Over the holidays i had not had much time to get out fishing with family commitments and work so by the time new year had come i was desperate to get out and have a session. I had hoped to do some winter carp fishing but with every lake, canal and pond for a hundred miles being frozen solid that seemed a little out of the picture, so my only option was to head to the river.. after a last minute phone call i arranged to meet up with Rob my angling companion of many years and check out a lower stretch of the river Leam which is reputed to hold some good roach.
I arrived at first light to find that the river had gone down but was still well coloured so i set up in a swim down stream of the weir, after a thirty minutes i hadn't had a bite and opted to move down with the hope of finding deeper water, the next swim was a lot deeper, after a few casts i began to get a few knocks here and there until rather inconsiderate canoeist turned up on the bank and boarded his canoe within feet on me, after all the commotion he made i had little choice but to move again downstream, finally i found nice swim all be it littered with rubbish left by the local kids and began to get into some fish, the bites were very shy but after i had been casting my micro feeder filled with liquidised bread the fish seemed to concentrate a little and the bites came quicker and harder, by the time rob turned up id already caught a few little roach so he set up upstream and got in on the action to.
considering the weather of late i should have been grateful for the bites i was getting, but! the general size of the roach was small, very small. even with one eye on the challenge it would take me all day to get anywhere near the roach record and after a hour i was getting sick of tiny roach smashing every bait that went in. so a quick discussion with my companion and we decided to move on to the Avon.
We arrived at the stretch we wanted to fish to find more anglers than i have ever seen in one place on the Avon before. This could mean only one thing, a match, so with out even turning off the car's engine we headed off again, this time to Wasperton..
My heart sank further when i saw a full car park at Wasperton but luckily it turned out that the lack of fishable water had just concentrated a lot of anglers to the river's and with the large amount of river to fish here there was still plenty of space left to fish so We headed downstream to deeper water chatting to few chaps on the way, one of which told us he had caught a couple of good roach, things were looking up.
With less than two hours till dusk we set up again in wide straight run where there seemed to be a lot of fish topping, again the bread feeder went out and was greeted by a savage bite.. which i promptly missed. the bites were almost impossible to hit until i got a sharp rap followed by my tip hooping round, my strike was met by slow but heavy resistance, the culprit turned out to be a very welcome bream of 3-4lbs.
As the evening drew in the bream began rolling all over the river and it surprised me that there was so many around us, i got a few more good pulls that didn't result in any fish, even my second rod i had put out with a heaver lead and cheese paste bait started to get some attention under a raft down stream but no more fish were landed. though i wasn't disappointed with one good fish and a handful of tiddlers on a freezing day.