River Soar-Middle of Leicester

leehanson89

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May 20, 2012
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Some beautiful fish there Dee.

Also noticed that most of the fish in your pics have a lot more yellow in them compared to the ones iv been catching (compleatly silver with minimal spotts)
will post pics.

Some bad news - That rocky swim has been hammered. Went down last weekend and found several sets of fish guts/heads and 2 half used loafs!

Still one rising at the extreme back of the pool though.:)

Have you had a chance to wander very far downstream from there? - gets a little tight but some amazing spots!

As for the Anker, its v difficult to get the trout out due to the sheer number of course fish and a lot of pike. (only near Dobbies) i havent fished the other side of the A5 yet. Fancy a wander some time?
Lee
 

bakelit79

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North of Leicester trout action

Dave and I went to fish one of the North Leicester brooks after nipping up to the BFFI for a quick look around. You would think after the amount of rain we had had all the waters around were unfishable. This stream just looked perfect. Funny that Dave and I always assume that no matter what the weather might have done this specific brook should look more or less fishable. And to be honest this has proven to be a fair assumption fo far.

In nutshell we must have started no earlier than 4pm and fished until 9.30pm by when we had felt pretty knackered and full of satisfaction so that any further proof of how good the session turned out to be was not necessary.
You will see what I mean once having browsed through the pics which will be on here later today.

The fishing was simple. Taddy with gold/copper head lowered in any possible hole where there was a bit of flow going through or shallow sections with one side being slightly deeper with some fringing bankside vegie. Having said that the lower secion where the water is deep and slow we only caught a few despite the fact that most places looked rather good. Fish also seem to prefer shelter but with light filtering through the foliage. Once the tree canopy closes in tightly the fish avoid those zones so it looks.

We did nearly zero casting just dangling downstream on a short line or lowering flies literally vertically down into suspected fish holding openings in carpet of water weed, reed and stuff. Could not be easier. I think this time we may have cut even. Dave probably caught around 10-12 and me finishing with 10-11 fish.

This water is a true gem in around Leicester. It does not just produce quantity but can also produce quality and my personal best is not the biggest Dave has seen in the brook.

I will post the pictures later today.

Best of luck,

Pete
 

bakelit79

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UPDATE -pics from the the weekend session

Alright, I got back from work so ladies and gents the long awaited pictures of our weekend session:

Dave before the smile:


Dave after the smile:


I bet he must be dead bored with catching trout since last summer.

Does anyone know any cracking coarse fish venue to show him? :D

Dave 2000th trout in year 2012:


and the 2020th:


The bruiser of the day:

I look like a proper numpty...photo courtesy of Dave

back it goes:


Last glance at the venue before heading upstream to finish the session:


You can see how small the water is... I bet you can p*ss more after a serious Friday night session in you local.

We will be back for more soon!
Just watch this space!

Tight lines to all of you!

Pete
 

steve1986m

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Hi, firstly I would like to say thanks Dave for sharing your stories/pics. Very inspiring. I have been following this thread for quite some time now and getting out on the river where I can :) I myself live in melton mowbray and have been hunting around here for some wild brownies. I've found the eye brook near Belton in rutland is quite good had quite a few from there to a pound or so although not much of the brook is fishable. In melton itself only had one from the stream behind petfoods. And saw one by the bridge at the swim baths, I followed it under the bridge but to my horror found literally hundreds of signal crayfish swimming in and out if the rocks :eek:
Has anyone tried the wreake near asfordby as I have never had any from here but looks really good and lots of fish rising even the odd dace :)
 

Skateboard Dave

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Despite the main rivers being unfishable since the 16th June, so I've not been abled to target the coarse fish on fly, the small Soar trib has remained perfect!
I fished it 2 weeks ago when the Soar at Narborough was 100m wide but it was running clear and not even that high...result was 29 brownies to about 1lb.:thumbs:
This Saturday at Jubilee park the river was on a tightrope between bursting or remaining in it's chanel...another couple of cm's and it would have been in the fields again.
Yet again the magic brook was perfect though, fast flowing and clear.
The fish were absolutely going mad for whatever was thrown at them. I even lost a couple that came adrift on big dry may patterns.
Dries, big taddys, small nymphs, NZ style, upstream, downstream...everything worked.
I turned up at just gone 2:30 pm and had had just over 50 brownies by the time I left with lots in the 12oz to 1lb size bracket. Sometimes taking 5/6 good fish from one small rapid pool in consectutive casts!
Two sessions for 81 trout...and I though last year I'd found nirvana but this place has blown everywhere else out of the water.:cool:
Was it really only just over a year ago that I'd never had 2 trout in one session form the Soar & tribs?
Not even bothered counting this year but must be close to 200 already!
Will be posting a few pics from the weekend later.
Dee
 

toodle

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Feb 7, 2012
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Hi Dave and Paul,
Despite my best intentions I never made it to that Soar trib "north of Leicester" I mentioned to you earlier in the year (Paul, I'm ashamed to say that your flies haven't seen the water yet!). However, having just dipped into the forum again after several months out, I'm absolutely gobsmacked at what you've had from there since. Bearing in mind my original info was from 2006, it's fantastic to see that there is obviously a thriving and self-sustaining trout population. Great stuff! I'll not be neglecting it next year!!
Cheers, Ian.
 

jan007

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I live in London and have after reading this thread which has inspired me, that next time I am in Leicester I will take my fly rods, got family there so no problem staying somewhere:thumbs: I am originally from Leicester and started my love of fishing on the "cut" and river Soar from the 1960's, I have also been a keen fly fishng for some 30 years. Please keep thread going as it inspires me further.

Message for Dave- Can you fly fish the river through Bradgate Park???

Many thanks :D:D
 
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Skateboard Dave

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Been about a year since I posted on here so just to keep it alive here are a few fish from last year:

R Soar 20 inch plus on a tenkara rod, 8th April 2013.

The swim it came from...notice how wintery everything still is in April, I was snowboarding just a week earlier only 8 or 9 miles away!

2 others from the same short session...only had 3 and all were huge.:cool:


Look at the size of the tail on the last one!
Hope it was looking skinny because of some successful spawning action.;)
I love how I can now say ONLY had 3...Jesus I'd have been bouncing off the banks for 1/2 an hour, a few years back, just to catch one brownie out of a Leicester brook.
I actually had an even bigger one in the summer (must have been 3lb +) from a smaller tributary just south of Leicester. I've only fished that brook once, not been back, and didn't have a camera on me. Including the huge one (first fish!) I had 20 brownies mostly in the 12oz to 1lb range in approx. 2 1/2 hours...and I've not been back!!! :eek:
My 1st of this year, out of season as I was coarse fly fishing, from the Thurmaston brook on the 12th Jan...


I've just earmarked about half a dozen other tiny streams to try when the trouty season starts so hopefully I'll have some more news quite soon.
Enjoy.
Dee
 

Skateboard Dave

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22 of one brook at the end of March...one session, loads of wild browns.:thumbs:
2 biggies from the Soar on Saturday evening...2lb plus biggest.
11 from C brook on Monday.
Wild browns applenty.
Will post some pics soon.
Yesterdays were mostly around the pound mark with a couple of smaller ones...nice.

Dee
 

Skateboard Dave

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It's been a few years since I updated this thread so thought it about time I let everyone (all 3 of you who are interested that is) know what is happening on the trout front.
The wild brown trout stocks are if anything better than they used to be in the Soar and it's tributaries around Leicester.
My last three trips out on the little brooks:

Upper Soar in early March - This was a coarse fishing outing (on fly) but I did catch 3 browns(out of season) from one pool (2lb, 1lb. 1lb) along with 4 small chub (8oz each) and a couple of dace. Never caught another fish from any other swim and tried maybe a dozen pools along the small brook. Brook was up and coloured. All fish to a red micro squirmy worm.

Last weekend in March "upper" Soar - 9 browns up to around 1.5lb plus a roach and a chub (out of season). All to tungsten headed H.E. taddys (red bead). Brooks was quite clear and low and the fishing harder than I expected. Pete fished an evening rise which was very localized and had a couple of dace but we're sure he "bumped" a brownie on a dry too.

Today, tributary just north of Leicester, with Pete again: This was flowing well but pretty clear (I like it more coloured - makes tiny brooks so much easier). The fist big pool we tried I had 2 browns. a roach and a perch (both out of season but nice to see there are still odd coarse fish in this brook - it is 99% trout normally) just nymphing under the rod tip with a single tungsten weighted H.E red tag.
The further downstream we went the better the fishing got. A change to a tungsten beaded H.E. taddy improved things even more. ;-) Fish caught by fishing both up and downstream - honours about even. You do whatever it takes to get a fly to the fish in overgrown brooks. ;-) On several occasions one of the deeper pools gave up 2 or 3 nice browns so there are lots in there.
I ended with 26 brownies (to around a pound and most around 8-10oz), a couple of perch and a roach.
Pete had about 14 browns and a perch.
Early season but the brownies were having a go thanks to all the rain lately as this brook is rock hard, when it has no water on it. It takes major rainfall to rise it by just a little!
Get loads of rain in a months or twos time and you can have 50 browns in a few hours!

So still loads of wild brown to be caught around Leicester - when you know where. ;-)
We've also had browns from several Northampton brooks over the last few years too...get out and try.

Dee
 

Skateboard Dave

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Myself and Pete have only been out once more after trout, luckily that was just before the weather went tropical and the rivers still had a little flow.
He has been dry fly fishing a Northampton brook on his own with plenty of success though.

It was mid June, just after the start of the coarse season.
Fishing the upper Soar Pete had 8 browns all on dry fly - that is our record on dries mainly because we seldom fish them. ;-) The brooks are often too overgrown but thanks to the late winter the undergrowth was manageable and the stream was flowing well, perfect really. We had a thunderstorm 36 hours earlier to thank for that.
Pete had several small browns, as did I, which is really unusual on the length we tried so things are looking good for the future. Pretty good right now when 2 of us can fish a little brook and have nearly 20 trout plus a few chub, dace and perch. I think I had a roach too.
I left Pete to the dry fly fishing as I'd only got a stupid long rod with me - thought it would be coloured and bombing through not sparkling and bubbling nicely.
I couldn't cast a dry if I'd wanted as it was kitted out with a French leader so I simply fished small nymphs. The result was similar to Pete's effort- 9 browns. I did wish I had something to cast a dry with though. ;-(

The last swim I fished we used to call the "Pig Farm" - about 40 years ago when I was a kid bait dangling - this was and still is a much deeper hole. A bigger tungsten headed taddy went on the line and was pitched upstream. The positive fly worked, Pete having to jump in to man handle a 2.5lb trout out of the reeds for me. Cheers mate.

That wasn't the swim done though as 2 slightly smaller ones also fell to the taddy. Three massive trout (for the brook) from one swim was pretty surreal.

Sorry no pics. but at least you know there are still trout to be had, bit of water would help right now though.

Dee
 

Skateboard Dave

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I've been avoiding the local brooks lately due to the lack of rain with how tiny they are the fishing just gets too hard. The sea has been fishing superbly though - cod to 7lb and pollack to 5lb off the kayak meant I've not missed the rivers. ;-)

A period of 36hrs of drizzle and rain last week was all I needed to get on the brooks again though.


1st trip was on the Sence (Blaby - Wigston)- short evening session on Monday starting at 6.30pm. I was a little shocked to find it still super low and not a touch of colour in it. Where did all the rain go?


I'd also forgotten my "eyes" so could barely change flies. When I did it was a real struggle - holding everything at arms length trying to spot the eye and get the invisible tippet through! I won't forget them again. ;-)

I ended up sticking to what I had on the end and using bigger than I wanted patterns for the slow low water. By darkness I'd still managed 27 chub and 3 perch. The chub were up to around a pound but I saw several 3lb sized ones which were too given the conditions. No trout but I've only ever had 2 from the Sence so no surprise there.

Wednesday evening I was ready to go again. This time I decided to try Thurlaston brook, the other side of Croft. I'd not fished here since winter and not in summer for a couple of seasons.
I shan't be trying it again this summer either - far too overgrown.
Swims that were wide and open (for the brook) a couple of years ago were now bank to bank reeds!
The 1st swim on this stretch is one of the deepest pools on the whole length and almost always produces something (2 browns & a chub in winter when I fished it) but I never had a knock. Not a good start as that is the "banker" for the whole brook!

The next small deep hole though gave up a rare big chub (2lb - can't remember the last proper chub I had from the brook) and 2 smaller ones. All to a #12 hares ear tungsten bead taddy.

A few swims later a 1.5lb browning gave me a right run around.

A good start but it went downhill from there. I ended with 9 chub, a roach, a dace and the nice brownie.

That might sound good but there was so little water that held any fish and spots you could actually wet a line just too few and far between.


This summer is a write off for the local brooks - need rain, like everywhere else in the country.
 

ryan12891

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I went (coarse) fishing on a new stretch of the Soar yesterday evening, and I thought nothing could surprise me... and then I went a pulled out a 3lb 2oz trout! I thought I'd hooked into my target species - one of the elusive Soar barbel - until it came to the surface and into my net. I've browsed this thread before so I knew there were trout in this stretch of the Soar, but it still knocked me for six. After releasing it downstream, I'd barely had a chance to process what had happened, when I landed another one! This one was slightly smaller and I didn't weigh it, but it was a bulky fish and almost certainly 2lb plus. After I released the second one it was almost pitch black so I had to make a move.

I've fished the Soar since I was a kid and never so much as seen a trout! I have to say though, and I'm no expert, but the fish didn't look like wild brownies. I always thought if I ever caught a trout here, it'd be a small one, but these were proper chunky, strong fish. The colouring also seems much more muted and not as vibrant compared to some of the fish I've seen on here, so I would hazard a guess that they've escaped from a farm somewhere?

I've never touched a fly in my life, but I'm certainly tempted to have a go the "proper" way now.
 

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guest54

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Remember that with the dry weather this year many of the larger trout/fish will have abandoned their usual haunts and travelled downstream, this may explain their presence where you were fishing and when conditions allow they will, in all probability, head back up river to where they belong.
Lovely fish mind. :thumbs:
 

Tut

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Bad fish handling!!

- - - Updated - - -

I went (coarse) fishing on a new stretch of the Soar yesterday evening, and I thought nothing could surprise me... and then I went a pulled out a 3lb 2oz trout! I thought I'd hooked into my target species - one of the elusive Soar barbel - until it came to the surface and into my net. I've browsed this thread before so I knew there were trout in this stretch of the Soar, but it still knocked me for six. After releasing it downstream, I'd barely had a chance to process what had happened, when I landed another one! This one was slightly smaller and I didn't weigh it, but it was a bulky fish and almost certainly 2lb plus. After I released the second one it was almost pitch black so I had to make a move.

I've fished the Soar since I was a kid and never so much as seen a trout! I have to say though, and I'm no expert, but the fish didn't look like wild brownies. I always thought if I ever caught a trout here, it'd be a small one, but these were proper chunky, strong fish. The colouring also seems much more muted and not as vibrant compared to some of the fish I've seen on here, so I would hazard a guess that they've escaped from a farm somewhere?

I've never touched a fly in my life, but I'm certainly tempted to have a go the "proper" way now.

View attachment 16444

View attachment 16445
Bad fish handling!!
 

Skateboard Dave

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Since my last update I've not bothered fishing my known trout spots as it's still too dry. ;-(
I've had 2 sessions on the Black Brook in the built up zone of north Loughborough. This is a tiny brook but holds loads of dace, chub and perch plus the odd brownie. The fish are mainly around the houses though - predators kept at bay?
I chose to fish there as there are so many coarse fish and I'm quite happy to just catch those.

Both sessions on there were pretty productive. I had around 25-30 fish each time. Mostly small chub with the odd one of around a pound or two plus perch up to about 12 oz, a jack pike, a roach, a few dace and also one brownie during each session both of maybe 12 to 14oz.

There were masses of huge dace present (huge for dace that is!) though which would have been great fun in the shallow gravel stretches but I didn't have suitable kit with me. A short rod with dries or spiders from downstream could have been great sport. Next time if it stays dry I may dig out the Epic glass rod and do some proper fly fishing - upstream dries. ;-)


On Sunday I had a quick session on the Kingstone brook a few miles north of Loughborough at Kingstone on Soar.

Another tiny stream that is rumoured to hold trout. I'd checked this area out in late winter but didn't actually fish it. Then it was coloured and moving so I couldn't tell what might have been lurking.
This time it was low and clear - like everywhere.
I tungsten taddy swung upstream next to some reeds was only in the water for about a second before it was hammered by a pound chub. This was repeated on the next 2 "casts". Fly in the water for 3 or 4 seconds and I'd had three one pound chub, an ok start!

I ended with 20 chub but nothing bigger than the 1st three plus 7 perch which all came from one large "hole". A productive couple of hours.

I'm sure I saw a trout feeding in one faster spot but managed to spook it.

All fish from below the "Pool" at Kingston Park Pleasure Gardens. The weir/sluice at the top end of the "pool" was the limit. I walked about a mile upstream from here but saw nothing!

Above is a dredged stretch with many trees removed which makes it perfect for predators -no fish here seems to confirm that hypothesis. The sluice also makes it nearly impossible for fish to move up from the lower brook and the Soar.
I can't see any trout getting upstream to spawn unless there is a major flood in effect.

No trout but a nice little spot to try again - maybe a productive winter water for chub?


It'll soon be game over for the trout season so get out and try.


Dee
 

Arthur Wellesley

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Ryan - congrats on catching the trout but please take a few moments to learn how to handle a fish. That second photo is just horrible, and your one handed grip is likely to have caused it internal damage.
 

Skateboard Dave

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Back with a brief note from the start of 2019.

The warm end of February saw myself. Pete and Swelly try the R. Anchor near Nuneaton hoping for chub and perch.

They were very thin on the ground - I had a perch about the size of my thumb and that was it!

I also got smashed (snagged in sunken branches - then broken off) by something big and unseen, probably a chub.

The only proper fish landed fell to my small tungsten taddy which turned out to be a 2.5lb out of season brownie. My first trout from the Anchor on only my 2nd visit and also the last fish I expected to see. The anticipated chub and perch were no where to be seen - none of us spotted any fish in the clear river, very weird. Probably, like most small rivers, victims of the numerous predators we have to put up with these days.
Well I did spot one fish, a 10lb pike that spooked out of the margins in a slack pool...a predator safe sized fish.

The river looked absolutely superb put a real shame it was, seemingly, near enough devoid of fish. We won't be heading back any time soon.

Yesterday (20th March) was a better "stolen" session.

I was out picking up paperwork for work and the way home couldn't resist stopping just to look at the upper Soar. It would have been rude not to at least have a "look" since I was driving right past one of my favourite early season spots.

The sun was out and it was feeling rather spring like after the hurricane winds of late.

"Sod it, I'll just have a quick cast since I'm here now!" That was my internal justification for fishing when I should have been getting home to work
I didn't have the "right" kit in my boot just a rod that I'd used on the canal at the weekend to "jig" about for perch. No waders or boot but the banks there were firm with plenty of options to fish from tera ferma so that wouldn't be an issue.
The 11ft rod was already rigged with a single 4mm red head tungsten taddy but a horrible set up for casting - no leader just 8ft of mono tied to the end of a 5weight fly line. Shamefully crude but all you need to jig around canal locks.
I couldn't be bothered to mess about refining it as the river looked so perfect and "easy", nice flow and the ideal amount of colour plus I wasn't meant to be fishing so time was more important than finesse.

First flick downstream produced a couple of following roach - nice to see them as they are rarely seen these days.
Next cast the line tightened almost as the taddy landed but I didn't connect. That was almost deff. a brownie.

Next retrieve as I slowly lifted the fly under the rod tip a 12oz brownie emerged from the stained water to smash into the escaping morsel. Trout number one after 5 minutes...nice.

That returned I flicked a rod length up stream the other side of a near bank sunken tree. Another instant take and trout number 2 of around the same size was snared. Two brownies in 6 minutes!


A short move downstream produced a 1.5lb rather acrobatic brownie - 3 in 10 minutes.

Downstream further casting towards the old road bridge resulted in number 4 the smallest of maybe 5 or 6 oz.

A quick march of 100 yards upstream yielded 2 more 10oz spotties.

That was it, about 20 minutes fishing for 6 brownies. I didn't even lose much work time. ;-)
It's taken as long to type this as to catch those.


Still plenty of Leicester trout about when you know where and how.


Dee
 

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