Tuesday, 23 December 2014

THE LAST FESTIVE GASP...A Search for Big Leam Roach Commences

A couple of hours before and into dark this afternoon, in and around the last minute festive splashing-out, saw the last of the 'first meadow' pegs on the new River Leam stretches tested

Much shallower at around 6 feet, and with the colour dropping rapidly out now, I wasn't too sure what to expect. The deeper pegs would probably have been a better bet but these constant 20 to 40 mph winds have been affecting the water and air temperatures had been high for a few days so it was worth a shot, or so I thought

Depositing the bread feed into the swim I sat back and fixed a view on the float. Previously I had noticed instant bites on each occasion I had used the pole here, except once, so immediate confidence should have been high but I was touch flaky on the subject as the wind buffeted the pole which I had to hold high to control the rig

The line speared, taught, into the water some 10 metres above a part fallen willow and I hoped that fish sheltering there would move up onto the feed but deep down I knew the bread approach was an all or nothing, early doors-only method. (Cliché after cliché? My word Float Flight, what is going-on!)

Two casts before a bite, the shock!, but then the float sank down a hole and a fish was on. Only a two ouncer, and the smallest fish from the stretch thus far, but a start. Every angler needs a start

Next put-in met with another sail-away bite but this time it fought back and made the most of the flow here on a narrow peg where the speed of current was greater than in the deeper wider pegs downstream. From the polite nodding fight I suspected roach and sure enough Lord Rutilus surfaced as I drew him in front of me away from the fed area. He looked a cracker and would go over a pound for sure. Another perfect fish without even the merest hint of scale or fin damage

This was the second largest roach from the Leam in three years trying (beating one only an ounce or so smaller just a month ago into third) albeit generally targeting chub, but now that the pole is proving effective for them I might just revisit some swims that might suit it to see what can be achieved with a more refined method without the problem of 'tappy' bites on a quiver-tip...and with ten days or so of relaxation ahead who could possibly resist?! Well not his angler for sure

A further fish of around seven or eight ounces was followed by two smaller ones and then the action subsided. One missed bite and one fish pulled-out of to add to those banked was not a bad return for just over an hour's pole fishing while I could still see but the tip with a lump of crust produced not even a tap after dark and it was off to the shops again to finish the list just as the clouds burst and drenched me on the walk back...great!

The roach biggest weighed in at 1-1-6
(Photos a bit poor today. Not sure quite why but not much focussing going on there it seems...and quite literally no birds to report at all)


  1. That's a nice roach George. I'm hoping to pop by tomorrow to see if I can crack the pound barrier myself. Some odd recent readings for the Leam on the river levels site, in particular the trough early afternoon today.

    1. Okay Sean, good luck. I look forward to an update.

      I have some info on the river levels which may interest you. If I can find it I'll emal it to you

  2. I have a book by Tony Miles which includes a whole chapter on the Leam. It's good reading - the whole book is - and off the top of my head I can recall that he had roach to more than two pounds from the river and perch to over three. Roach were on lobs when the river was in flood.

    1. Ah yes Russ

      I have a photo I'd like to share with you that I think would make you smile but don't know how to email it to you outside blogworld...any ideas?


    2. Hi George, just seen this. Blogger is a pain because it doesn't send me an email to me when someone replies to a comment I've left on their blog, so it relies on me to revisit that post again. Anyway, please feel free to contact me at russell.hilton@hotmail.co.uk