.

Work has been busy, so today was my first chance.


Unfortunately my own attempts did not yield similar results. I blanked. But at least the weather was nice.

There has been no serious rain in a while, but the river is still up and coloured.
B1.jpg

the stretch I fished had only one decent back eddie, for the fish to hide in, but no luck there.
B2.jpg

I tried a few different patterns, but mainly for the different weighted beads.

It was interesting to see the differences to the shape of the river the floods had made. There was a flattening of the banks, one slow pool that has always been a favourite is now a rapid, and one tree was missing altogether.

In general the banks are pretty devoid of slacks and cover.
B3.jpg

With the storm headed this way at the weekend, I may be going back tiny streams for a while to come
 

William Hurst

Member
Points
3
Location
Retford Nottinghamshire
I tried Jerry's water today - the Tongwell Brook overflow next to Tongwell lake.
It wasn't great! Right next to the lake outfall there was a deeper clear concrete enclosed pool of about two and a half feet deep. Unlike when jerry described it though the water was ultra clear. There were shed loads of fish in it - I estimate around a thousand! many small chub, roach and a sprinkling of stripy perch plus a tiny jack enjoying being surrounded by it's lunch.
Because of the super clear water the fish were stupidly spooky. I find when it gets like that the more fish the worse it gets are fear transmits through the shoal.
I managed 3 tiny chublets after a few fly changes - a black and peacock spider with a 2mm tungsten head worked. There were no fish to be seen anywhere else in the brook. Just downstream of the shoal the depth was only 3 or 4 inches so the fish were/are trapped in that "hole" until rain or a cormorant finds them. ;-( They looked so vulnerable to a predator attack. Fingers crossed for them as it would be a shame if they were to all get scoffed.
I toyed with the idea of getting in the pool and kicking up some silt and then plundering the captive shoal. I'm pretty certain it would have worked but I fancied exploring as I knew exactly what that swim held and an element of the unknown really adds to any fishing session.
I followed the Brook for about a mile down to where it joins the Ouzel which is a proper sized river not a ditch. The Ouzel was high and coloured in stark contrast to the crystal water of it's tiny tributary. It wasn't overly fast or high though but, like almost every river, had been over it's banks recently as evidenced by the piles of debris deposited on the adjacent fields.
View attachment 22390
Wider than my usual venues but a colour that I'm use to now. ;-)
A local bait dangler was catching sliver fish regularly from a slack swim so I was pretty confident.
I had a string of small bleak right from the off by casting almost anywhere - the river must have been full of them.
View attachment 22391
Cast anywhere in the flow and you would get instant takes but hitting them was another matter. I was trying to concentrate my efforts anywhere that I thought might be a little deeper and slacker in an effort to find roach and perch. After maybe a dozen bleak (I've not had any for ages!) I finally got something better from a deeper hole under some near side tree cover - perch.
View attachment 22392
That was the only take from that zone so I headed on trying to find somewhere that would throw up a red fin.
Hi del there's plenty of Rudd in the chesterfield canal plus bream and roach but we have gooseanders and the black death having them we also have the river idle some good perch and pike go on utube ginger fisherman and doms fishing
 

morayfisher

Trust Member
Points
48
Location
Moray, Scotland
Only just come across this thread but I’ve really enjoyed reading it all.
Not that sort of fishing available up here so very interesting.
I do like using light tackle as well.
 

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
A couple of weeks back myself and a mate made the trip up the A50 to the Stafford BFFI show but didn't stay too long as fishing is better than shopping!
On the way back we called in to the reliable Black Brook for a short session which was hampered by the start of storm Ciara trying to blow us into the small river.
The brook wasn't looking too bad though - nice touch of colour and not bombing through too badly. The sky was bright and so if you ignored the gales it was quite pleasant, we just had to catch a fish or two.
Phil who was with me is a total novice on the fly so the main aim was to get him into a fish or two. He'd purchased some small bead heads from Richard of SKB when at the show. I thought they looked about right for silver fish but he needed something heavy up the line to get them down in the flow - one of my 4mm tungsten taddys.
He managed to miss a couple of takes from the first spot so we knew things were working. he handed me his rod to see if i could do any better and within seconds I'd got a small roach - the cheap SKB flies worked! I knew they looked right. ;-)

blackbrook 8-2-20.jpg


Takes dried up from there after Phil had missed a couple more taps so we headed downstream, Phil sticking to the bank whilst I waded enabling me to milk the far side swims.
I was soon catching dace after dace from a nice far side slack which was just out of reach to Phil but he was also getting a take or two.
blackbrook 8-2-20 phil.jpg
Phil in the trees on the near bank - he is in there somewhere.

He actually had a couple of fish on that threw the hook but didn't manage to get anything on the bank. He must have had at least 20 takes. bumped a couple and lost a couple so it wasn't an action free couple of hours for him.

I ended with about a dozen dace, a couple of small roach and yet another one of these - getting them every time out on the BB recently.
blackbrook 8-2-20 gudgeon.jpg

Gudgeon - I do love them despite their small size. They remind me of bait fishing the river Soar as a youth. I wish the huge shoals would return one day but I suspect that will never happen with the predator issues.
No chub again? Weird, but the dace in the fast water make up for it.
 

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
Yesterday it was back to the BB in Loughborough but this time with Simon (Swelly) for an afternoon session.
I'm glad we chose Saturday as it would have been blown today thanks to the heavy overnight. You have to strike when you can - never been more true than this winter.
We didn't arrive at the brook until about 1:30pm so needed to get a move on.
It was looking about perfect - fast flowing and with good colour but not chocolate. This little brook is so much easier when carrying quite a bit of sediment probably because it is so shallow - a deep hole is only about 3 foot on the stretch and many of the dace swims are only 12 to 18 inch deep.
We were both getting takes from the off. I drew first blood with this little dace.
blackbrook 22-2-20.jpg


It came from a slight slack just bellow a far bank culvert.
blackbrook 22-2-20 swim.jpg
I them had a better dace from the near side where Simon had failed despite having a few takes. ;-)
blackbrook 22-2-20 dace.jpg
We worked our way downstream, both catching dace from various swims but nothing else.
Simon added a small chublet from another culvert so there was something other than dace having a go - nice to know.
 

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
Just below where Simon was catching was the log jam I'd fished a few weeks back. It was much faster yesterday though so above the dropper fly I added a couple of no1 split shop as I wasn't sure the flies were getting down.
It seemed to work as I had two of these in consecutive casts!
blackbrook 22-2-20 gudgeon.jpg

More gudgeon! I think Simon was a little green as he's never had one on fly - he needs to fish that brook more often.
A little later I fished the swim where he'd had the chublet and caught...another gudgeon! I'm a gudgeon machine lately. ;-)

We walked right down to the Soar junction but it was really poor down there - deeper and easier for the cormorants to hunt? That is my theory as all the fish seem to come from shallow water which is probably too shallow for the orible black things to get under the fish.
We headed back just stopping at the hot spots for a cast or two.
I got jammy at Simon's chub swim - just dangling my flies in the flow here whilst Simon was pointing out a drone stuck up a tree, I had my rod yanked round and caught this.
blackbrook 22-2-20 chub.jpg
Not huge but the biggest fish of the day and whilst not even looking. ;-)
Then at the first swim next to our cars I thought I'd got another chub but it turned out to be an out of season brownie! The furthest down the BB I've ever had one.
blackbrook 22-2-20 brown.jpg
A nice session despite the usual hurricane force winds once more making it way too much hard work.
I ended with 15 dace, 3 gudgeon, a chub and that brownie.
Simon had about 10 dace and a small chub.
I love that brook.
 

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