Monday 31 December 2018

The River Leam – Cut-Shots and Cobble Colters

Not far off the percentage of a bottle of ruby port this Italian Amarone was paired with the dry aged beef we had for Christmas Day, and wow it really packed a decent a punch. A Rich and intense nose, plum, baked dark fruit, dried herbs, rich cherry, and cocoa aromas

But then like a lot of decent quality wines the intensity gets even more prevalent as it followed in ones mouth, with concentrated plum, chocolate, with an exciting amount of acidity.

As the wine opened it developed more savouriness on the nose and the plum flavours evolved on ones already alcohol laced palate.

Luckily for me as it’s aged on oak barrels the Wife wasn’t keen, so yeap, I polished the lot off.

The beef we had was probably 35 or 40 days old and what a lump of meat it was, it needed a heavy hitter to go with it.

Now within the butcher’s ager Simmonds of Henley-in-Arden the moisture evaporates from the meat and the exterior forms a crust of enzymes that tenderises and increases the need for trimming.

This loss of moisture does not mean your finished product is dry, instead the aging and drying intensified the ‘meatiness’ of the cut and allowed the marbling or fat to really pack a punch for flavour.

Basically the loss of moisture concentrates the meat flavour, the longer the ageing, a little like reducing a sauce I suppose, the more concentrated it becomes. What it also does give you though, is some of the loveliest tasting beef fat you are ever likely to eat.

In-fact the Wife an avid meat water and purveyor of good things, said it was probably the "best bit of beef" she'd ever had the pleasure of eating, and believe you me, those sort of comments are not to be taken lightly she's a hard women to please, then again, ain't they all.

Ok this sort of food is probably not ideal for one’s waistline but come on give me a little slack, dry January will sort that out I’m sure, sweet, great texture and yeap, meaty, very meaty.

The problem with food and drink this rich is it can leave you feeling a little lethargic as the body is wondering what the heck is going on as it tries to deal with a massive roast dinner with all the trimmings and then followed by a salted caramel pudding that was laced with thick brandy cream. Port, stilton, pork pie you name it.

Fit to burst basically, the sofa couldn’t come soon enough….

Now talking about fit to burst the big Chevin and Roach reputed to be in residence of this stretch of the small  River Leam has been written about in all manner of media.

Ok, most from years gone by, but a friend who lives down this neck of the woods despite not being a fisherman, has told me about the big fish he spots down here in the same area during the summer.

So having given permission to fish it, well to try it out basically by the farmer, before possibly adding it to the syndicate waters that George Burton has been instrumental in setting up, could WE winkle anything out of note, you see George was fishing this morning as well. There was an issue though, the permission would end the 31st of December and up and till recently, and there ain’t been much water in it.

Lack of rain, extraction, who knows but feedback from the like-minded that had frequented the stretch it was largely unfishable for much of the window we had for scoping it out.

So some much needed fresh air and some roving to try and gets ones digestive system back on the straight and narrow again sounded just the ticket. Simple tactics, my ever faithful TFG River and Stream quiver rod, liquidised bread as feed and fish the likely looking Chub swims. Hookbait was lobworm and bread flake and zilch else.

I love this small water fishing, especially in venues new, however I had fished the Leam a few times before, maybe 4 or 5 sessions, but the results had been poor to mediocre so I wasn’t expecting much to be fair, just a bend in the rod would do.

So the session, how did it go ?

Well to be fait, not a bad reccy, I didn't stay in swims that long having wanted to cover the whole stretch and also I only had a few hours to which didn't help.A Chub the first cast was encouraging and in-fact that swim produced another 3 chub before the session end, not huge fish, the biggest around 3lb but for such a small waterway with clear conditions and shallow I was happy.

I made my way downstream and fish pegs on the way alternating between bread and worm and to be fair most swims produced some knocks and bangs and also some small perch.

I gave the last swim on the stretch a good while without a bite so headed back downstream where I had a chat with George who was settled in a tasty looking swim.

As we were talking about the stretch and that it would make a nice winter venue he had a cracking bite on his new rod. The fish carted here and there and when it surfaces it turned out to be a Dace, a good stamp too, possibly a PB, now this is getting even more encouraging. He added a few more and also a couple of chublets if I recall so we both thought if the deal was there on the table it will be a nice water to have.

So so much character and the type of water I prefer to fish, I'm not that interested in record breakers but more where I fish these days, peace, solitude and on my terms.

Anyway Happy New Year to the blog readers !!!! the most I've ever fished this year, long may it continue, as I'm enjoying it more than ever and my wellbeing is improved because of it.


  1. You've had a Cracker. Mine aint been that shabby either. Not enough (almost none ) chub but never mind. The Amerone sounds lovely. For the cheese course I love a sticky raisiny Pedro Ximinez. LIDL's do a banger at 5.99 a 50cl

  2. Happy New Year Mick, tight lines for 2019.


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