Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Tuesday 7 February 2023

The River Leam - Rayleigh's and Rannygazoos

The last session here, up at the upper reaches of the syndicate stretch was a good while ago now but post work and for that much needed fishing fix I was back for more. I didn't fish it in ideal conditions really so this one would be in to dusk and in to dark to see if I could winkle out a roach or maybe a chub if a roach wasn't willing to bite. The swim just got to me, I don't know why but it looked perfect for a bite. Often as anglers we get a hunch something is good and I had a hunch about this swim (blank awaiting), so had to give it another go. 

With the rods strapped to the roof the night and the gear in the boot when I woke up in the morning to a hard frost and -5 degrees I did wonder if it was worth going. But the fact is I'll be there just prior to dusk at least biting time (if there was one) wouldn't be too far away. 

Now at present the roach is probably the most common and widespread coarse fish species in the UK, with England, apart from the West Country, having a much greater population than either Scotland or Wales. They are to be found in every type of waterway from the smallest of streams to major river systems such as the Severn, Trent and Thames. However, wherever roach occur, they seemingly need a good depth of steadily flowing water over their heads.

Roach are also extremely sensitive to light levels and behave much more confidently when the light is poor. They therefore favour swims in which some cover - often in the form of overhanging trees is available. As a consequence, dawn and dusk are usually highly productive periods in which to fish for roach, and also an excellent time to locate them because of their habit of rolling at the beginning and end of the day. 

There can be few more exciting sights in fishing than to witness the broad back and dorsal fin of a big roach slicing through the surface in the half-light. Roach are shoal fish with the numbers in any given shoal varying from as little as a handful to many thousands, depending on the volume of water available. The Leam well, I was after some of the ageing stragglers. When I fished the tiny river Ise I was amazed just how the roach seemed to like hanging out in almost still water too. 

The roach's willingness to share both swims and spawning grounds with their close relatives the bream and rudd (and, to a lesser extent, chub), frequently leads to hybridization - a situation which can cause real headaches for anglers in search of true roach of specimen size, and in smaller rivers like this predation from cormorants, otters and mick (All three spotted on this stretch) it also means that they are always watching their backs in their ever decreasing containment. 

I arrived about an hour before dusk and on-route to the swim I dropped in to a tasty looking swim where a slack confirmed it was nice and deep. It looked so perfect for a chub I thought it would only be a few minutes before the rod went over, but it never happened.

Colin was keeping the swim warm for me when I got to the chosen spot and after a quick natter he headed off downstream to where I'd been catching chub recently (Nigel and Colin ended up having one each) 

It's mad how deep some of these swims are for such a small river and I said before this swim really did look perfect for a roach bite. As the sun was setting one of the most vibrant skies I've seen in a good while and I felt really blessed that I was bankside to see it.

It only lasted ten minutes or so like that but wow, cracking !!!

Anyway that was the highlight despite scaling down a little and fishing well in to dark there wasn't even a tiny, nibble a rattle or an indication. Still I knew it would be tough going , but who cares when the scenery delights like it do this evening, Acccccidddddddd !!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...