Monday, 4 August 2014

Small Stream Adventures

Last week's session on a deep part of the River Leam proved to be a struggle in the hot, bright conditions. Some small fish including a hybrid of around a pound were taken early doors, but as the session wore on, bites became very scarce.

This week we moved on to a different section for a short evening session, tackling some water with a shade more movement and a little less depth. The first swim I tackled was still a good 8ft deep just off the rod tip though.

With a nice glide down to an overhanging tree it promised lots and screamed of chub. Sadly it delivered nowt but a lone gudgeon that slipped off the hook on the way in.

Undeterred I headed off about 400 yards downstream to a peg I'd eyed up during a closed season recce. It had filled out a bit since I last visited and there seemed a lot less water to aim for, but the overhanging willow was an obvious feature.

A couple of roach in the 4-6oz class and a couple of perch, the larger of which was nudging the pound mark, helped me get off the mark for a day. A couple of small fish were lost on the way in and then the bites quickly dried up. A pike appeared out of the margins and chased after its prey and that came as a welcome boost. I haven't seen any real pike action on the Leam yet, so it's nice to know they do exist and I'll have a stab at them later in the year once I've worked out my favoured spots.

I legged it back to where I started and then went further on up to the extreme upstream end peg. Another lovely little peg with a steady glide, if perhaps a bit light on features. I had bites from the off, but all it yielded were half a dozen of the plumpest minnows I've seen in a long while.

A quick hop downstream to the next peg (which looked very similar) saw me into a something a bit more spirited on the first run through. On light tackle it led me a merry dance into various snaggy areas and I fancied it might be a chub. It was a welcome fish nudging towards the 2lb mark.

Nothing else showed up, but it was a worthwhile exercise to get to know another section of the river. It looks like a good chub venue for later in the year, with plenty of overhanging features and narrow glides. There's still plenty of new swims to try out yet, so we'll see where I end up next time.

I bought some extra gear in the closed season to help make me a little more mobile. So far I'm happy with the set up and I'll drop in a few reviews over the coming posts. First up I'll give a thumbs up for the Korum folding net:

I actually have 2 of them - the 22 & 26 inch versions. The 22 inch was a gift earlier in the year and although it's a nice little net, therein lies the problem - it's uncomfortably small. Don't get me wrong, it will hold any size of chub I'm ever likely to encounter around these parts and it's had bream over 6lb in it. The concern is that I do tend to attract pike with my general river tactics and they might prove a tight fit if I hok one by accident. Barbel would be an issue too (not that I ever catch them!).

Enter the 26 inch version which is both wider and considerably deeper. Again, it's not a net I'd choose to use for pike, but it would take a fair double figure fish. I did see the 30 inch version in the shop and it's a right beast of a net. In all honesty it didn't look terribly practical though because when folded down it didn't really save any space - a bog standard triangular folding net seems more logical if size is the main priority.

The bit I like with the 26 inch version is that it's just the right size when folded down to fit snugly into the top of my quiver - much better for transporting than a normal fixed round net and more compact on the bank than my triangular specimen sized net. It also dries out really quickly and comes with a handy stink bag. Available for around £16, I think it's a decent little buy.

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