Do you ever pass by a water that others ignore? Overgrown and forgotten, cars rumbling by as it cuts its way underneath old road bridges and alongside weed choked footpaths, from tiny trickles with weed choked pools, to brooks and small rivers that cut through urban sprawls.
There is many a tale waiting to be told, each one holding a surprise or two in their depths, just waiting to make your reel clutch sing, they provide excellent opportunity all year round for stalking chub in summer or winter.
I really do enjoy fishing the smaller tributaries, brooks and feeder streams, in many ways they are places time has forgotten, usually ignored by other anglers, disregarded as unworthy of their attention.
Keeping proceedings simple and staying mobile is the name of the game, rod (link ledger), landing net and a small rucksack is all you need to begin this minimalist and most enjoyable styles of fishing.
Hunting out likely features such as weed rafts, bankside cover, deeper pools, undercut banks and structures such as bridges, all perfect places for chub to skulk around.
Bait need be no more complex than a loaf of bread, cheese paste, worms from your garden compost or maggots, fishing each spot with little or no groundbait, lest you spook your quarry in the gin clear summer water.
Fishing in such a manner you are a lot less constrained into fishing only certain areas due to the amount of tackle you are carrying.
As such you will feel the urge to wander somewhat more and because you fatigue a lot less , you can cover a greater distance, learning more about the waterway in doing so and being able to seek out fish holding areas.
Believe me the rewards are there and tools such as Google earth can come in very handy in finding these hidden gems.
They won’t all turn out to be good fishing spots, but it is definitely worth putting in a little investigation, as you never know what you might find.
Small rivers and streams, do like any other waters, change throughout the season. Once you have located a few fish holding streams, you will soon learn in which conditions they fish the best.
Come winter, when sport is perhaps not so forthcoming on larger waterways due to flooding (2012 springs to mind), on venues such as these, the fish remain in an amiable mood and quite willing to feed, providing some excellent winter sport.
Many is the time I have had a mornings roving, on a snow covered small stream or river and been pleasantly rewarded with a fish or two, where had I perhaps targeted the Thames in spate conditions results would have been quite different.
So the next time you pass by what might look like just a ditch, perhaps narrow enough to jump across, or a weed choked small river, don’t treat it with disregard, stop and take a look, because chances are you will be rather pleasantly surprised with what you may find.
I’ve caught some beautiful fish from some of the most intimate swims, which have been a pleasure to fish. Who knows what hidden gems are waiting to be found near you?
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