Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Friday 27 January 2023

The River Leam - Misdemeanours and Misoneisms

Back in the lockdown days I actually received a reply to an email I sent to my local MP, who was none other than Nadhim Zahawi. Now unless you've had your head in the sand, Nadim you see has just had to pay his dues and hand over a load of unpaid tax to the treasury. Nothing new there really as not long back he had to put his hands up as he claimed expenses to supply his stables with electricity.🐴

Yes really, both misdemeanours were an easy mistake to make apparently !!! But then who likes to pay tax, I certainly don't, he's done well for himself, I wish I could lose that amount under the sofa. 
Anyway I merely asked the question, when we were all confided to our homes and to twiddle our thumbs why the heck couldn't I go fishing, what harm would it do ? I'll be away from others, on my own, "it's great for ones wellbeing"

And he agreed, common sense, not a problem, fill your boots reading between the lines in his well worded reply. 

Remember these were times when taking exercise meant exercise, not having a coffee with a friend whilst strolling in the park, no m'lud. 

A rule breaker right there, a fixed penalty for you !!. I was amazed I received a reply, Nadhim can you have a word with your compadres to do the same please.  I never had to use that email as a get out clause because not long after after lobbying by the angling trust, we could all get out fishing again, whilst the club swingers couldn't frequent their fairways. 

Talking about rule breakers, a stop off to get some maggots on-route to the Leam (Mick get back on track) who'd have thought that two doors down from my local tackle shop, 430 cannibals plants would be discovered, I did wonder how Martyn could sell hemp so cheaply !!!!. 

Now as angling literature goes there doesn't seem much on the river Leam. Author and angler Tony Miles being a local lad fished it over the years and when he got in to specimen hunting and fish chasing, the Leam was still on his radar because those pockets of 4lb chub he was catching, eventually threw up a 5lber.

A decent fish in any river let alone an often forgotten tributary of the Warwickshire Avon, where even in 2023 it's a river largely unfished. These sort of rivers are not to everyone's tastes through are they. 

For me it's a bit of a trek to go fishing there, because the Alne,  Arrow and Warks Stour are much closer, very similar in appearance and piscatorial pursuits and also hold fish of similar stamp. Even in Tony Miles writings there isn't much on the roach population and if it is wasn't for the syndicate I'm part of, I'd be none the wiser that there are some specimens to be had. 

As Nadim says above, it's a team game after all !!!

It's all relative I suppose, a 1lb and a half roach caught on the Southern chalk streams, would barely raise an eyebrow, but in the Shires, that's a very good fish indeed. It was below freezing last time here but at least it was a few degrees above for this session in to dark. 

This time it was a two rod approach, a scaled down helicopter rig on an alarm and bobbin (yes really) as a sleeper and then a running rig with feeder and bread would be the main attack. 

The sleeper rod I'd use maggots and black roach groundbait though, roach love maggots and having only fished bread so far down at this deeper area was I missing a trick ?

Only one way to find out I suppose, better get fishing....

Nothing much happened for half an hour or so but then a pluck on the bread rod out of nowhere I was a little premature on the strike and I missed the bite. As soon as the rod went back out it didn't take long for another bite and I was in to a fish.

It was giving a good account for itself as well and quite good fun on the scaled down roach rig. It was soon in the net though and was quite a nice looking fish. Not the biggest but in good nick.

I lost another fish soon after that felt much bigger but after getting it out from the reeds by my feet another run it it got tangled up sadly and the hooklink parted company. It looked a 4lber too, hmmmm. Maybe I should bring my proper chub gear next time.

Anyway another fish caught of similar size on the bread and the maggot rod, well not even a bleep. Then an hour where there was no bites whatsoever and then as dusk approach again another tentative pluck and the odd tap I decided to strike and I was in to another fish. 

3lb 4 ounces on the scales and then that's when things upped a gear, 3 more fish caught within the hour and one well in to dark. The maggot rod, well I won't bother next time as that had no action whatsoever, all very odd.

So 5 fish caught in 3.5 hours or so, ok not prolific, but for a small river and the fact I stayed in the same swim , that's not bad in my book. The roach ? well, sadly as elusive as ever. !!!


  1. Food for thought. Sleeper bolt rig for river roach, you heathen.
    You'll be setting a gill net for
    them next.
    ( I'll be trying the sleeper 😁)

    1. Didn't work though !!! thing is it's really deep so sort of limits the approach really. Not even a sucked maggot though, weird.


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