Monday 2 January 2023

The River Leam (Sorry Arrow) - Baumbach and Baculiforms

I’m not really sure where to start on Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise” on Netflix, the film’s first hour, which introduces the apparently but not really surreal setting, the neurotic characters and themes, works much better than the latter half, which feels sped-up, going from one strange moment to the next. Woefully miscast (every single role is off) and sloppily adapted to the point of schizophrenia. 

Massive budget apparently and yet for me and the Wife, it was dull as ditch water 

Now talking of ditch water !!!

Taking a look back at my blog I'd not fished the River Leam for nearly a year probably because the last visit here I blanked and I was not in a rush to go back. It's only a 20 mile drive so 25 minutes or so but I suppose the reality is I have plenty of small rivers closer to me that I've found much more productive. It's a river full of promise though, but more of that later. 

If I lived as close to the river as George Burton and some of the fellow syndicate members I'd be there all the time, because not only have some nice roach been showing >1lb 8oz'ers but some 4lb chub too. For a small river in these predated quarters the roach certainly have my interest. 

Now George has been putting the hard work in, so I'm not exactly going to ask him for a what3words location am I, but I kind of had an idea from the WhatsApp group the area I should be targeting. The river probably wouldn't be in the best of fettle for this session but for the first post of 2023 I wanted to fish a small river.

I got myself preoccupied with the bigger rivers, because lets be honest they hold larger fish of the same species but the roach, well they are worth targeting on the Leam and whenever I fish small streams and these diminutive waterways, I always raise a smile, they really are forgotten in modern angling and yet peace, solitude and nature are here in abundance, what's not to like. 

Now the chief changes in the river at this time of the year are absence of weeds, a lower temperature of the water, and, generally, an increase in the volume of water, and therefore an increase in the force of the current. 

The water may also be more coloured than in summer and consider the effects the other circumstances have on the position of fish. 

The fish having now no weed-cover seek the deeper portions of the streams, and are no doubt greatly influenced in this move by the change in the temperature of the water. 

Barbel, carp, gudgeon, and eels now cease to afford any sport to the angler, and bream and tench bite but rarely; but roach, dàce, perch, chub, and pike feed well in suitable weather, and are in prime condition.

If the water has increased much in volume, the difficulty is to find sufficiently quiet swims, for swims which were suitable in summer cannot now be fished on account of the increased force of the current. 

Chub will be in the same swims as in August, except when the stream has become too strong for them; but the other fish shift about a good deal, according to the height and colour of the water. 

If no quiet swims with gravelly or sandy bottoms are to be found, those with a muddy bottom may be tried. As a rule, most coarse fish which bite in winter are caught when rivers are clearing, and it is floods and coloured water which make the greatest difference in the position of the fish. 

Floods drive them into the eddies and quiet corners where they can get out of the great force of the stream, and  where, no doubt, their food collects. Colour in the water has the peculiar effect of bringing fish on to the shallows, and often the thicker the water, the shallower are the swims in which they will be found. 

Two reasons probably bring fish into shallow water when the river is coloured I suppose. First, because in the deeps light cannot reach the bottom, and food cannot be seen; and second, because many varieties of fish prefer shallow to deep water when they can safely come into such places without being seen by man and their other enemies. 

It must not, however, be supposed that there are no fish in deep, coloured water. Many are caught during floods in deep swims, but a much larger proportion of fish are found in shallow water in such circumstances. The best hours for fishing in the winter are from eleven to three I've found, but a good deal depends on the temperature of the air, the fish feeding best during the more genial portion of the day. 

I have, however, at the close of a bad day, known both roach and perch begin to feed voraciously towards sunset when the temperature fell and it began to freeze hard. When rivers rise in flood, and the water spreads over the meadows, the fish flock on to the grass, and feed on the drowned insects and worms. 

At such times it is, as a rule, not much use to go fishing, owing to the great difficulty of finding the quarry in a wide expanse of water; but an angler may unexpectedly stumble on a place where fish are collected together in great numbers, and have good sport.

Take the river Arrow you see, I had planned to go to the Leam to try for a roach but the river after being well up was taking Agggggggggeeeessss to come down.

The Stour as well was over the banks in places so for a small river fix I had the local Alne and Arrow luckily so I chose the Arrow for one's morning exploits. One swim I caught this little scout from was chock full of similar sized chublets. So much so I was getting through the bread rather quickly so had to get moving and to try and find the bigger fish.

It didn't take long to be honest because this stretch for example is very shallow indeed, and despite the river being up who in their right mind will reside in the fast water when the warmer holes and deeper areas will hold the fish.

There was a frost overnight here so that often puts the fish off because they need to get accustomed to the conditions like all cold-blooded poikilothermous vertebrates, but drop some bread on their noggins they are more often than not accommodating. 

Nothing big in this 3 hour session, but the solitude here is well rather nice especially when I had the banks to myself. I caught 5 proper chub and around 10-12 chublets so plenty of bites roving between swims but those larger fish that do reside here didn't make an appearance. 

An enjoyable first session of 2023 though and sadly it's back to work tomorrow, it's gone too fast, but as George says, nothing grows under my feet as I've certainly got out enough over the Christmas break. Will I manage more sessions then 2022 ? highly unlikely but you never know, I do seem to amass them rather quickly I must admit. 

1 comment:

  1. I was a bit slow with the What3Words. 😂😂


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