Posts Tagged ‘buscot Weir’

Once or twice a year I get to fish with a great mate of mine, John Kemp.  For the past couple of years we have tried to get up to Buscot Weir on the Thames.  You here a lot of pessimistic stories told of the Thames these days, especially in this area, where otters have had a large impact and silver fish decimated by cormorants.  How true this is, I can’t say.  What I can tell you is that this area of the Thames is beautiful.  It’s right on the edge of the Cotswolds in the most wonderful, inspiring countryside.

Things didn’t start well.  As we left Edenbridge with a frost on the cars, the skies clouded over quite quickly and by the time we hit the M25 the rain started.  The forecast was grim; heavy rain from mid morning to mid afternoon.  By the time we hit the M4, the rain was very heavy and things were looking a bit depressing.  We decided to stop at Membury and had a coffee and a toastie.  As we headed back to the car we stopped in the entrance and looked out at the almost torrential rain.  We debated whether to stay a while or move on.  We moved on and things were not looking good.  Of course we are forever the optimists.  We were confident that the rain had arrived much earlier than expected and would therefore stop much earlier than predicted.  Things were looking better, the sky was looking lighter, we said.  It was brave talk as we drove nearer the venue in heavy, persistent rain.  But perhaps miracles do happen.  As we pulled into the Buscot car park, the rain eased right off and then stopped.  We had some slight drizzle for maybe 15 or 20 minutes and then it stopped completely and we had a lovely, mild day.

The river is fairly narrow and there are tons of features, from thick beds of rushes, streamer weed, gravel runs and an abundance of overhanging trees and bushes.  So it’s rich in fish holding features.  Of course there are also two weirs here, one that creates an enormous pool and the other, much smaller weir.  They are separated by the lock and this creates three sections of the river,  with two islands in between.

The main weir creates a huge pool.  It’s pretty deep out in the middle but with shallow ledges around the edge.  It holds all of the usual species and is a nice spot to start out.  Its tree lined for the most part and as it exits back into the main river, it narrows up and offers lots of far bank cover to cast to.

We generally start our session here.  Fishing a large piece of crust in conjunction with some very smelly cheesepaste and anchored by enough weight to just hold bottom.  Using a big bow of line helps to dislodge the bait occasionally and send it bumping off downstream a little (in a straight line).  Bites are normally very confident on crust and the chub are generally hooked about an inch inside that cavernous mouth.  I often use very little free offering, but you can use some nice mashed bread to feed the swim.  I like to keep moving and present the bait in likely looking spots.  Casting upstream, with a bow of line, helps to move the bait downstream and thus covers large areas.  Crust is obviously buoyant and even using two or three 3 x ssgs helps to balance the presentation nicely.The cheesepaste just gives it that extra dimension in terms of flavour and a scent trail.

After around 15-20 minutes I had that tell tale knock on the rod top followed by the usual slow pull round on the quiver tip.  The resultant strike met with a solid resistance and what felt like a decent chub on the end.  It was a thick set fish, which looked like at one time it could have been a real lump.  Still it went 4lb 2oz on the scales.  Neither John or myself had any more bites after another 30-45 minutes, so it was time to move.

We kept mobile, fishing likely looking swims for a period of around 30-60 minutes a swim.  I missed a bite in one spot, due to not looking at the rod, typical!  Mind you the scenery and wildlife do offer a lot of distraction, so that’s my excuse.  I tried about 6 or 7 swims throughout the day and only had that one missed bite.  John managed a small chub and lots of sharp bites, which may well have been roach.  I think that the combination of a frost and then the heavy, cold rain had made the fishing particularly tough today, still we were enjoying ourselves, so we made the most of it.

We decided to finish off back in the weir.  I fished the narrowest section and john a bit lower down.  Just as the light was failing that tell tale knock then developed into the full blown pull round on the tip and another nice 4lb+ chub was the result.  That was my last bite and at about 5.45 I packed up.  I wandered down to John who had not had any indications.  Just as he was about to call it a day the rod tip went round a a beautiful big chub graced the net.  At 5lb 14oz it was the highlight of another wonderful day at beautiful Buscot.

Unfortunately after my tackle theft recently, I am left without the means of capturing a few photos, so my apologies.  I would have loved to have shared this beautiful part of the river with you.  Next time then.

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