A bleak day on the Thames


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Nov 5, 2018
Sunday 21st June:

Fished Rushey on the mid Thames today, its on the South Cerney and Tadpole AC tickets, and is the upstream section from the Trout Inn. I fished it a few times before, only close to the weir, decided this time to fish lower down, knowing Tadpole AC had a match on the stretch the evening before.

I fished peg 10, my mate fished 4, which is above where the boat channel joins, meaning he had a narrower stretch to fish.

I set up 2 float rods, one waggler on a new (to me) Shimano technium 13ft, with a home made Norfolk reed waggler carrying 4 aaa plus droppers. (I needed the weigh as I was casting underarm because of trees), the other rod was a MAP Matchtek fishing a stick, 4 x 4, but shotted entirely with nbr 8s. (my go to Microlight is having a new handle fitted). Both rods with 506 mk2s.

About 6-7 ft in the boat channel, I started on the waggler and then flipped between that and the stick for the session. Bait was maggots, I also fed hemp.

Ended up with a lot of small fish, nothing needed the landing net, but probably had about 5 pounds, a lot of bleak, plus a few roach, dace and a lot of chublets including some small ones which must be yearlings, positive signs the river is healthy.

Wind was a problem, it was gusty and blowing downstream and slightly towards me, meaning presentation was difficult, when it was calm, I could get the waggler running down the far bank nicely.

My mate had about the same weight wise, but few netter roach, he fished stick and feeder.

I probably should have fished the feeder against the far bank, but this was my first river session and it was float or bust.
I probably could have caught more using a whip, but this wasn't about quantity.
I need to change the line I'm using for the stick, been waiting to get my hands on the Dave Harrell stuff, but didn't want to pay postage, need to get on with it.
I noted Silverfisher uses a 'hempy' groundbait mix for river fishing, this is something I'm going to experiment with.
If I fish that peg again, I'm going to take a pruning saw.
I need to solve ongoing problems with nbr 8 shot coming off when I'm moving them. (I am one to continually tinker with my setup).