North East Tower to Birdhide
A popular section of the East bank, and not just because it’s the first place you arrive at. Has produced good fishing in the months of December-March when an Easterly or a North Easterly allows you to fish deep and slow on the floater with a couple of buzzer patterns and maybe a heavy Bloodworm on the point. The end of the North East Tower also appears to collect fry, including small roach and perch – watch to see what the grebes and cormorants are up to. Minkies or Tadpoles on a slow Intermediate can be a useful alternative when it’s slow on the buzzer.
Birdhide to South East Tower
The area opposite the Island is noticeably more shallow than the rest of this bank, although whether this affects your set-up is often determined more by height of water, especially at low levels. When level is high and close to retaining wall, be careful your flies don’t snag with the lip of the concrete bank or rocks beyond. This snaggy area is also when following fish can choose to take so fish your cast out and don’t be in a hurry to lift off too soon.
South East Tower to South East Corner
This straight section of bank can see fish moving all along it if you get mild conditions in April-May or September-October with South/South East or North/North West winds and the wind-lanes that can form along here.
Like the whole of the East bank, this relatively clear concrete bank allows scope for ‘odging’ – moving sideways while fishing a floater to counteract a sideways drift and get your flies deeper. With a heavy leaded point fly it’s surprising how deep you can get, with takes registering more decisively on a straight line than one with a curve in it.
Even in a strong South West wind the East side of the Towers provides a small section of sheltered water which can see moving fish.
The other side is another spot that at times can contain a lot of fish in a small area, either sitting just to the left of the Towers or in front of the Reedbed. Try it if the weather’s still hot when the reservoir re-opens in September. The South West Corner is noticeably shallow close in, with a ridge running across the front of it before you get to deeper water.
Reedbed to North West Tower
It may only offer a couple of fishable spots but the Reedbed is well worth a look, particularly the swim to the immediate North of it. This length of natural bank (not something fly-fishers get much of at Walthamstow) can be a line-catching nuisance to those of us without line-trays, but does offer scope in West/South West winds. April-May can see great fishing to large claret buzzers (all those bloodworms hatching out), and was where we scored on Diawl Bachs for FF&FT feature.
Further up, the length opposite the Island can be another hot-spot. As with the East bank it pays to have a walk up and down looking for moving fish – either sipping down buzzer or crashing after fry – before you start. Minky or buzzer? That’s often a crucial decision on the Warwick.
North bank - natural & concrete
The corner the other side of the North West Tower gives deep water in easy reach. A long cast to your left allows you to fish your buzzers and bloodworm in a natural fashion along the slope, rather than straight up.
If you draw a blank here there are a few more gaps in the brambles along the natural bank to your left that can also produce.
The West end of the concrete is another hot-spot, while it’s worth trying for fry-feeders off the NE Tower from the NE corner if the wind makes the East bank awkward.
South East Tower
Looking North along the West Bank
North Bank from West Tower