Winter Stick

Fishing a small wild river, for wild fish in flooded conditions with the water ripping through in some sections, water full of colour and the coldest night of this winter so far is the type of thing that gets you out of bed in the morning then today would have been heaven. I followed Carl Jenkins from the team down to this free stretch of the River Dane just outside Middlewich, which is known for its great fishing in the warmer months and generally unknown in the Winter. With the river up and coloured Carl decided to fish the stick float on a lower peg before the weir, finding a nice run on the far side of the river, making sure he could control the float properly to give accurate presentation.

We only had about three hours to fish, so while I practiced my trotting and managed to winkle out a few Dace and got smashed by something, Carl went about building his swim and shouting at Minnows that had managed to occupy the slack water at the back of his swim, the bites started to come. Carl fished delicate and with finesse and showed me why fishing this time of year on a small river like this can be so rewarding. He might not have landed fifty pounds of fish, but each fish was exciting to catch, the work he put in feeding and presenting the bait in such a way in the flow with timing and accuracy made the bites that more exciting and worth the time and effort.

Carl ended up with a nice group of Dace, about four pounds with a small cublet, a hard worked for bag that Carl said made it all more worth it, an experience you can not really find on most commercial fisheries, and something that a fair few anglers might be missing out on. Also the chance of learning something new on a new venue, which makes a day on the bank that more interesting and exciting. I can hold my hands up and honestly say despite myself spending a great deal of time fishing for Barbel and coarse fish on the bigger rivers over the years, fishing the stick float on the Dane was something a little alien to me and something I really enjoyed getting to grips with and when the float started to dip after feeding and getting the presentation right it was like catching a personal best.

If you want a new challenge and experience something different, give this small river a try using this method and I'm sure you will not be disappointed. Big thanks to Vale Royal Angling in Northwich for the maggots and somewhere if you need a few bits on the way its ideal if your coming from the North of the river.

Water: River Dane (Free Stretch) left side of the bank down stream before the weir.

Tactics: Main line 2.6 lb Bayer perlon,  bottom  3.3 lb silstar, stick 8x4 maver lignum shotted with 12number 8s shirt button style ,hook kamasan b711 size 17. Feeding maggots little and often slightly upstream, single maggot on the hook.