Tackling flowing water is one of the most exciting challenges in fishing.
The way that fish behave in moving water is totally different to how they behave in still water. On a river, they will generally sit in line with the flow and compete for food, and there are a number of ways that you can go about trying to catch them from this line.
Choose your species
When a river is low and the water clear, target smaller fish like roach, dace and perch. If the river is carrying extra water and colour, skimmers, bream and barbel can all switch on.
Have feeder options
Use an open-end feeder with SonuBaits Black River groundbait if the river is coloured. Alternatively, to kick off a peg, use a blockend with hemp, maggots or casters.
Use sturdy tackle
I use an Extremity 520 reel paired with a 12ft 6ins Supera rod – a great balance for many fast-flowing rivers using feeders to 2oz. Mainline is 6lb Sinking Feeder Mono.
Balance the rig
Fish with a bow in the line and the rod pointing downstream towards it. Balance the weight of the feeder with the flow, so as a fish picks up the bait, the bite shows as a drop-back.
Early in the session, I’ll cast every minute to get a steady stream of bait in the swim and attract the fish. Later, I’ll lengthen the gap between casts to around three minutes.
Don’t go too short
Long hooklengths are best as the bait will sit downstream of the feeder and be the first thing the fish finds as it moves up to the feed. A size 16 to 0.15mm mono is a good all-round choice.