Thursday, 24 June 2010

Fishing the River Leam.

Tuesday 22nd June, 16:30 - 21:30. River Leam at Offchurch (LAA book). 24>21C Hot. Light breeze.

I came to the Leam after dace thinking that this stretch at Offchurch upstream of where the canal comes in on the east side of Leamington would contain clear flowing water.

As it happens the water was of a similar turbidity to the stretch I fished (and was so utterly underwhelmed by) last year. I just don't 'get' the Leam. Myself and others have recently reported the upper reaches of various midland rivers running low and clear but the Leam moved slowly and had the appearance of a canal. Is it the farmland it passes through that gives it this dull character?

The surrounding countryside was however resplendent on this sunny afternoon.

I hiked along the waters edge to the far end of the stretch on the look out for a streamy accessible section.

I was soon at the lower limit and bumped into a guy who'd been fishing all day on three of the more open pools at this bottom end. Despite the water clarity the river obviously deepened and slowed at this far end. Given it was the deep, covered water where I'd found fish in on the Avon last week I settled in the shade of a tree to fish.

I fished a pole and maggot at about five metres in the light flow. It's worth noting here that the pole negated the need for any casting in this diminutive river. At the end of each short run through I could simply lift the rig up and place it back at the head of the swim where the maggots were going in. Also, where the pool shallowed at the tail I could gently hold the rig back with the tip of the pole directly above the float, avoiding the whole lot swinging into the near bank. Most effective.

I caught gudgeon, the odd roach, small perch and a single dace. Tiny fish flipped on the surface. It was hot. Then the float dived under more purposefully....

This 2lb perch took some persuading on light line and all of a sudden I liked the Leam again.

Next put-in after weighing photographing and returning....

...I had a 2lb 9oz Eel.

I 'need' both species and so turned the concentration up a notch but no more large fish came to the bank during the evening.

At the end I walked back to the car with a smile on my face after these fish. Whilst walking I was alarmed at the air temperature differential between the river side and some hot spots in the long grass. The air was at one moment hot and then cold in localised areas. I wondered what caused the terrestrial hot spots and wondered if the same effects were present under the waters surface.



  1. Keith,

    Well done on the perch, always a welcome sight?

    Do you work, the amount you get to go fishing is unreal, the other half must be understanding lol.

    Keep up the blogs.


  2. i fish the river leam up streem between marton and eathorpe i came to the same conclusion as the colour of the water other rivers fine down in a day or two the leam can take over a week it is a dirty river with low fish stocks farm land is as you say mostly arable so soil gets washed in the river is a clay based river with very very little gravel or stone the opposite is true of the avon this combined with flooding and river slow to return to normal levels plus cormrants and now reported otters the river leam is in a poor state it looks great it should be but it just is not a good fishing river fry do not last long as i have seen they just vanish restocking over 4 to 5 years with 4 year old fish is the only way that may reverse the fortunes of this river or it will just be a very very poor relation to the avon