Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Peter & the Gulf

With ("NEVER start a sentence with 'with' Burton!", I can hear my English master now) the assault on the Leam reaching fever-pitch in terms of hours spent, but not in respect of fish caught, the highlight of the week was clear

Parps won his school class World Book Day 'dressing-up as a character' event with is own interpretation of his newly resurrected angling hero. Yes, you guessed it, Mr Crabtree. I could have been Peter but the prospect of shaving my legs stopped me 

That apart we've experienced the piping of the kingfisher, a raven attacking a buzzard, two five ounce dace, a scale-perfect chub just a minnow short of two pounds, endured over a hundred tippy-tappy bites from presumed micro-dace, a ten ounce fin-perfect roach and the unedifying sight of minnows discarded by an 'angler' onto the muddy bank alive and left to die; and here they are, in no particular order:


Early in 2012 the target of a four pound river chub was set, after which the range of venues was somewhat limited to one stretch of the 'what I call' middle Leam (apologies to Miranda Hart,) upstream of Leamington Spa. During which time it has become apparent that this particular riparian beat, despite it's feature-laden appearance, is somewhat under provided for in the chub department. This has been deduced through experience and in discussion with others on the bank none of whom it seems, during that period, have landed a single one, although I do find I have the bank to myself after dark (maybe there's a night fishing ban? I hadn't considered that, 'must enquire)

As it is unlikely that there will be another opportunity to get on the bank of flowing water before the dreaded 15th (in fact as I write this it is the evening of 13th and with work tomorrow but some time available on Friday morning it is likely that will mean canal or lake) the list to date of fish over 1lb for that stretch comprising around 6 suitable swims reads, and will remain, as follows: 3-13-0, 2-15-0, 2-5-0, 2-0-6, 1-15-2

The gulf between the size of chub on the upper Warks Avon compared to these Leam fish is really noticeable with four pounders regular and fives not entirely unusual on the former watercourse. I had based the quest on old knowledge and have found it to be wanting as the contemporary angler has perhaps shown the Leam not quite to be the River it once was in respect of specimen fish. Very enjoyable nevertheless, but what do I know - I have hardly fished the whole river!

The notion that there are very few chub in the length I have preferred is borne-out by the small number of fish caught when in fact all sessions have been in pursuit of them largely with big chunks of flake or crust and occasional lobworms with a good proportion of the hours of concentration being in the first hour of darkness, when, interestingly, the two biggest were taken...or of course the obvious option that I'm really not very good at it also springs to mind

Anyway, quite what the benefit of all that is I've no idea

So, what to concentrate on for the next three months then?...hmm. Spawning canal roach in the hope of a podgy belter? Is that 'legal'?


  1. George, my own results from this stretch of river have been well documented in my own blog, and lag far behind your own. I haven't decided yet in what proportions to be pleased for you, impressed or jealous!

    However, having fished the Leam on and off for a year, I was at least extremely pleased to read (at long last) someone else's take on this middle Leam stretch.

    I should confess that I have become a little obsessed with it. Despite all available evidence I am refusing to believe there aren't good fish in there, and I will carry on until I find them (!) - but despite my determination, your trips have proved a great deal more fruitful than mine.

    Bearing in mind I'm normally confined to a few hours of morning fishing at the weekend, and have therefore done nothing after dark, my best so far has been a chub just shy of a pound, a roach of perhaps 10oz and, most recently, a bream of 1lb 10oz. The micro-bites have been driving me mad in recent weeks - I briefly wondered about crayfish, but tiny dace makes more sense.

    I have been concentrating on big bread and worm baits nailed to the bottom this winter, but over the autumn I had some success (albeit modest) with maggot up in the water - but again, nothing on any size.

    Anyway, please keep reporting - one of us may crack it in time!

  2. Thank you for your comments. It is a certainly venue that has needed some perseverence but that has been more because of the weather and water levels than the fish I think. Maybe if we had a season of more 'normal' weather things would be marginally easier

    I think 'obsessed' is a good word for it, that's quite how I felt, but the surroundings being so engaging help no end don't they?

    I'm tempted to try another length next year, further upstream, but am also quite keen to try some areas in Leamington itself but that's more a case of juggling the cost of licences really

    We'll no doubt keep striving and between us we'll find some action I'm sure. I, like you, have been convinced they are there but concentrated approach is often the only way to find out. I was reading yesterday that John Bailey would endure 30-odd blanks in his quest for a 3lb roach on the Wensum so my efforts are feeble in comparison (having said that, just 4 or 5 blanks would have me wondering!)