Woolhampton Wandering Anglers

Geoff and I felt it was about time we explored a little more of the canalised stretch of the Wasing’s River Kennet.  It always seems quite tragic when a beautiful, natural, meandering river gets the ‘canalised’ treatment.  The river is straightened and most of the bankside undergrowth ripped out, so basically you end up with a canal, obviously.  However, to be fair, this section still retains plenty of cover both in and out of the water.  It still looks like a river and holds some pretty good fish too, for those that care to explore.

At the lower end of the fishery is the famous Old Mill at Aldermaston and one of the Kennet’s tributaries; the Enbourne.  You may or may not know, that it was barbel from the River Enbourne that were taken for stocking into the Severn, all those years a go.  So at this end of the section you have the option of nipping onto the Enbourne if things are a little slow on the main river.

We found a couple of lovely swims, with lots of overhanging cover.  I was armed with worms and it was my intention to target the perch after an hour or two of trotting but as I’d forgotten my horse……sorry!  This area is so deep (around 10′) fishing the float was going to be difficult.  So I opted for a light link ledger set-up and dropped a big juicy lob worm out amongst some trees that had fallen into the river.  I didn’t want to get too close, for obvious reasons.  After about an hour and a half and I’d had no bites and two lots of lost fishing tackle.  On re-tackling I had looped the line twice round one of the eyes and hadn’t noticed.  Well, until I tried to cast out that is.  My best two or three casts were a bit like a little girls (sorry girls) and then after a couple of checks I realised how stupid I’d been.

So I was now in the mood for a change of scenery, so headed off to the triburay.  It’s a lovely little winding river.  The bottom is gravel and there are loads of little deep runs.  The river itself is not overly deep but there are plenty of pools and runs to offer a likely spot for a few fish to be holed up in. It’s pretty overgrown here and despite my best efforts at trotting, it really didn’t suit it. Once the winter sets in, most of the undergrowth will die back and more areas will become open to trotting.  So it was to be a day for the quiver tip.

I decided to wander up and down the river to try and locate a few fish and hopefully a few perch.  I dropped into a lovely deep  pool.  There were numerous overhanging trees and a crease that crossed the pool.  I flicked out a big lob worm and awaited the results.  I didn’t take long.  The tip rattled a couple of times and then plunged over.  A nice, jagged fight suggested perch.  Indeed, that’s what it turned out to be.  Throughout the day in numerous spots, including one quite unlikely area, I caught about 8-10 really fit, magnificently coloured perch.  Serveral were over a pound and the biggest went 2lb 6oz.  They were all stunning fish and very rewarding to catch.

I was a little surprised that no chub had showed up.  Some of the swims looked very chubby.  I kept switching baits, from worm to bread flake in an effort to tempt a chevin. Eventually a small one showed its face, a fish of about 2lbs.  As the light faded I felt one more cast with a worm would do the trick before we packed away our fishing equipment. Geoff had joined me at this stage and as we chatted the tip ripped round and a heavy fish was on the other end.  I suppose I was secretly hoping for a big perch but I certainly wasn’t disappointed when we scooped out a lovely big chub.  It looked well over 4 so I weighed it and it was in fact 4lb 15oz.  It was an immaculate fish, a real stunner.  It was a great end to a rather chilly but enjoyable day.