This long straight bank can provide good sport casting to moving fish in May-June when a North East or East wind encourages wind-lanes to form. A hedge and fence are a fraction too close for comfort along parts of this bank and long casters should watch their back-cast.
The culvert at the far West end is a favourite spot but doesn’t always justify the attention it often attracts. Renewal of the grille in this culvert now means that at last there is now an effective barrier to trout escaping into the High Maynard reservoir the other side of the Forest Road. No 4 fished a lot more consistently last season; this could well have been a factor.
The effects of new pipework in the North East corner have yet to be seen, but are an additional feature to this somewhat overlooked bank.
No problems with back-cast or access along virtually all of this bank would suggest a mobile approach may be best to intercept travelling fish, although the corners at either end are always favourite spots.
A collection of pipes connecting No 4 with No 5 at the East end are an obvious hot-spot, especially when South West, South or
South East winds are pushing daphnia through, or attracting fry. Like the Railway Bank, the right winds blowing along this bank can see fish moving upwind, especially in late April to early June. In less favourable conditions, the first third of the bank from the West end is always worth a try.
Bays and points give this side plenty of features. The South West Corner can often see moving fish in good conditions for dries, with its North Point often a good spot to cover them. Moving fish can also be seen when a ripple-edge develops out from the section of bank above it.
Not only did dries work well along here during our Wednesday Evening Series last summer, we also saw fry-feeders feature here during the Autumn Series.
The point at the North end of this stretch is another good place to intercept fish, while the North West corner around to the Tower can be a good early season spot, with the corner the other side also worth a few casts before you look further afield.
North West Corner
North East Corner
Here’s a view of the culvert at the East end of the Railway bank with the levels down. It gives a good idea of the scale and gradient of the bank on Nos 4 & 5. Steeper than that on the East Warwick, it means that even in the height of summer – or the depths of winter - you can still reach deep water with a reasonable throw with an Expert 40+ DI7, or a heavy leaded nymph, 18-24ft leader and floater.
Incidentally, when that picture on the right was snapped, Thames took the opportunity to renew the grille preventing trout escaping into the High Maynard.
Low levels revealed extensive mudbanks in this area, some of them covered in zebra mussel shells. For a brief period it was possible to catch mussel-feeding trout on leaded Hare’s Ears fished Czech-nymph style in the current pushing out from the pipes.
Any time from late April to early June, if you get overcast conditions and a Light-Moderate wind from East or West, you’ve a good chance of seeing fish moving upwind, even if sometimes they require a decent cast to cover. As with No 4, the pipes and culverts at the far East end are a big attraction, especially in the height of summer where the boil must provide a degree of oxygenation.
Early season, though, remember that fish will be following the daphnia. It may be tempting to do as everyone else and fish with your back to the wind, but those with the casting technique and tackle to handle it may well do better turning round and fishing whichever bank has the wind blowing into it. Fish can be as little as 5-10 yards out, gobbling daphnia, and in a far more confident mood than those on the easier banks.
First few platforms along from the Shed at the West end have a history of doing well to Booby in the colder months, but our Fur & Feather results often show better fish coming later in the day more towards the middle of the Causeway.
Tricky trees behind you and a snaggy bottom make the North East Corner not one of the most popular spots. Prevailing winds often see this side littered with debris from the two islands, maybe accounting for the sedge hatches in this area. Certainly the twigs and branches we pull out are often covered with stony caddis cases.
The best times for sedge emergences can be brief, expect them from mid-May to mid-June, with Grouse-wings and Black Silverhorns some of the species we see. An Invicta seems to work as well as anything for these.
You’ll need to find some gaps in the trees behind you to fish from the middle of this bank, but the North point of the South East Bay can be a real hot-spot.
High-pressure days in summer with an East or South East wind are one set of conditions where this South East Bay can switch on. You’ll often need to fish deep - either with heavy nymphs on the floater or Booby on the fast-sink - but be patient and you’ll often get fish following the flies right in from the depths and taking close to the edge.
South Houses Bank
At the right time of year a moderate South West wind gives great conditions for fish moving upwind along the wind lanes coming off the point by the Houses. Keep an eye on your back-cast the nearer you get to the ‘No Fishing Beyond This Point’ sign at the West end of this bank, because the fence behind you suddenly gets a lot closer. Opposite the Island is a good spot, as are the second or third platforms down from the South West Bay. Some of our Fur & Feathers were won in this area, and it still has the potential to throw up a good fish in the colder months, even if other areas may be better for numbers.
South West Bay and West Bank
Get a long period of winds blowing out of the South West Bay at the height of summer and this can hold a lot of fish, probably drawn not just by lower temperatures but also the extra water fed by the pipes and culverts in this area. Structure that can also hold a lot of fry at the right time of year. The point by the Walnut Trees gives you a lot of coverage if fish are moving, but it’s also a good place to launch your DI5-7 and Boobies. Working up the first half of the West bank are a series of points all of which can be good for buzzers on the floater, Minkies on the intermediate (more fry) or Boobies. Again, the last few swims up the NW Corner have proved popular in the colder months, good for numbers of fish, but sometimes better ones are caught elsewhere.
Christmas on the Causeway
Caddis Country in North East Corner
Action from South East Bay
Houses Bank from South East Bay