Small river float fishing for chub

Stream or small river.

On a map, this stretch of water is marked as a small river, but to be honest it is not much more than a stream. Some anglers may be disappointed to find it is a waterway of this size. However, when it comes to simple river fishing, it’s hard to beat a place like this.

There is less than 100 metres of water deep enough to fish. Beyond this the water is just inches deep and the small river really does becomes a stream. This makes finding the fish very easy, they have to be in this deeper 100 metre stretch.

The water emerges from a culvert into a little weir pool that often has a few fish. Today I am fishing just below the culvert in the first smooth stretch of water. Low hanging branches and shallow water of only 16 to 18 inches deep make the swim difficult. I would not cut the tree branches, but I do remove a few stinging nettles that are obscuring my view down the small river.

Dithering bites

I start by float fishing bread flake, with small balls of bread mash thrown in to attract the fish up to my swim. Right away I get bites, but the float is only trembling and dithering, almost certainly small stuff. Despite striking at a couple of the more positive bites, I cannot hit them.

Small river float fishing

Positive bites

I don’t want to waste time trying to hit these little bites, so to avoid the tiddlers I try a ball of cheese paste on the hook. The dithering bites stop immediately and the next bite pulls the float straight under. Hitting this positive bite I land the first fish of the day, a perfect chub of about a pound.

I feed the swim with another small ball of bread mash and re-bait the hook with cheese paste. I use quite a large bit of paste which nearly sinks the shallow water stick float I am using. So I take off two No.4 shot to account for the weight of the paste.

Shallow water float

Half an hour later another positive bite and another chub, this time of about two pounds.

Small river chub

My little stick float is struggling with the large hook bait, so I change it for a swan quill.

Swan quill float

A third chub comes to the net, but it has taken a while to catch so I decide to move and try my luck further downstream. The second swim is on a bend at the bottom end of the fishable 100 metres. I only catch a couple of small chub. The one and two pound chub I was catching earlier seem to have melted away.

Bread mash ground bait
Bread paste for fishing

Small river

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