this weekends trip went down the drain, well a drain literally!
there is a small, call it what you will stream/river/drain that cuts through the eastern part of our area that a few years ago was a half decent place to catch a few fish and its been bugging me for a couple of years now to go and explore this once well fished place.my pb pike of just under 20lbs came from this very place around 8 years ago, in parts you could jump across it but if you walk around the next bend it looks just like one of the great chalk streams of the south, this swaps and changes for a few miles before turning into something more like a fenland drain which to all intents and purpose is what it is now used as, a drain, which in my opinion is what has led to the demise of the fishing and lack of anglers. it still sees a few die hard fans during the year but the main problem is access, you see in its whole 15 or so mile length there is only maybe 3 points where it is crossed by public access with enough depth of water to fish, be it a main road or footpath and these areas are far from been the best of the place to fish, there is 3 other access points however they involve the use of strictly private roads through farm yards and between the fields where I'm told the place is solid with fish and big ones to boot, there are tales of near 30lb carp and pike spotted around the biggest structure on the water way but they are seen once then never again. well i have it on good authority that these creatures along with some massive chub and shoals of bream and roach are happily swimming around well away from prying eyes. and how can i be so sure you may ask? read on and let me explain.
the river(i shall call it that as that's what its know as to the EA) runs through low laying farm land which is very susceptible to flooding, over the last maybe 15 years lots of work has been done to clear the main channel of silt and debris, trees along the bank have been cut back,existing drains that feed it have been cleared and new ones dug, add to this a series of very large powerful pumps been installed which drain the surrounding fields and control the flow of the river its self and you have one very efficient drainage system, this is all well and good for the local farmers but not so good for you and me the fishermen as all that has meant the fish have now shifted into deeper areas which are tucked away down private farm tracks and roads. so if that is the case then you are probably wandering why I'm writing about what now seems to be a waste of time.
well the job of keeping this system running, clearing the pumps of debris and general up keep of the field drains as well as grass and weed cutting along and in the water way is down to two men that work for the local drainage board and one of those just so happens to be my dad! and after pestering him for a while he has spoken to a couple of farmers and got me permission to drive down one or two lanes to the river. hopefully next month when they start weed cutting and he moves a couple of farms down he will be able to get me onto the stretch where he has seen the biggest fish, fingers crossed.
so then, about this weeks trip. whilst waiting for the go ahead on the mid to lower river i went and explored the upper river down onto the start of the mid part where a couple of main roads cross and we used to fish as kids. i took just a single rod and a few bits of hooks and floats and a half pint of maggots hoping to snare a few small chub and dace but it would seem the installation of the pumps and other work down stream has left the upper part too shallow to hold any amount of fish, it is also now very over grown and crystal clear, i walked maybe 3 to 4 miles covering various parts of the river with the trusty polaroids on but all i saw were one small group of chub all around 2lb and a couple of small shoals of roach and dace, i didn't even bother to set the rod up but i did enjoy the nice long walk with the sun out on a nice frosty morning.