Fishing Journal: 19th July 2017: River Thames three swims

The River Thames can be a beast

Today I fished the River Thames starting at Chertsey Bridge then Runnymede finishing at Bell Weir Lock, with mixed results.

It had rained very heavily indeed the night before, floods in certain areas, this was to affect the fishing tremendously.

First the swims I planned to fish.

I drove to Runnymede where I had originally planned to start my days fishing.

On arrival the car park was closed until 9am.

I have noted this for future reference, so rerouted to Chertsey bridge which was not too far.

This time I walked the swims, about 7 realistic swims at the bridge, and choose one to start my day.

Here the Thames looked as calm as it did last time I fished it and I had already made my mind up to maggot feed rather than float fish this time.

After casting about 20 yards out to the middle, the telltale multiple taps on my quiver told me the fish were on.

This beautiful brightly coloured Roach that a landed, promised a good days fishing.

The pickings were slim only adding two small Dace to my tally before heading back to Runnymede.

First time at Runnymede

Parking was £6 for the day, with a Café and toilet facilities on hand which is nice to have.

I have never fished Runnymede before & decided to go walk the swims.

I noticed the swim immediately straight down the park path were very shallow.

Later told that it dropped suddenly and some anglers wade that 10 to 16 feet of very shallow water to fish the drop off point.

Soon I caught up with the gents I meet earlier, who were, to my surprise, trotting along the near margin which was walled in what looked like concrete and fished at about 11 to 13 feet deep.

After a nice chat, they had no problem me tagging on the end of their swims, about 40 feet away, and this I did. I wished I had brought me Trudex reel so I could join in with the center pin pleasure they were having, next time I will pack it in the car.

My Swim

My swim got a bit shallower at about 9 feet deep and I managed to figure out how to trot using a fixed spool reel with the bail arm open, so at least I added to me growing skill set.

Unlike Chertsey Bridge, this section of the Thames was very Pacey indeed, the gents I meet remarked that last night’s downfall had made it like this and fishing was uncharacteristically harder.

We suffered a bit if light rain, and the gents decided to call it a day.

I mentioned that I would walk the tow path down to the Weir to see if that had more fish today.

I had not caught any at the park but neither did the gents all bar a couple of small Perch.

So, about 1pm, after a nice sandwich and cake I bought at the café earlier, I walked the half mile or so to the Weir.

The Thames was angry, very angry

I had never fished a weir before and was eager to have a go.

The lock keeper who guided me to the short swim we can freely fish said I might find it a bit difficult.

As you can see from this short video I made, the Thames was not in the best of moods.

After 3 casts, one of which the fast flow ripped a 3oz maggot feeder right off my line, I gave up and went back to the café for coffee and to write up my log book.

On reflection, my second trip to the Thames had again given poor results on the fish catch side.

Bbut I think this was down to my lack of skills and the unfortunate weather we had.

The gents said that fishing was a lot better than today so I am eager to return.

Im looking forward to givin ghte weir another go when It is flowing calmer.

Summary and lessons learned:

Fishing a river is a lot harder than a lake. New challenges requiring new skills and levels of patients but the reward once mastered will be worth the effort.

Go fish a lake if the weather was bad the night before to give yourself the best chance to catch.

Also, be prepared to roam and try different swims if a swim is not producing say after 2 hours.
I have now added trotting a fixed spool reel to my skills and each time I fish a river I will learn something else which will only help me land more fish soon

As always, I wish you tight lines
DC x

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