Oh my god it’s been a looonnnng closed season! It seemed like forever before 16th June came round! The first day of the river season has become so special to me. I used to be a puddle chucker but for the last 5 years or so I’ve fallen in love with the river. Sure I still fish lakes but like many I am particularly fond of my local river, which in my case sees me fishing the River Lea. The last couple of years I’ve tried to do ‘the treble’ on the first day – that is to catch three decent specimens of three different species. Last year I managed it with a specimen Perch, a Barbel and finishing with a stunning Carp on the river in Ware. It’s always a huge challenge and typically involves me in various swims on completely different sections of the river using a range of tactics. Here’s how my opening day went on June 16th 2018 fishing the River Lea.
What follows is a short article that covers my winter of 2017 perch fishing in the Lea Valley on the River Lea and the River Stort. Last years perch fishing had been fantastic and I was more than ready when October came round, the temperatures started dropping and the lure rods started calling!
I love my carp fishing on the River Lea. There’s a certain mystery when it comes to fishing for river carp. Unlike a lake you really don’t know the stock. Fish can swim for miles which can make it tricky at times but also means that you never know what you might catch.
I’ve never really done any barbel fishing on the River Lea. I had a bit of a go towards the end of last season on Kings Weir but to be fair that was a bit of a baptism of fire. The stock levels are low and the fish are very tricky indeed. In August of 2017 I decided that I needed to target a part of the river that offered me a better chance of a fish or two – before then returning to Kings Weir or Fishers Green once I’ve gained a bit more experience this this awesome creature.
I’ve kind of been forced to become a bit of a short session expert. I run two very busy web design companies and time is precious. It’s not a coincidence that one of my offices is right on the River Lea in Ware. I’ve been doing a few very short sessions, either in my lunch hour or after work fishing Old River Lea at Tumbling Bay.
There’s something very special about the 16th June. For me, it goes back to my childhood when everything closed from March until June – lakes and rivers. You literally stopped fishing for 3 months and so the 16th June was a very special date – when we could get back out there and go fishing again! Great to be back fishing the River Lea again.
This article is about big perch fishing River Lea. I have never been the kind of angler that hangs his rods up during the winter. It’s a fantastic time to be out on the bank. There is nothing more stunning than a really bright, crisp morning at dawn in winter. I do, however, vary my fishing at this time of year. It’s cold so generally speaking I like to do fairly short sessions where I am constantly on the move with a single rod and a small bag. I’ll be fishing for pike, perch, trout and chub all species that can give you half a chance no matter how cold it gets.
The Old River Lee is Izaak Walton’s old stomping ground. If you read The Compleat Angler you will know of his chapters that cover the fish he caught from this tiny little stretch of river. It’s a quiet loop on the back of the main river that is full of surprises. I joined Ware Angling Club in 2015 and enjoyed a great first season fishing Old River Lee (Lea).
The last few seasons I’ve been doing a lot of fly fishing. I love the light weight, roaming style of angling that fly fishing offers. I can also often get a result on short sessions which is ideal when work and family life is so busy. It’s early season and we’ve had a really special fishing trip planned for a while now, to a proper chalk stream – The River Test in Hampshire.