River fishing help

Ryanad

New member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
4
I've gotten back into some river fishing over the summer while home from university. I fish my local river Alt in Formby, Liverpool. It's a hard river to fish with no real pegs. It also suffered from a massive ongoing pollution incident 15 or so years ago.

Whenever I fish when the river is what I call 'normal' (after about 2 or so days without heavy rain), I non stop catch roach, chub and dace all day. However, when there has been some rain and the river is fast and high I regularly blank. Is this normal in these conditions? Also, how should I seek out bigger chub in a shallow(ish) river that has a bed of almost endless weed?
 

Neil ofthe nene

Doing things differently.
Site Supporter
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
22,351
Flooded river. First thing to do is think like a fish. If you were a fish in a flooded, fast moving river where would you be? The answer is that you would find the slowest part of the river. In spate a river will carry a lot of sediment and larger items of rubbish. Fish want away from this and also want to expend as little energy as possible.

Walk the river and find slower areas. These could be behind an obstruction like a fallen tree or a weedbed. One favourite is a back eddy or slower area at the downstream inside of a sharp bend. The flow will naturally go across to the far side causing slack or slow water on your bank. Another slack area can be where a ditch or small stream runs into the main river. The ditch will provide a small area out of the main flow. Either side of a junction of two streams can provide slack water or back eddy.

If the accessible part is straight then I would be looking to run a float down the near bank, as close as I could manage. The drag caused by the bank and the bottom will slow the water closest to the bank. You may need to use a much heavier float than normal, something like a Loafer taking a few SSG. Like this

Drennan Loafers

Alternatively, but possibly not practical on a weedy river, is to use a heavy Lollipop float taking at least 5g in order to present the bait firmly in the last couple of inches of water. Inching through using a pole can produce a surprising return.


Another alternative is to present a feeder on the pole using a Nisa Bitemaster indicator.




As for chub on a weedy river, I would be looking to fish shallow over the top of the weed with a bait like bread, possibly maggot. But looking to bring the fish from the weed to take the food that they can see above them. Possibly even freeline floating crust.
 

bezzer

Regular member
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,956
I fish the upper reaches of the Warwickshire Avon, which in summer is clogged with streamer weed and Lilly pads. In places it's less than 2ft deep and can be crystal clear. My favoured method for winkling out the larger chub is either free-lined bread crust, or bread flake in conjunction with a link ledger. I do tend to beef up my tackle as once hooked the fish will head stright for the nearest snag. I'll use 8lb mainline with a size 6/8 hook.
 

Lee Richards

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
7,860
"Flooded river. First thing to do is think like a fish. If you were a fish in a flooded, fast moving river where would you be? The answer is that you would find the slowest part of the river. In spate a river will carry a lot of sediment and larger items of rubbish. Fish want away from this and also want to expend as little energy as possible. "

That's not strictly true Neil as a lot of big Barbel and Chub have been caught over the years by actually fishing out in or on the edge of the main flow.
Although there may be a lot of water on and rubbish coming down, the speed of the water in the lower layers on deeper water does not change that much - the difficulty is matching the tackle to suit the conditions.

I agree with you for other species that finding slack water is the better option but this in itself can cause problems as obstacles underwater and back eddies will deposit a lot of rubbish in these areas and this in-turn can make them very snaggy. The problem is compounded if you try to run a float through the peg

The best advice I can give anyone who fishes a flooded river ( and I do a fair bit of it) is:
Ideally unless experienced in fishing in these conditions don't go on your own.
Take a rope and a phone.
Make sure you know the pegs you are fishing first.
Have a good idea how the river flows in the peg and what the bank cover is normally like
Assess how much rubbish is coming down and will it affect how you fish.
 

The Landlord

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
3,987
Welcome Ryan.
I'm from over the water & I never knew the Alt was so big and have never heard of anyone fishing it! I've only ever driven over the narrow bits on my travels.
You learn something every day, as I've just discovered from this youtube video.

 

Zerkalo

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
8,194
Don't know the river Alt but I don't fish my river when it's too high but when it has a bit of extra water I like to fish either on the crease just out of the main flow or in the eddy with a bigger bait like worm on the hook,
 

tee.bee

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 16, 2009
Messages
621
River alt is a very weedy river in the summer but come the winter when its all died back its very easy to fish in summer try bread flake in gaps in the weed
 

fredradac

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2003
Messages
1,006
Been trying to solve similar problems on the Ribble for 60+ years!
I guess experience of which swims fish well in which conditions is the key.
 
Top