Tough Tip Session On Torrent Like Thames

Silverfisher

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So after a couple successful sessions in close to ideal river and weather conditions on the medley stretch of the Thames in the last week I was back out again today. However after 2 days rain I was now faced far from ideal river conditions even if the weather was alright. I think medley would have still fished ok as it can take more water but it had a big match on again so plan b was sandford. It initially had a match on as well but that had been cancelled due to the messy state of the river which probably didn’t bode well for how it would fish but I thought nothing ventured nothing gained. I would have fished the old channel that gave me plenty of good bags back in July but that was bombing through and horrible looking throughout. Instead I fished just below where the old and lock channels combine in the one fishable looking swim that at least wasn’t all boily and with a high enough bank to not be submerged! That however produced a challenge so unique that it made it worth reporting an otherwise not very report worthy session.

Said swim is quite close to some power lines but presumably safe enough given it’s clearly fished. I set a up at about 8 on the float which I was certain would produce a respectable amount of fish on the slacker inside line. However as soon as I picked the rod up to mend line I could feel current pulsing down the blank! I was amazed how far it could jump from the lines as I was a long way from what you’d generally consider the danger zone. You can imagine how disconcerting that was so by 8.30 I’d switched to the feeder (shorter rod and all that) which solved that problem but was never likely to produce much as its not a great feeder stretch at the best of times let alone today when I could barely hold bottom in the strong flow coupled with all the rubbish coming down the river. I fished through til about 1.30 when it started peeing it down and in that time the only fish were 8 decent roach, 3 small gudgeon and 2 poundish chub so probably less than 20% of the sort of totals I’ve averaged across most sessions this season and an even lower percentage than that of the couple bags I’ve done in the past week.

All fish were caught on the 11ft drennan acolyte ultra feeder rod paired with the drennan 7 series 4000 feeder reel loaded with 6lb maxima to 42g drennan block end feeder on a boom above a bead and swivel to a size 16 to 3.5lb drennan carp hook to nylon. The fish fell to a hookbait of double red maggot and the feeder contained frenzied hemp ground bait laced with red maggot and hemp.

So all in all a rather unsuccessful session. I can’t say it was unexpected given the state of the river and that I couldn’t use the float which I’m sure (whilst not likely produce the sort of bags I have been getting) would have produced a fair bit more than the feeder. Still the good sessions this season have far outweighed bad ones like today so can’t complain too much especially as the last of those good sessions was just a few days ago on Thursday. Ones things for sure I’m not fishing that swim or any others remotely near power lines again!

Judging by the upcoming forecast the river is only going to get worse for a while so it may be a couple weeks before I next get a session in. By then we’ll obviously be in potential frost territory after a likely flood so I doubt the fishing will be anywhere near as good as it has the vast majority of the time so far this season but I’ll still be giving it a go.

Pics of the swim and a couple stamp roach, should have got a chub pic really but was an awkward swim for netting so I didn’t even think about it once I’d done the netting. Note the frothy water on the far bank, you don’t get that often on the Thames this early in the season!
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Jimpanzee

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Nice read silver & a good effort in very tough conditions! A nice little return all things considered..
 

Silverfisher

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Nice read silver & a good effort in very tough conditions! A nice little return all things considered..
Thanks, was a good illustration of what we were discussing in the threads of my more successful reports earlier in the week of how the Thames is very productive when in good condition but a bit of a beast when it goes the other way!
 
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Silverfisher

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Thought I’d tag today’s report onto this thread as it wasn’t really worth of its own and the title is quite appropriate as it was a tough tip session on not quite a torrent like Thames but certainly a rather pacy one!

Apparently on Sunday when I had originally planned to fish the river had dropped and warmed up enough for the fishing to be picking up again after the weeks frosts and rain but that night’s and yesterday’s rain had sent it straight back up today. That didn’t leave many me options but I headed to medley which I knew would be fishable. It’s generally a first half of the season spot but I think the unseasonable mild temperatures of the last few days would have seen it fish well if not for the excess water.

It was up a good few inches from my last successful session there about 2.5 weeks ago, therefore over the near bank but within the far bank. It looked just about slow enough trot (near perfect colour weirdly given the extra water, maybe the frost effect?) but I’d stupidly forgot hemp and with the increased flow I’d have probably ran out of maggots fairly quickly so decided on the feeder. It was at that point I realised how much quicker it had got as I could barely hold bottom just a couple rod lengths out with 50g uptide style. Last session there 40g would just about hold at proper distance normal style with normal levels seeing around half that fine!

Fishing from just before 9 til just before 2 only brought 6 roach, 6 dace, 2 chublet, 2 bleak and 1 perch so a total that was a tiny fraction of my previous catches there. In hindsight I should have just float fished (especially as no wind) as whilst it would have probably meant a shorter session due to the bait situation I reckon I could have at least doubled probably tripled the catch. But you live and learn I guess!

Reckon the river will be half decent in a couple days but there’s lots of rain at the weekend so will probably be a couple weeks before I’m on it again. Is very frustrating as the unseasonably mild weather atm would probably see it fish every bit as well as the last few months if we didn’t have so much rain. That said it was nice sitting out in near perfect weather for October let alone November!

Didn’t really have much intention of doing a report today so just the swim pic and a dace that was my first fish of the day. Strangely it doesn’t look much higher on the far bank than last time out but it definitely was as where I normally put my feet was underwater on my bank!
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