Winter River Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish

jerryrum

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Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
319
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
The rivers near here are highest I've seen them this year, but with only a few days left of the season I popped out to give it a shot.
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This tributary on the left is often a dry ditch

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And there's a weir with a 4ft drop under here

I did manage to find a few spots with slow flow or back eddies.

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Persistence paid off. This Roach was the only one I managed to bank, but I had a couple come off while playing them (lots of snags and debris), the bigger of which would definitely have been over the pound mark.
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bakelit79

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Dec 18, 2006
Messages
132
Hi Jerry,

I have just dropped by to say I envy your enthusiasm. I had a look at the Harpers and the Nene today as I came down the A605 from Peterborough, and the state of both were shocking. As an aside I wonder what others use to post photos, I can use me Google drive but I hate that it only shows a clickable link. Anyways, I will need to post a few photos, but I did not fancy wetting the line in the Harpers today. It was literally in the fields. I am not even sure even the slacks would have had any fish, it was absolutely bombing through. We are talking about a brook which is less than half the size of your Ousel through Leighton Buzzard. It must have been up by 2-3m. We should get you out on the canal at your end. It produced a few nice perch on the last few days of 2017. I wonder if the boat life picks up as soon as the sun is out, which can bump the fishing on the head.
Keep us posted!

Cheers,

Pete

UPDATE:

Harpers in flood condition: IMG_3986.jpg
 
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Dominikk85

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Mar 11, 2018
Messages
121
Location
Frankfurt
Has anyone experience nymphing for roach and other coarse fish with a sink tip?

Fishes now are too deep for a floating line here and I need to get down at least like 3 to 4 meters.if it helps I'm fishing stillwater.

What setup would you use (line, leader, nymphs...) and how would you fish (strip it in, just let it sink down and occasionally pull in a little...)? How do you notice bites with a sink tip? Or should I use an intermediate or full sinker even?

Or doesn't it make sense at all to go for fishes that are that deep?
 

jerryrum

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
319
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
The closest I can come to this is going after Perch on small lakes, but even then I'd only be fishing 1.5 - 2m deep at most.

On the odd occasion I do this I would use a bright red or orange weighted 'worm' pattern (see some of my other posts).

But I'd still use a floating line and just adjust the length of leader.

The retrieve would be slow and twitch, like bumping.

What is the clarity like on your water?

There are very few waters round here that are clear enough to fish deep in winter.
 

Dominikk85

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Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
121
Location
Frankfurt
Water is pretty clear, it is a stillwater.

Must get down like 3-4m. So would you use a longer leader and heavier fly to get there instead of a sink tip oder sinking poly leader?
 

Overmiwadrers

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Mar 25, 2018
Messages
572
Location
Yorkshire
Well I went Nymphing for Grayling on Saturday in the Yorkshire Derwent , Four hours and not a sniff of a Grayling , but had half a dozen pretty WBT and 2 overwintering stockies that were a couple of pounds apiece , they were a proper handful on the two weight ... Was nice to get in a river again , it was still carrying a fair but of water though...

O M W
 

jerryrum

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Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
319
Location
Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard
Water is pretty clear, it is a stillwater.

Must get down like 3-4m. So would you use a longer leader and heavier fly to get there instead of a sink tip oder sinking poly leader?

Once a year I pull damsel nymphs for Rainbows on a beautiful local stocked lake. I fish from the bank.

On that day I use a floating line and 10ft of 6lb mono straight through. That is mainly because I don’t have any sink tip line and have no experience of using one.
The water is deep and clear, so that is the closest I come to what you are describing.

The summary of that is:
I catch fish
The presentation is not very delicate (tends to be a bit of a plop as the fly hits the water)
I strike either when I see the floating fly line twitch or when I feel resistance on the line (sometimes both happen at once)
If I put on a fly with some red in it I can pick up a few Perch, but they tend to be in the shallow margins
I have fun, but I wouldn’t fish like this regularly

I don’t know how this would translate to course fish. My experience is that Roach and Dace takes are a lot more delicate than Rainbows, but Chub can give a good jolt.
I guess try it with the equipment you have and let us know how you get on.

As for me, I’ll be sticking with mucky rivers for now.
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Dominikk85

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Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
121
Location
Frankfurt
Last weekend the rivers round here we not up to much so I spent a couple of hours on the GUC. That wasn't up to much either!
2 bites and 2 fish was all I could muster from the very coloured water in a couple of hours of trying.
One tiny perch and a 6lb pike! Was lucky to get the pike in as I didn't have a net with me and it was on 1 inch long size 18 pink squirmy. Hooked cleanly in the top lip so the 3lb mono avoided those line cutting teeth. ;-)

Yesterday the rivers were better so myself and Pete headed to the Black Brook, again.
The colour and flow were about perfect and in a 3 hour session we managed just under 30 fish between us.
I had 13 dace, 3 small chub and a perch.
Including the biggest dace I've ever seen or caught - must have been about 12 inch long and probably 12 oz +. Unfortunately I dropped it back before I could get Pete and his camera. ;-(

Today I took a punt and headed to a water I'd never fished before despite it only being 25mins drive away - the Warks. Avon at Rugby.
I'd been meaning to try it for years but just had never gotten round to it.
I was worried it'd be too "up" and coloured for me to do any damage especially as I wouldn't have a clue which swims would hold fish or even the depth anywhere...that is why you never fish a venue you don't know in winter. Ignoring my own advice again.:rolleyes:
I didn't get to the bankside until gone 2pm so needed to find fish pretty fast or get my first blank in years.
The river was bigger than I expected especially compared to my usual tiny streams. It was also bombing through and carrying colour but not unfishable.
I tried a few near bank semi slack areas but wasn't confident - changing flies to try and hit the deck but was "blind" and struggling.
A walk downstream and I found the river split into two for a few hundred meters.
Here the stream on my side was more manageable - slower and shallower.
Confidence was on the up despite still being "in the dark" . A couple of taps below a sunken tree and I was starting to believe. A fish on and, just as quickly, off got me thinking the dry might not happen. Thirty seconds later I had my hand around a 4 oz chub- the dry avoided I could relax and find out what this side stream/offshoot held. Over the next hour and a half I added chub after chub. All small ones no bigger than 6 or 7 oz tops but great fun and they were taking on the dangle in water that really seemed too fast for them to be in?
The fast water made the takes really positive and easy to hook. The fight was much better too, thanks to the flow, those tiny chub were bending my rod really well.
I ended up with 32 chub and one nice dace - a superb result and far better than I could have dreamt of when I first saw the river.
I can't wait to go back when it's lower so I can try the main river. It could be a great venue - fingers crossed I didn't just hit a lucky area today.

Can you describe the downstream fishing you mentioned a couple times? Just use a short line and dangle it down the rod tip? Leaving it there stationary?

Are you using a two nymph rig? Any preferred spots in the winter? I'm assuming deeper and more quiet sections?
 
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