Saturday 14 March 2020

The River Leam - Meadophiles and Megachiropterans

A very busy working week, head down, CATIA fired up, keyboard bashed and mouse clicked, an interesting specimen minnow syndicate turned down (waves to Beth and James) whilst the skullcandy's were donned. The haptic bass dial turned up to the max, the eardrums given a proper workout, on the dial this time techno, psychill and progressive beats.

Order restored, pennies earn't, the diary-makers now with bog roll to plunder, handwash to extinguish, two fingers up to the bat broth blunderers.

However fishing couldn't come soon enough....

Maggots, bugger !!!!, past their best, bread surely Shirley, checks freezer, errrrr nope, worms then? nope not got any of those either, hmmm cheesepaste will have to do. To be fair I could do with making a new batch for next winter so a good time to use it all up and give the bright green tub a thoroughly good scrub.

For the majority of my Chub fishing sessions this season cheesepaste has featured, it's one of those reliable baits where if there are Chub in the swim invariably you'd get a bite.I don't mess around with bait size either, I always go big.

A Chevin's mush is so large even a pound fish wouldn't have an issue taking the bait as shown above.

Now this season with the water levels having been up so much it's a bait that can even bring a bite from a Chub in chocolate brown water, conditions they don't feed that well in.

Because of the flooding I'd not fished the WBAS stretch for a while but as this would be my last session before the river close season I fancied giving it a go to try and winkle out a last gasp fish.

I was a little late starting so when I crossed the bridge to see none other than fellow syndicate member George Burton in the swim I wanted to fish. He unlike me probably hadn't succumbed to the rum and luckily got to he river early when I originally intended to.

We share the same passion for small rivers and this stretch ticks the box for the likeminded. The fish may not be big, but the location is as big a part of the experience than sometimes the fishing itself.

Any specimen fish that may show up from time to time an added bonus to just being bankside, the fact that roving a river like this really does work wonders for the mind.

After a quick natter I was off on the wander, working myself down the river, dropping in to as many swims as possible to try and get a bend in the rover before the river close.

Now George has been catching roach and dace throughout the session so I was hoping for a bite as well. The river looked in fine fettle despite the banks showing just how high the river had been this season.

I feel at home here, fishing on my terms, road noise minimal, plenty of swims to explore and surprises to be had.

After 4 or 5 swims without even a pluck or tap I dropped in to a swim that had a large hole, the line almost vertical when it left the tip and entered the water. One thing that I will do in the summer here is to come back when it's low to go and find out where some of the features are.

It's only when you do your homework and learn the stretch the specimen fish can show themselves. Venues like this can be very tough indeed but catch it on a good day the fishing can be fantastic and it will throw up a stamp of fish you wouldn't think would swim in these small waters.

I prefer to fish rivers like this when it's bitterly cold and crisp underfoot but this season we'd not had that option sadly because it can change the look of the river completely, change it for the better.

You only have to look at some of the pictures here to see why I like it. The stretch that the syndicate has varies so much over its length it's staggering.

There are pools, wide bends, undercuts, narrow fast shallows, deep holes and cover in abundance, if David Carl Forbes dreamt up a stretch in his mind to fish, this would be it I'm sure of it.

Sadly the 'hole' didn't produce a fish so it was on to the next swim. I'm sure if I fished maggot or worm I'd have had a bite or two but I was very singleminded in my target.

One of the early sessions down here I caught the river just right and caught quite a few chub in a single session, but it was when I lost a fish to a hook pull because I was fishing a little light, that made me raise ones eyebrows.

There are some big Chub down here after all and I want to catch one. This season has been kind to me on the Chub front managing a PB of 5lb 8oz off the Warwickshire Avon and I'd love to catch a fish of similar stamp here.

I'm not sure how big they could go, but after losing what felt like a decent fish I'm looking forward to seeing just exactly what lurks in this small river.

Now George he of 36k views on Canal Roach Fishing, yes really !!! sent me a message to say that he was off so after fishing one more swim I headed up to his swim. It's the swim where I lost the good'un so a good swim to finish the session on.

I had a good hour or so in the swim and fished 3 areas, the last after priming it with some free offerings. Again not even a pull on the tip let alone a bite. All very odd, the Chub were not at home or just not interested, so another blank to add to my growing list.

So that's it for the river season then, all done and dusted. I've somehow managed to maintain my lead on the Bloggers Challenge river scorecard, after managing 1000 points at one stage, only to see them being reduced week on week. I've put the effort in though, not many anglers want to target bullheads and ruffe in these carp times, but for me, it's where my maggot dangling pastime belongs, where my allegiances lie.

Now where are my Zander rods !!!! I've a double figure canal Zander to catch.


  1. Double figure zed..that's a decent goal.

    1. As Carl Cox the DJ would say 'Oh Yes' 'Oh Yes' !!!!

  2. I'd love to see that Zed Mick! Best of luck with that quest and that river looks like Chub heaven!

    1. Cheers James, and yes my sort of river for sure, shame was just an off day today

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