Sunday 21st September, 07:30 - 09:30. River Leam at Newbold Comyn. A warm morning.
Apart from a short session at Offchurch a few years a go I've not fished the River Leam. Leamington Angling control a significant proportion of it's fishable length and so it was bank clearing work which made my appointment with this stretch.
A bit of word of mouth research and a heady dose of google maps told me I could expect to find, permanently coloured water on this section as there is an overflow from the Grand Union canal upstream which dumps into the river. Apparently once the boats get moving and the locks are in full swing the input of water noticeably changes the rate of flow.
Roach, Rudd, skimmers, Chub, Perch and Zander are present but I was after a Perch - armed with a single float rod, some red maggots and some worms.
I set up a light waggler between two trees upstream of the car park which is by the allotments. The landscape was fine enough on a late September morning but the water looked uninviting and dour. It was the colour of a canal and very very slow moving. The odd blade flipped which provided encouragement.
I set the float to 4ft and plumbed the depth. I didn't see the float surface at any point of the river's width. I set it to 6ft but the same happened. 8ft and 10ft flew past and still no sign of the orange tip. It was 11ft deep under my rod tip! As there was such little visibilty and flow I tied on a light hooklength and started on red maggot about a third across. After an hour I'd not had a touch and so moved swims.
Upstream I found a depth of eight foot in the edge and so put some reds in by the edge of a long run of reeds. Second cast and I hooked fish as I was withdrawing the float to inspect the bait. It was a Perch and I don't know if I would have seen the bite if I left the float in a little longer or if it grabbed maggots as it saw them moving off the bottom. Either way, a Perch;
I was sat on the ground in this peg but was becoming fed up of being harangued by the endless stream of passing dogs and so perched (geddit) on my shooting stick to regain some altitude. The dogs divided neatly into two camps: Labradors, Spaniels and the like which when they caught sight of me just off the main path bounded through the gap in the undergrowth and looked happy and inquisitive. These daft things were greeted with a "hello dog" and returned to their owners when called. Still a bit of a pain in the arse as it happened almost every five minutes towards the end, but not half as much of a pain as the other camp of dog. These too caught sight of me whilst running along the main path but instead of bounding over would put the brakes on and stood at the peg entrance barking and snarling. Frankly, "Don't worry he's friendly" just doesn't cut it when the untethered muscle-bound fashion statement is apparently taking objection to my Perch fishing technique. One guy played a one man game of british bulldog with his beast trying to keep it from entering my peg. Of course it had no lead. Couple this with the endless dog crap on the path and even better plastic bags of dog crap chucked up into the bushes and left to swing in the wind and my already limited enjoyment was being further dulled.
Whilst spiralling into this negative state of mind, regretting the previous nights grog and excessive time spent into the night making the ultimate playlist on Spotify the point of my shooting stick apparently pierced the upper crusty layer of the bank and the shaft rapidly disappeared downwards taking my svelt 16st frame with it. I swore, and then laughed, and then shook myself out of it with another move.
I wandered downstream and tried trotting a large worm at four fifths depth along side some tasty bankside cover but didn't have another bite. There were a few other guys fishing by this time and they each reported catching small stuff. Given the depth the pole would seem to be a good approach.