My favourite method, is using a single Swan shot and rolling a lump of meat along the bottom.You can feel the take and the Buzz from this is instant.An alternative is to wop out a feeder and sit there waiting for a bite. I know which i'd choose.
If I remember rightly the Wensum is a slow moving river and the one thing that Chub are partial to is a moving bait, so try Stu's method also try using a whole lob worm with the same rig as you'll find that this too can be deadly.
If you're travelling light, freeline some bread crust with one or two loose bits around it but beware of ducks.
Another method which works well is a waggler slowly fed through the swim.
Use a peacock waggler shotted so that it sits with about an inch from the water. Plumb the depth and set your rig 12 inches over depth. Five or six inches from the hook place two no4 shot and let the float drag them along the bottom. On the hook try maggots or waspgrub if you can get hold of any.
Try to keep the line upstream of the float and what you will have is a bait that is trundling along the bottom, stopping and starting which again can prove irresistable.
Feed loose maggots along the same line.
When you get a bite the float will stop its 'waggle' and slide under often aggressively. If the float keeps being dragged under by the bottom, remove one of the no4's.
I'm not too sure about the Wensum but i can give you some tips for Chub.
The one thing they like is smelly bait such as cheese paste. Drop a large marbel sized lump under overhanging trees and watch it go.
One not for the squeemish is the large black slugs that you get in gardens. After a heavy rain and once the water levels are falling put one on a ledger and a size 4 hook and drop it into water around known snaggs and ledges. Use line minimum of 5lb though.
Finally try bread flake if the water is slow and trot it through under a balsa float about 2feet under the surface. Use fresh bread as it flakes better and doesnt smother the hook when you strike.
Use mashed bread as loose feed.
I'm a Tractor Boy! so as a Canary, you may wanna ignore this!
As Dave says, wasp Grub is the killer bait for chub on the float.
I used to phone the local Rentokil boys,or pest exterminators from the paper, or try and find your local Council Pest man. (Frowned upon by Council cos its extra income)
They used to sell me the dug up nests for 2-4 dependant on demand.
I used to bake the nest whole for about 30 mins on a moderate oven (Well you got Delia Smith!)
Then seperate all the flake and mix it with a little brown crumb to feed.
Pick out some Prime grubs for the hook and break up the honeycomb/cake.
Using a stick float, Id start feeding flake/crumb and fishing the grub. Theyd soon get going and after a time I used to love freelining with a big hook and nothing else, great lumps of floating cake!
Yhe chub came up like Pike after Ducklings!!!
Good Luck and welcome.
THANKS ! everyone for your help, some very useful hints . I got the river fishing bug only this season, but now its all i want to do .my girlfriend still hasnt worked out that everywhere we go on hoiday,its near a major river ?
thanks again jel .
scouse again, try
what i use on the river dane is frying steak
on 16 hook trotted down with mince thrown in
as a kind of ground bait the mince must be the frozon type
dont use fresh mince it floats if you have a farmfoods by you get mince from there its the best for this kind of fishing leave out over night mince will be ready when you get to river, of cause dont cook it, use raw same as steak
hope this helps
What l use up here in the North East is liquildised bread riddled through a sieve then use in a cage feeder with a short hooklength say 15in with a size 6 or 8 hook...chub love it....but if you can get away with the smallest feeder the better at this time of the year...dont want to overfeed em...luvverly chubberly