Autumn river fishing

Words: Kelvin Tallett. Pictures: Lloyd Rogers

Tackling the River Avon on a pole

Autumn is a great time to get out and fish your favourite river. You can enjoy a more peaceful and productive session as the summer holiday crowds and boat traffic die down. Kelvin Tallett explains…

With the beautiful Autumn weather now upon us I decided to make the most it by having a trip to my local River Avon. This time of year is surely the best time to be on the river as fish try to make the most of the great glut of food to pack on weight to get them through the winter. Stratford Park is one of my favourite places to go now as the tourists are thinning out and boat traffic is at a level where you can manage to fish through it. 

On arriving I decided to fish away from the normal hot spots opposite the Shakespeare Theatre and go below the old chain ferry towards the church. This is a relatively lightly fished area but with the right approach it’s possible to have a great days fishing. 

I set up between a couple of conker trees which had left conkers all over the floor making me remember my school days playing conkers. The weather was nice and sunny but with a strong wind upstream so I decided to fish the pole and set up 3 rigs all with DH21s in 0.5g, 1g with stung shotting patterns and 1.5g with an olivette and a couple of droppers to cover all my options. 

Bait for the day was going to be casters and hemp with a few maggots and tares as a change of hook baits. Ground bait is my usual Bait-Tech mix of Pro Natural Extra and Pro Natural Dark mixed 50/50 and took out enough for 6 balls. I added to this 250ml casters and same of hemp and then made the balls up before cupping them in at 13 metres. 

I fished this line with the 1g rig first with single caster on the 16 hook and was soon into a perch every run down. After 30 minutes I started to feed a few grains of hemp to hopefully get a few roach later on in the session. Things started to dry up after an hour but picked up after I fed a few casters as well as the hemp this time with some nice dace and roach. This was a ok for another hour before slowed down and I suspected the bleak and small dace were intercepting all the bait on the way down as I was now struggling to get my rig through them. 

I changed to the 1.5g rig and put in some more Groundbait with casters and hemp in this helped as I caught a few better fish including a couple of bigger perch. As I was still feeding hemp I thought I’d try a tare and had the best roach of the day but only managed that one and two on hemp before I changed back to caster. Upping the feed got me a few more fish before my session came to an end and with double figures of roach perch and dace it was a good day. 

Going away from the usual hot pegs doesn’t mean you won’t catch fish just means you have to choose your approach carefully and you can still have a fantastic day.