Being quite a indecisive character at times, choosing a venue for the start of the river season can be difficult, but I did have my heart set on some river fishing. On Saturday I made my way over to a small stream I have been looking at only to find some lads in the middle of a boillie fight as they set up camp for midnight, this put a dampener on my plans for the sixteen.
On Saturday evening I was still very much undecided and feeling a little grumpy about my prospects for the following morning, plus I have seen the bream, carp and barbel all spawning over the last few days so I was not feeling too optimistic about the fishing. Then I thought, stay local, get up early and just enjoy the start of the new season, so the Lower Lea was my target, travelling light on my bike , try some trotting along with fish spotting and keep my expectations low.
I awoke at 4.55 am naturally, I very rarely need an alarm clock when going fishing, my inbuilt alarm does the job and very rarely lets me down. By 5.30am I was on the river after taking a short diversion via the canal just incase a feeding carp was in view, they weren’t so I headed straight on to the river.
Surprisingly my first choice swim was already taken as was the second but I soon found a nice over-grown swim with a good long trot of water, the sun was rising just in front of me and I was happy just being.
With little expectation I was not surprised that I caught nothing, but early morning on the river is a tonic that I needed and while enjoying the sights of heron and kingfisher I planned some trips over the forth-coming summer.
Tench Dreamer said:
Hey Nick… Two swims occupied got to be a record. Me mind wonders where you were? Behind the marshes looks like a million miles from Hackney…
The tuesday swim said:
Yes your bang on the money just by the Hackney marshes. I saw a chap fly fishing there today! Blimin marvelous I thought.
Adrian Pike said:
Hello Mr Swim,
I’ve cycled and walked along the banks of the canal and river many times and wondered about the value of a well trotted piece of crumb.
Are there particular parts of the Lea that you’d recommend? I’ve always found trying to find somewhere to fish and the permission for it along the Lea to be rather tricksy.
The tuesday swim said:
Mr Pike (good name),
To try and answer your question, firstly I see you ride a bike which helps a lot as location is everything. I spend loads more time looking at water than fishing it.
So where are the fish? Well my opinion on this is as follows, the cormorants have taken a large proportion of the smaller fish (4 oz to 2 lb) but not all of them. While observing the Lea there are tight pockets of fish schooling up under over-hanging banks, bushes and trees to escape from the threat of cormorant attack. Larger fish including pike, carp and the larger bream are more easily seen and less likely to get pounced upon hence their more bold approach. For the fisherman this makes life difficult as the access to the majority of the fish is hard, I’m going to try more wading this year and try and trundle baits in more obscure places.
So to actual location, I cycle from Limehouse up the canal onto the Lea at Three Mills and then up to Lea Bridge Road via the Hackney marshes, the Lea Navigation has a lot of bream and carp, its just a case of cycling quite slowly and spotting fish.
On the other hand try a pre-baiting program over two or three days. Also keep an eye out for fast flowing water, outlets etc where a little more oxygen is dissolved in the water…hope this may help?
… in the light sparkling off a miscellany of water flies above the water meadows by a cold chalk stream where the Brown Trout hold station in the invisible current with crowfoot and emerald starwort stroking their sunlit scales.
The tuesday swim said:
Sorry for the late reply…where is this from, lovely
Simon Baddeley said:
If there’s a heaven the Itchen shall run through my portion, if I get there. Lots of conditions – especially for an atheist or whatever label serves for one who needs no vaster mystery than nature affords. My first memory is, when living in Itchen Abbas with my great grandmother, of lying face down over a low bridge above that (now so expensive) chalk stream, seeing without quite knowing what it was, a brown trout inches from my face, refraction switching in an infant daze between my small reflection and the crystal clear water passing below. My words were written in the hours after Jack died. Thanks Nick for your kind compliment.