I plumped for the Leam, but decided on new territory this week. I had eyed up a swim on a pre-season recce that I fell for hook, line and sinker. It was a beautiful wide pool (for the upper Leam) below a bend. Nestled in a wooded area it was completely secluded and quiet. It screamed out to be fished.
So why has it taken me until December to fish it? In truth I've tended to take the easier options of less walking, preferring to try out swims nearer to parking areas. Given that I had zero knowledge of the upper river, I didn't really want to take on longer walks without first trying the obvious convenient swims.
The other deciding factor was the mass of chest high vegetation to wade through, just to get near the river. It was too much trouble in all honesty.
Autumn and Winter bring about big changes to the accessibility of natural venues. Areas that were badly overgrown, suddenly open up and my target swim was one of those. With a just a minimal amount of gardening I was settled in position.
I plodded away for about 90 minutes and it was tough going. A roach of 12oz broke my duck, but that was it for that swim. I feel sure it has plenty of potential though (in better conditions) and with a bit more maintenance (which I'll complete next visit) it will be a better proposition.
I tried three other swims and managed only slim pickings - a couple more roach and a dace. I missed too many bites though - possibly roach getting the better of me.
I'm starting to take more of an interest in the redfins through my fishing on the Leam. Having never topped the pound mark with a river roach, I'm eager to put that right now.
It's not quite time for Christmas well wishing yet. I'm hoping to squeeze in a Christmas Eve session.