The Oxfordshire wetlands

Silverfisher

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In the absence of the opportunity to fish at the moment I took a drive around a number of my local waters today to see just how far reaching the floods were and it was more like the wetlands of the gulf states than Oxfordshire!

The Cherwell and ray covered several fields, Thames and seacourt were just about in the fields above oxford and at Medley it was well into port meadow, the foot path was the only bit of dry land at donnington with water both sides and at sandford it is on its way to submerging most the island. The the most spectacular flooding was at Clifton Hampden though. Both club stretches, the village green, the campsite stretch and the free stretch were completely submerged by deep water as were the surrounding fields. The picture from the now riverside pub shows it best, you can just about see the life buoy where the river usually is and the picture doesn’t do justice as to how far that really is. Ockley brook, padbury brook and tetchwick brook that surround my 3 local stillwaters respectively have also flooded making those venues dodgy as well and the canal is flowing over the locks again. Apparently the windrush has flooded the carp fisheries over that way as well. So much for fishing over the Christmas break!
 

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Lee Richards

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The Lower Severn has now been over three metres or more above it's normal level for the time of year for fourteen weeks.
End of October it was only 0.3m lower than its all time peak at the Worcester station.
End in site estimated 14th March
 

Silverfisher

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It’s the worst end to a year I can remember!

I haven’t fished a stillwater since 18 October or a river since 15 September. I haven’t had a single day off work since that October date that has coincided with a combination of fishable weather and water levels. I’ve never witnessed 3 separate big time river floodings in the space of 2 months and this is the first time I’ve ever found stillwaters virtually inaccessible or seen a canal flood.

Still 8 more days off after today with Boxing Day the last day of rain so hoping at least a stillwater will be worth a go before I’m back at work.
 

davylad

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I bumped in to a mate who fishes a lake that I fish, until the winter months, when I switch to sea fishing. He told me, there's not many pegs fishable from the 40 odd usually available, due to being under water. The strange thing to me though, is those who have fished the few pegs above water, have hardly caught a silver fish, it's been nearly all carp.
 

MarkW

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I followed the Dorset Stour to its headwaters yesterday, two bridges closed but the river isn't really badly coloured and has started to drop fast in its upper reaches, though across the fields in the middle and lower reaches. I got on a commercial in North Dorset and had ten carp to 7lbs on 2lb line and a waggler with maggots in mild conditions. There's a chance the middle Stour will be fishable later in the week as the water will take 36 hours to go through.

A very long time ago (Feb 1975?) I fished in what was then Wolvercote Bathing Place (just below the car park) with the water at the top of the bank, just float fishing close in and had a good roach and a decent skimmer plus gudgeon etc., not sure how high it was relative to current conditions though. Immediately above Medley Sailing Club is slacker but dependent on Binsey Lane being passable.
 

squimp

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A pal of mine actually fished the Thames last Thursday below Reading. I was amazed that he could even get to the river.

he said it was bank high and really pushing. He could just hold close in with a 6oz lead ! One bite = 9lb bream.

i had a look at the Bristol Avon yesterday and it was too boily to fish.
 

Silverfisher

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Yeah if you were mad enough you could have just about fished it last week if you had a rod resembling a beach caster. Absolutely no chance now though. It’s probably as high as I’ve ever seen it, there are places well underwater that I’ve not seen slightly underwater before.
 

Lee Richards

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One of my fishing buddies fished the bank high Severn a few weeks ago and had a 15lb plus Zander.
Last week on the same lure and with the river still high and coloured a Perch just under three.

He who dares and all that...
 

Silverfisher

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Would be a long cast to reach the bank in some spots I saw today and those you could reach you’d need a brick to hold bottom! Is quite impressive to see in a devastating sort of way though, the power of nature and all that. It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t take a fair while to go back to normal.
 
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