Water, water everywhere, but nowhere to fish.

January 10, 2024 at 8:47 pm

December in the UK was the wettest for years, with flooded rivers, topped off by storm Gerrit after the Christmas period, but the brand new 2024 started off with storm Henk, which piled on the agony for anyone travelling from A to B, going to work, shopping, or for anglers, fishing.

Heading for a small pond, where there was a good chance of roach and skimmer bream on the bread punch, I encountered a closed road and turned around following a detour of a few miles, only to be met by another flooded road.

There was no way that I was going to attempt this and made for higher ground toward home. The bread could go back in the freezer for another day. Curiosity got the better of me and I drove over the Thames near Windsor, being unable to see where the river started and the sports field ended.

Taking the long way home, I stopped at the Jubilee River Relief Channel, which was dug to protect Maidenhead and Windsor from flooding, but the confluence joins the Thames half way along the image above and that is flooded! It had been intended to continue the flood relief all the way to the Tidal Thames twenty miles away, but it never materialised due to planning issues and of course money! The consequences of this are that towns and villages downstream now have regular flooding.

The usually placid waters of the Jubilee River below Maidenhead were turbulant when I arrived. Walking down to the swim that I fished a few weeks ago, there had been a gentle gravel slope to the river’s edge, where there is a line of small trees and bushes. Today I would have need chest waders to fish in the same spot. In front of me was a swirling eddy, there may have been fish sheltering there, but I did not hang around to find out.

Arriving home, there was a Facebook post from one of my other clubs, Twyford. This was an aerial image taken from a drone, which shows the Thames over the banks, engulfing a prolific Thames backwater, invisible in this image, that was restocked with barbel, chub and roach in December. One comment wondered where those fish are now. Tilbury? was the answer from one of the other members.

The floods are now subsiding. but now we have had snow and heavy frosts. I think that I will be sitting by the fire for a few days yet.