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

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
635
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
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
635
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
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
261
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
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
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
23
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
 

Jason 70

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
224
Location
The congested SE
It's not looking good our way also a Thames Trib, this lot will be over the top again in the morning. And the whole weekend and into next week is looking wet again.IMG_0407 (7).JPG
 

morayfisher

Trust Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
2,064
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
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
635
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
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
635
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
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
635
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.
 

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
635
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
No weekend fishing to report this week....😥
...but I did manage to get out on Thursday for a session in London on the River Wandle. (y)
It was a really different session - a river I didn't know which was full of dirty run-off from heavy rains on Wednesday night meant I was fishing blind. Never a good scenario when you don't know the deeper pools and fish holding spots. I was in London though so had to have a bash even if a total blank was on the cards.
I'd been virtually planning the trip for months via google maps and also the superb "An Anglers Guide the Wandle" by John O'Brien amongst others inc. Theo Pike.
This link:

Thursday was a perfect opportunity as I was in the Lewisham/Greenwich area visiting my daughter at Uni. for a couple of days.
I decided to go green and travel there via public transport as despite it only being 10 miles away the route planner was estimating the journey to take an hour plus and then have the headache of finding parking. This meant cutting back on any unnecessary kit (no joys of a messy car boot!) and trying not to look too much like a fisherman for the journey. The biggest bind was carrying chest waders and boots - they are much heavier when you are not wearing them! A rucksack, carrier bag (for the boots), my chest pack and a rod and I was sorted and heading for the underground. :)
wandle 27 feb 2020 tube.jpg
ready for the off...
My destination was Morden at the end of the Northern Line. I believe I've been there once before as I think that was where I did a talk for the Wandle Piscators many years ago. Theo organized that one for me so hopefully he'll enjoy hearing how I got on for my return visit over a decade later!
I'd set out late to avoid the rush hour sardine sessions which was a good move as the trains were empty - actually there were less people than at many spots I fish!
The tube station was only 5 minutes walk from Morden Hall Park which has a nice stretch of the Wandle running through it- perfect, except it is private fishing there.
I headed north, through the park, to a free length above the private water but there the water wasn't looking too good. It was black with run-off and bombing through. Confidence down to zero.
I decided to about turn and march upstream hoping to find some slack areas that might hold fish. I was also hoping the further up I travelled the less rain water would have entered the river - every little helps. Above Morden Hall Park is Ravensbury park where the fishing is free - my favourite sort!
I walked through this just noting any possible spots and onto Watermeads park which is also private fishing so I just raced through there and onto Poulter park where the fishing is again free.
Above Pouter is Goat Bridge, it was a little further above here where I finally decided to tackle up and finally try and avoid the blank. The black looking water wasn't inspiring much confidence but the slack spot where two streams met was one of the most fishy looking areas I'd spotted.
At this point I'd been walking for getting on for 2 hours! It would have been much longer without the online planning though.
As the water was so dirty I opted for two flies not too far apart. The point was a bushy hybrid squirmy #18 with a 2.8mm red tungsten head. I like this pattern as even if you lose the red squirmy tail you still have a killer pattern.
wandle 27 feb 2020 fly.jpg

I really couldn't believe it - 1st cast and I had a fish! It literally took 5 seconds to hook up and a little longer to land a brownie! Out of season and ugly as hell - the victim of a barbed hook using bait danger it it's early days? Other than the missing top lip it looked healthy enough though.
wandle 27 feb 2020 trout.jpg
 

Jason 70

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
224
Location
The congested SE
No weekend fishing to report this week....😥
...but I did manage to get out on Thursday for a session in London on the River Wandle. (y)
It was a really different session - a river I didn't know which was full of dirty run-off from heavy rains on Wednesday night meant I was fishing blind. Never a good scenario when you don't know the deeper pools and fish holding spots. I was in London though so had to have a bash even if a total blank was on the cards.
I'd been virtually planning the trip for months via google maps and also the superb "An Anglers Guide the Wandle" by John O'Brien amongst others inc. Theo Pike.
This link:

Thursday was a perfect opportunity as I was in the Lewisham/Greenwich area visiting my daughter at Uni. for a couple of days.
I decided to go green and travel there via public transport as despite it only being 10 miles away the route planner was estimating the journey to take an hour plus and then have the headache of finding parking. This meant cutting back on any unnecessary kit (no joys of a messy car boot!) and trying not to look too much like a fisherman for the journey. The biggest bind was carrying chest waders and boots - they are much heavier when you are not wearing them! A rucksack, carrier bag (for the boots), my chest pack and a rod and I was sorted and heading for the underground. :)
View attachment 23163
ready for the off...
My destination was Morden at the end of the Northern Line. I believe I've been there once before as I think that was where I did a talk for the Wandle Piscators many years ago. Theo organized that one for me so hopefully he'll enjoy hearing how I got on for my return visit over a decade later!
I'd set out late to avoid the rush hour sardine sessions which was a good move as the trains were empty - actually there were less people than at many spots I fish!
The tube station was only 5 minutes walk from Morden Hall Park which has a nice stretch of the Wandle running through it- perfect, except it is private fishing there.
I headed north, through the park, to a free length above the private water but there the water wasn't looking too good. It was black with run-off and bombing through. Confidence down to zero.
I decided to about turn and march upstream hoping to find some slack areas that might hold fish. I was also hoping the further up I travelled the less rain water would have entered the river - every little helps. Above Morden Hall Park is Ravensbury park where the fishing is free - my favourite sort!
I walked through this just noting any possible spots and onto Watermeads park which is also private fishing so I just raced through there and onto Poulter park where the fishing is again free.
Above Pouter is Goat Bridge, it was a little further above here where I finally decided to tackle up and finally try and avoid the blank. The black looking water wasn't inspiring much confidence but the slack spot where two streams met was one of the most fishy looking areas I'd spotted.
At this point I'd been walking for getting on for 2 hours! It would have been much longer without the online planning though.
As the water was so dirty I opted for two flies not too far apart. The point was a bushy hybrid squirmy #18 with a 2.8mm red tungsten head. I like this pattern as even if you lose the red squirmy tail you still have a killer pattern.
View attachment 23164

I really couldn't believe it - 1st cast and I had a fish! It literally took 5 seconds to hook up and a little longer to land a brownie! Out of season and ugly as hell - the victim of a barbed hook using bait danger it it's early days? Other than the missing top lip it looked healthy enough though.
View attachment 23165
That little Trout is quite a Youtube star Dave, it looks like "Bubba" from the Forest Gump film.
 

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
635
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
The Wandle Part 2:
The swim it came from - the water really looked far worse than it appears here especially in the main river.
wandle 27 feb 2020 trout swim.jpg
That start couldn't have been any better. I was guaranteed not to blank but I was hoping for chub or dace - an out of season trout is still a blank, at least it felt that way to me. No more takes from the confluence so I made my way down to Poulter park trying any slacks on route. No where was inspiring confidence. I was snagging up constantly probably because I never knew whether I was fishing in a foot or 6 foot of water. It all looked the same but it was nice to be out and I was sure eventually I'd stumble on another prime swim.
That swim didn't come for about 2 hours! Right through Poulter park without so much as a sniff. Marching back through the private Watermeads and into Ravensburypark which was looking a little better - the water clearing up somewhat since I'd been there. Here I actually waded a little as the clarity had improved enough to make out the bottom in 12 inches of water. It was far shallower here than I'd thought when walking past it a couple of hours earlier. Still no fish here but it was looking good if I could just locate a shoal of dace or chub. I was really wishing I knew the water and where to head.
A side stream split off in the park and was re-joined by another slower flowing side stream. The confluence of these two looked the most fishy of anywhere I'd seen. There just had to be fish in it.
First cast into the crease and I missed a take, then missed a 2nd - I was worried I was blowing the small spot. Finally I hooked up again but it came adrift after launching out of the water -another brownie? I was hoping it wasn't but it did feel and act very trouty. A few minutes later though I had a very spirited little roach which actually jumped too!
wandle 27 feb 2020 roach 1st.jpg
Another fish from a confluence:
wandle 27 feb 2020 swim.jpg
I followed the side stream down and around the park and at last started to gain confidence as I was getting takes every few yards along this narrower channel.
 

Skateboard Dave

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
635
Location
Whetstone - South of Leicester
The Wandle Part 3:
Finally one of the takes stuck and I had my 3rd Wandle species on the bank, a little chub.
wandle 27 feb 2020.jpg

I added a no1 shot to the line a little above the dropper as I wasn't sure the flies were getting down when held tight and immediately added another small chub then had a big fish come adrift on the strike. That one could have been huge judging by the amount of water it moved as it bolted off. Oh well, I'd caught a few fish was getting action so was now really enjoying myself.
The water curved back towards the main channel and under a small pretty footbridge. Bellow the bridge looked superb - flowing nicely but with slightly slacker water on the far side. There had to be dace about. The first fish was another small roach though and then after a few missed takes one of these...
wandle 27 feb 2020 gudgeon.jpg
It's official I am a gudgeon magnet.
Next cast I had another one! Lovely fat gudgeon like I've not seen for years - probably decades!
I had a load of takes here so think there was a huge shoal down there. If/when I go back I'll be dangling some extra small flies there and see if I can't get my first ever gudgeon double header. That is the sort of goal I set myself in my fly fishing. ;-)
The light was fading so I decided to start back to the tube station only stopping where the side stream joined the main river at the entrance to the park. Here the water was fast and lumpy but with a nice slow area close to the concrete walkway.
It was also the hotspot of the day. I added 3 more roach and two chub plus had something a little bigger come adrift. No dace?
I ended with that brownie, 5 roach, 4 chub and 2 gudgeon. Not bad for my first bash and really enjoyable once I found an area with fish - well fish that I could catch.
The last roach:
wandle 27 feb 2020 roach.jpg
I love the variation in roach you get from different water courses. These Wandle red fins are so different to the ones I get in my local GUC.
Looking forward to my next Tube fishing session.
 

streamerjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
161
Location
London
Well in mate - not a bad session at all. There are two trout in the river I know of with faces like that! I've caught one myself...

The brownie in my profile pic is from the Wandle, so you can see they get pretty big!
 

jerryrum

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
261
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
This is the last week of the season in my area.

Not much rain is forecast, but the rivers are still dirty and high.

I'll be looking for an opportunity to get one last session in.

I'm not feeling hopeful, but may be the lighter evenings offer some hope...
 

jerryrum

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
261
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
I managed to get out for one last bash on the rivers at the weekend. My wife felt sorry for me that the season had been such a wash out and took the kids off for a few hours.

I wanted it to be a bit of an occasion, so I used my brand new maxcatch 7ft6 3# rod and only home tied flies:
LD1.PNG

I didn't have long, so I fished my local stream and stuck to the pools I usually did well in.

Last summers drought, followed by the winter storms seemed to have cleared out the upper reaches of my little brook.

The middle reaches have a few deeper pools, and this is where I had my first fish:LD2.PNG
The 3# proved to be very springy and although not large, this fellow gave a good account of himself.

Next followed a series of shallow pools that seemed to contain nothing but Minnows:
LD3.PNG

Not really what I was after.

Finally, the bottom stretch of the stream had me battling through thick undergrowth with not much room for casting.

I also experienced a problem I had not seen all winter, the water was too clear!LD4.PNG

The sand at the bottom is a worrying new feature. I do live on the greensand ridge, but I can't help thinking it might be something to do with the huge new housing estate they are building at the head of the stream.

At the last big pool I went for my last few casts of the season, and was rewarded with a chunky Dace:
LD5.PNG

I called it a day on a high note. Only three months to go!

From now on it's going to be canal fishing for me.
LD6.PNG
 
Top