Float fishing boily rivers

Silverfisher

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Don't wish the winter away, plenty of good Roach fishing to be had.
If only that were the case here, the roach fishing in winter here is about as patchy as it is consistent in the summer and autumn

. Roll on summer and a nice smooth flow. :LOL:
Amen to that, not so much because of the flow more just some fish willing to eat and move about a bit!
 

carphauler

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Arley is OK, I never have any luck upwards of the bridge, found a few pegs that can fish the stick but it's hard work.
Below the bridge is better for me but I’ve only found one or two pegs that I can float fish, as I've said before my favourite barbel peg is just way too deep, the rig I had on once was deeper than my 13ft rod so I didn't bother.
 

Simon R

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Is the area you were fishing normally 'boily' or is that something that only happens with extra water in the river?

Personally, unless I couldn't, I avoid areas of boily water when the rivers at normal level - they're normally caused by either an unseen obstruction on the bed of the river or at a point where unseen underwater currents converge - this generally causes the little whirlpools and vortices.

Despite how a river looks it doesn't all flow at the same speed and in the same direction - the flow at the surface may be considerably faster than that close to the bottom due to friction. The textbooks call it laminar flow but outside of a laboratory that's very difficult to replicate in real life - however the theory behind it is that different layers of water travel at different speeds. The problem with trying to use the theory of laminar flow in an actual river is that rivers are rarely smooth bottomed or of uniform width,depth or velocity.
When water hits an obstruction either the obstruction moves or the water moves around it, similarly when it hits the bankside - these movements cause currents beneath the surface that may not be visible or even flow in the same direction as the rest of the river and where these currents intersect you get your vortices.

You get many more of them when the river's in flood simply because the rivers carrying more water and so will generally be hitting the bankside in different places and if the overall velocity has increased some of the underwater obstruction may have been moved further downstream. Certainly on the upper reaches of the Yorkshire rivers - where you have the typical pool/riffle/pool sequence and a rocky/gravel bottom - a few winter floods can completely change whole sections.
There was a deep far-bank area of slow moving water on our old club stretch of the Swale near Catterick that was a dead cert for chub - if you could present a bait properly (long rod a necessity) - a section of bank further upstream collapsed one winter dropping a concrete slab (some sort of flood protection measure I guess) into the river and diverting the flow - within six months the deep water pool had become a gravel filled riffle less than a foot deep.

Trying to float fish in a deep river full of boils and vortices, even with a much larger float, is not easy.
Despite what the nice, fancy diagrams in the angling press show your bait will only precede your float if you hold back very hard - however hold back too hard - or use too light a float - and your bait will lift off the bottom. Also everything under the water will not be in dead straight lines - all those underwater currents that you may be unaware of will be twisting and turning your bait - perhaps lifting it off the bottom or dragging your float under - either way giving the bait a most unnatural appearance and alerting any feeding fish that there's something wrong.

Unless I could find a nice smooth, 'non-boily' bit of the river I'd fish the feeder or the lead when the rivers up - I much prefer fishing the float but sometimes it's better to present a static bait properly rather than a float fished bait badly.

Simon
 

Simon R

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I had a guest (a member on here) with me a couple of years back. He thought I was quite mad making him fish some of the water I did. IIRC, he said that a few spots looked more like canoe slalom courses than fishing spots. That was in pretty benign low water summer conditions too.
I remember the first time I saw the stretch of the Swale we used to lease at Catterick - there was one long glide in the middle and the rest, as far as I was concerned was totally unfishable.
Then I saw one of our members fishing down towards the bottom end of the stretch in no more than 18" of water with a home made 2SSG chubber - he'd had a brace of grayling and three trout from water I'd have walked straight past.
Taught me a lot about river fishing that short stretch of river.

Simon
 

Dave Spence

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Big balsa, 2, 3 or more ssg, depending on flow and depth and hold it back hard.
 

OldTaff

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My dad used to fish the Usk and Gavenny all the time around Abergavenny and Crickhowell which could be really turbulent and I recall him using some properly huge avon style floats with a lot of SSG on the line running chunks of bread, smelly cheese or bouquets of worms down through to tempt huge chub out.

Wish I still had his old kit - it looked Heath Robinson alongside modern offerings but it put a lot of fish on the bank.
 

Zerkalo

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Is the area you were fishing normally 'boily' or is that something that only happens with extra water in the river?

It's not normally boily in this peg. It's a fast stretch of the middle Severn though.

You get a nice trot there in normal conditions and I have had a few Dace from there before. It was the same peg I have talked about before when someone came and fished the next peg down from me and shortened my trotting distance.

In hindsight, I can see my float was much too light, but I still question if I would have caught much there, on this particular stretch of the Severn given the conditions and whether or not any silverfish would have been present and feeding with the river being high and fast.

I say I was fishing a 'slack' down the edge, but the peg I was in was actually a gravel run out in the middle with a bit of 'slacker' water a rod length or two out. I was Barbel fishing for the rest of the day but not catching any of them either. :LOL:
 

Sam Vimes

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I remember the first time I saw the stretch of the Swale we used to lease at Catterick - there was one long glide in the middle and the rest, as far as I was concerned was totally unfishable.
Then I saw one of our members fishing down towards the bottom end of the stretch in no more than 18" of water with a home made 2SSG chubber - he'd had a brace of grayling and three trout from water I'd have walked straight past.
Taught me a lot about river fishing that short stretch of river.

Simon
It's part of the reason some anglers scoff when I talk about some of my float fishing methods. The higher reaches of our local rivers have little in common with what comes to mind for most folks when they think of a river.
 

roachman 1960

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i love stick float fishing , but it has its limitations try a big all Balsa float probably 4AAA upto 5swan that would go through a lot better big Bulk down and a couple of number 6 or 4 as droppers
 
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