Bread punch on the River Aire at Bingley finds grayling, trout and chub

August 18, 2020 at 3:02 pm

If regulars to this blog are scratching their heads wondering whether I have moved up’t West Yorkshire, I’ll say no, but I know a man, who lives there. Johnathan, a contract chef from Bingley, a convert to the bread punch, known locally as the Ginger Breadman, has been working wonders on his local Bingley Angling Club waters since he was a junior, a member of various match teams, until marriage and a daughter brought Jon to his senses. Now a devoted family man, he has left the pressure and politics of match angling behind, but still enjoys a day out trying to get as many fish in his net as possible.

Travelling light, Jon made his way down towards the bottom of the Bingley club stretch of the river Aire, just upstream of the Bingley by-pass, where he climbed down into the known armchair swim. Unlike me, Jon’s tackle is bang up to date, setting up his 13 foot Daiwa Spectrum spliced tip rod, matched to a Daiwa 1657 reel, loaded with 2.6 lb Drennan float fish mono to a size 14 Kamasan B611 barbless hook. Intending to fish the stick float, Jon’s choice was an Ali stemmed John Allerton 4 No 4, set with the shot strung out over the 4 foot depth.

Feed was a bucket full of coarse white liquidised bread mixed with Dynamite hempseed, while hook bait was my favourite and his, Warburtons Blue medium sliced.

Intending to fish with 12 mm punched bread, Jon has made a simple punch using a short length of carbon, salvaged from a broken pole top.

Feeding a few balls of bread and hemp to start in the fast flowing river, minnows were a menace, bashing his way through and feeding them off, until a decisive pull down of the float brought solid resisitance from the bottom of the trot, that bent the Spectrum float rod over as a hard fighting brown trout kited across the river. The rod took the shocks and the landing net was soon under the trout.

This beautiful wild brownie was soon released, to be followed by a succession of chub ranging from 8 to 15 inches long, with a few roach getting in on the act. Each trot brought a bite, sometimes a minnow, the next could be a decent chub. The uncertainty of this type of river fishing often bringing up a surprise fish, in Jon’s case a 2 lb 8oz grayling, his personal best, taking on the drop from a cast along the opposite side of the river.

A pair of canoeists paddling straight through the middle of his swim, put an end to the fishing for the day, breaking up the shoal, but it was time to make a move anyway.

The river Aire is a good mixed fishery above industrial Bingley, offering reliable catches of trout and grayling for flyfishers, while supporting all the coarse species, including barbel, following a restocking program by the EA from their Calverton fish farm. Jon’s catch typical of the area.

Thanks Jon for the fishing report, and I hope to feature a few more in the future.

Tight lines.