Learning to River Fish

Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
12
Reaction score
13
Location
Hampshire, UK
Hi all,

I've come back into fishing after a long stint away and have had great fun this summer chasing tench and silvers in my local club ponds which has vaguely got me back in the swing of things. Coming back to the scene since last time has made me ditch all of my carp fishing stuff and try to be a more rounded angler and just enjoy being away from everything going on in the world. Because of this I would love to give river fishing a go; trotting a float properly, rolling spam for barbel and chub etc but I have no confidence in river fishing at all and frankly have no place to start. Reading them is a mystery and how flow/ weather affects yours days would be a welcome extra to learn.
Is there anyone localish to Southampton who would be willing to possibly give up a few afternoons/ weekends trying to teach a smart idiot how at least look slightly competent on a bankside. I'm part of Portsmouth and District angling if this helps and am happy to travel too. I might be a fool but i'm good at listening and pretty good at baking so cake normally follows me fishing if that swings the balance!

Many thanks in advance,
Lloyd
 

steveb533

New member
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
Location
Warwickshire
I have been fising nearly 35 years (45now started at 6) on my own since 10. Rivers have changed that much the last 5 10 + years and even from session to session - just get yourself down ther and fish. Try different things - for example last year planned a trip to the severn at knivers freeliners £20 quid on caster & maggots - bait dropper just as you read what you are meant to do - lots of little chub.................. got a bit bored as it was hard work feeder everey cast with casters and hemp. put a second rod out witha bit of pepperami. 10 mins later biggest barbel i have had at 10lb 11oz. 30p worth of bait.................

Just get out and learn - you will nver be a complete angler as they dont exist- a lot of luck for rivers
 

peter crabtree

AKA Simon
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
8,144
Reaction score
2,824
Location
Metroland. SW Herts
Steve, welcome. There is a free stretch on the Itchen near the airport, FISHING Magic members have had a few days out during Autumn on a nearby venue.
Trotting a float and feeding maggots will catch virtually anything that swims there. Lovely Grayling,chub,and some big roach for instance.
Failing that you’d certainly bag some large trout ( out of season but accidental catches happen)..
Dont fish too light a float, An Avon or heavy ( 5 bb ) stick float, 4lb main line and 3lb hooklink should suffice.
Feed a handful of live maggots every put through, practice makes perfect..



Edit:- http://www.itchen-fishing.co.uk/CoarseFishing.asp The free stretch is just downstream from Gators mill on Mansbridge rpad..
Click location on the map shown in the link…
 
Last edited:

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
7,915
Reaction score
3,513
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
I can see how it could be daunting,I self taught river skills in the 1970's,then honed them through match fishing,it would be difficult indeed to do the same later in life,add to that the vast array of different approaches,each requiring more than a little understanding,maybe a days coaching???
All the best on your quest for knowledge,it is great fun and very satisfying.
 

markg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
6,897
Reaction score
2,475
Location
South East England
If your used to still waters it can look a bit daunting moving onto moving water however, it is not that difficult, some right old clack hands manage it so I am sure you will. I think Steveb is right, nothing beats getting down there and having a go, you will soon get the idea. Not knowing where you are fishing, look for some slower bits that are snag free, back eddies, just round off the bend if you can find one, part of the river will be slacker here, good places just to practice and get the hang of it and they might very well hold good fish. You don't have to trot perfectly, laying on in slack areas or close to the bank can be just as productive if not more sometimes and again give you the chance to get used to the environment of the river...Good luck, look forward to hearing how you get on.
 

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
245
Reaction score
849
Location
Cahors, France
Hi all,

I've come back into fishing after a long stint away and have had great fun this summer chasing tench and silvers in my local club ponds which has vaguely got me back in the swing of things. Coming back to the scene since last time has made me ditch all of my carp fishing stuff and try to be a more rounded angler and just enjoy being away from everything going on in the world. Because of this I would love to give river fishing a go; trotting a float properly, rolling spam for barbel and chub etc but I have no confidence in river fishing at all and frankly have no place to start. Reading them is a mystery and how flow/ weather affects yours days would be a welcome extra to learn.
Is there anyone localish to Southampton who would be willing to possibly give up a few afternoons/ weekends trying to teach a smart idiot how at least look slightly competent on a bankside. I'm part of Portsmouth and District angling if this helps and am happy to travel too. I might be a fool but i'm good at listening and pretty good at baking so cake normally follows me fishing if that swings the balance!

Many thanks in advance,
Lloyd
You should really enjoy river fishing. OK it is daunting at first, but the visual nature of currents, their swirls and folds of moving water soon will give you clues as to what lies beneath. It might be a sunken tree or gravel bank at the edge of the main flow.,the "crease" marking the edge of the main flow as it starts to drag where the water shallows. The river can be so much more interesting than a lake - and it gives up it secrets more easily IMHO!

Once you have caught a couple of fish it will soon come together. This forum has been an inspiration and mine of information for me!

I returned to freshwater fishing after many years chasing sea fish. My first attempts on a big river were a struggle, but 4 years on it's now a pleasure!

C.Weir panorama.jpg


Bonne chance et bonne pêche
 

nottskev

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
3,450
Reaction score
2,170
I hope I'm not stating the obvious, but it's not been said. While you're looking for someone to fish with, visit a couple of rivers that are reasonably popular, walk the bank trying to imagine where different species might be found - not so hard if you've a background in angling - but above all take a bit of time to stand back and watch anglers fishing, especially if they are catching or appear to know what they're doing. It will tell you lots about swim choice, where the fish are in swims, and how to fish various methods.
 

john step

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
6,510
Reaction score
2,412
Location
There
A for instance here. Obviously I have no idea where Pelamid took the above photo apart from somewhere in France.

However with a stick float I would like to try standing in the water in the extreme bottom right of the photo and trundle a bait down stream.
Also look at the top left and you can see distinct faster water forming a boundary with slower inside flow. That crease would be a good spot to try particularly as someone else thinks so and there is a staging .

Either spots look good for a lump of luncheon meat on a lead/feeder?
 

steve2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2010
Messages
4,105
Reaction score
1,322
Location
on the move
I always remember many years ago over nearly 50 ago I was struggling to catch fish on Throop. One day a local angler took time out to show me where I was going wrong and then catching became a lot easier. Good luck with finding someone to show you how it is done.
 

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
245
Reaction score
849
Location
Cahors, France
A for instance here. Obviously I have no idea where Pelamid took the above photo apart from somewhere in France.

However with a stick float I would like to try standing in the water in the extreme bottom right of the photo and trundle a bait down stream.
Also look at the top left and you can see distinct faster water forming a boundary with slower inside flow. That crease would be a good spot to try particularly as someone else thinks so and there is a staging .

Either spots look good for a lump of luncheon meat on a lead/feeder?

I used that photo as it contains such a wide range of angling possibilities. Just about every angling technique, for almost every European fish species, could find it's place somewhere in that length of river. Ledger, float-fish, spinning - I even spotted a boat angler fly-fishing last year. So far my tally is gudgeon, roach, chub, bream,perch, silure, barbel and carp. Not had a pike or zander yet, but they are there.

Chuck in changes due to river level and the seasons and you should always have a challenge!

Over 40 years ago I fished a weirpool on the tiny river Gipping, near Ipswich. It had most of the features found in my photo on a much smaller scale. But I spent a fascinating couple of seasons fishing little other than that short stretch of river. Much of the time I was not actually fishing, often quietly watching with polaroids on. I had many lovely roach and perch and plenty of pike from there, it often pays to get to know one piece of river intimately!

How could anyone get bored with this game? 🎣
 

nottskev

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
3,450
Reaction score
2,170
Great pic of the weir, Pelamid. Imagining what fish would be where is the equivalent of those old Spot the Ball competitions. It put me in mind of a gorgeous area of the River Barrow near Graiguenamanagh in Ireland, Clashganny lock and weir. There's a by-pass canal and the weirpool runs down to the left where the steep, tree-lined bank is deep and steady and the far side is (was?) salmon water with a fast flow. You fished in comfort off a grassy towpath. It had the fishing to match the scenery, too, with big bream, rudd, hybrids of these, and perch in the river and good tench in the canal. I had 3 holidays there in the 90's and never met another angler on the bank. They say never go back, but I'd love to.

Clashganny-Lock.jpg
 

Ray Roberts

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
5,184
Reaction score
2,281
Location
Eltham, SE London
Mark Wintle does a good series of you tube videos. They would be a very good way to start. He covers; Technique, choice of lines, float,etc. you can do worse than to look through these and then get down the river and give it a go yourself.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

john step

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
6,510
Reaction score
2,412
Location
There
Great pic of the weir, Pelamid. Imagining what fish would be where is the equivalent of those old Spot the Ball competitions. It put me in mind of a gorgeous area of the River Barrow near Graiguenamanagh in Ireland, Clashganny lock and weir. There's a by-pass canal and the weirpool runs down to the left where the steep, tree-lined bank is deep and steady and the far side is (was?) salmon water with a fast flow. You fished in comfort off a grassy towpath. It had the fishing to match the scenery, too, with big bream, rudd, hybrids of these, and perch in the river and good tench in the canal. I had 3 holidays there in the 90's and never met another angler on the bank. They say never go back, but I'd love to.

View attachment 17635
Some gorgeous waters in Ireland. There was one I fished on the Shannon which I cannot remember the name but there was a rickety wooden walkway across the weir which was full of fish. If I recall correctly there were disused concrete edifices there from some long abandoned structures or other.
I think it featured on a JW programme.
 

nottskev

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
3,450
Reaction score
2,170
Some gorgeous waters in Ireland. There was one I fished on the Shannon which I cannot remember the name but there was a rickety wooden walkway across the weir which was full of fish. If I recall correctly there were disused concrete edifices there from some long abandoned structures or other.
I think it featured on a JW programme.

I'm wondering where you were. Can you remember anything else? Was there a power station nearby? A town?? I once dropped into a Shannon stretch one evening on my way somewhere else, and, finding two anglers (I think the only two I saw on that holiday) catching bream on the cock river pegs, dropped into a backwater feeling deflated and caught 5 4 to 5lb river tench in a couple of hours. That was at Shannonbridge. I'm talking myself into a ferry booking this evening.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
12
Reaction score
13
Location
Hampshire, UK
Many thanks all for your replies! I have fished the free stretch of the Itchen many times as I live around 15 minutes or so walking distance of it but never caught anything other than an eel despite many others catching! My stretch of river with the club is the upper reaches of the Wallington and also the Hamble so a fair bit of walking involved which is no bother at all as its nice to be outside but a headstart in knowing what to do would always be a bonus. I've read quite a few books and watched a couple of videos but not seen those videos so many thanks Ray :)

Cheers all,
Lloyd
 

john step

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
6,510
Reaction score
2,412
Location
There
I'm wondering where you were. Can you remember anything else? Was there a power station nearby? A town?? I once dropped into a Shannon stretch one evening on my way somewhere else, and, finding two anglers (I think the only two I saw on that holiday) catching bream on the cock river pegs, dropped into a backwater feeling deflated and caught 5 4 to 5lb river tench in a couple of hours. That was at Shannonbridge. I'm talking myself into a ferry booking this evening.
No not Shannonbridge although I have fished there many times. I have read somewhere that the power station is closed now. Awesome place. The Spring bream in the fast water pretending to be barbel and the tench in the cut.

What a boon Google maps are. I just found that location and once I saw the name I remembered it. MEELICK WALKWAY.

Edited. Its no longer a rickety wooden wobbly structure. According to the photos its now a glistening shiny white metal walkway and a tourist attraction.
I doubt one would be allowed to fish there now?
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
7,915
Reaction score
3,513
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
Im afraid,I can remember going fishing to many stretches of the Gt Ouse around Bedford and watching guys catching lovely nets of roach and some big chub and bream,could I catch em,could I hell,chub used to be a wish of mine,matches were one with weights of 10 or 15lbs of them,all I could catch was gudgeon,so I tried and tried and tried some more,then by George I got it,since then I cannot tell you how many ive caught and won matches with far bigger weights than those guys I watched,on the same venues,my advice to you would be to go and watch a river match near you if you can,walk along and sit back behind someone who seems to be doing it right,as often they are,you will see how his line runs behind his float and how it doesnt get pulled offline,ask politely if it is ok to watch as your trying to learn the skills of floatfishing,that should flatter him enough to open right up😉.
 

steve2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2010
Messages
4,105
Reaction score
1,322
Location
on the move
Mark Wintle does a good series of you tube videos. They would be a very good way to start. He covers; Technique, choice of lines, float,etc. you can do worse than to look through these and then get down the river and give it a go yourself.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
If you go onto the Traditional Fishermen website you will find Mark Wintle and other river fishing videos under fishing films. You don't need to be a member to watch them.
 
Last edited:
Top