27th Feb, River Rother – Iping
During the unseasonal February sunshine I decided to go to Iping for a session.
Having fished my normal river haunts over the winter it’s a nice change to look at something different.
I took just two rods, landing net a bag and a chair to cover plenty of ground.Walked up all the way to the top of the fishery where the Chithurst stretch comes in, there is a small steam that comes in here and although it looked nice the sun was beating down onto the water. The bright light made me head for the shaded parts of which there are plenty. A friend had fished this swim previously and head Pike and Trout to Sprats in winter plus lots of Perch in the summer.
Downsteam of this there has to be 20 spots at least with enough space to fish comfortably, one things for the sure, the banks wont be trodden down and you wont see any litter or numbered pegs !.
There is a two strand wire fence that keeps the horses away from the water and you go through this to access the river. The Horses mostly stay right at the top of the field and don’t seem to venture there much.
The river here is a little deeper than Chithurst and Durford, a slower pace and wider. Ideal Roach and Chub territory and from my previous visits it was these two I had in mind. A loaf of Bread and a few maggots with me helped make an ideal light mash feed. The first swim was probably about 5 foot deep and it didn’t take long before the tip flew round and although I connected I felt a few head shakes and off it came. Another bite missed soon after then just as I though the chance was gone I connected with a Chub, short fat and 2lb 14oz, ok not massive but welcome and probably never caught before. By now the sun was right in my eyes off the water so I moved. A little more mash went out in the next swim and over the next hour 6 roach showed up to 9oz on the float and small pieces of flake on a 14 hook laid on slightly overdepth. I also had a lobworm out upstream of me and although I had a few plucks on this I didn’t manage to connect.
Another move to a swim right at the bottom of the stretch opposite some nice houses and within 15 minutes another Chub just nudging 2lb and next cast another just a bit smaller. All three Chub on the day were short, fat and pristine, signs of good feeding for sure. The houses make good viewing, however I’d be reluctant to fish near them at the weekend as the people who live there won’t be nearly as interesting as the Kingfisher whizzing up and down and would probably be making more noise than the mouse which took a liking to little bits of bread by my feet.
With some cloud and rain forecast for the next two weeks I think this river will benefit from a little colour and maybe slightly increased flow. The piercing bright sun certainly had an impact on the fishing and where I fished as it was reflecting strongly into my face in some parts. A cloudy day could well be a belter on there. I had to leave around 3pm and would liked to have been on there as the light went to see just where the Roach might show themselves, however those of a nervous disposition (me) might not enjoy the last 50 yards back to the car through the Graveyard in the mist.
Maybe float and maggot would have caught more fish and more variety, however, such is my confidence with this place that in my mind Bread is all I need. The fish here don’t see a lot of pressure or bait and accept most things quite freely.
Top tip, wear wellie boots as you will certainly be walking through a couple of inches of water in places that runs off the top field just before you get to the river, you wont sink but it will give you a ‘booty’ if you wear anything less.