The Arrow at Wixford
Studley Angling Society's stretch of the Arrow at Wixford runs for about half a mile downstream from the pipeline which crosses the river a short drive past the entrance to Ragley Hall when traveling towards Evesham to the weir near the road bridge where the A46 crosses the river.
Full of features and with plenty of bankside cover and reed beds in summer, it incorporates three weirs, fast running water and long slow glides with deeper water and holes which provide areas where the fish hold up. In parts the back eddies and pools make it suitable for fishing stillwater pole or waggler techniques.
Although the stretch holds a variety of fish, the predominant species tends to be chub with the roach fishing particularly good at the back end of the season.
For general fishing, most anglers use a stick float shotted shirt button style and fished about four feet deep on 2lb to 2lb 8oz line and anything from a Size 14 to 18 hook. The most effective bait tends to be casters fished when feeding hemp and casters, although sweetcorn, bread, worm and soft hooker pellets can be equally effective.
Maggots are also a good all round bait, but they have the drawback that they attract minnows which can make fishing very frustrating as niggling bites can come thick and fast before the dace and other silver fish move in.
Anglers fishing the slow moving or still water on the pole are recommended to use 0.16 or 0.18mm line with strong forged hooks as this will enable them to get close to the reeds and other features.
Whilst a stick float is ideal for general rod and line fishing, a swimfeeder packed with groundbait, hemp, casters and samples of hook bait is good when going after the chub in the deeper holes or deeper slower water. Some of slow running stretches and holes can run to as much as eight feet deep in normal flows and there are several pegs where a single swim can vary between three and eight feet deep along its length.
A swimfeeder is also good when fishing the pools and faster running water beneath the weirs for barbel, although again the stick float still accounts for decent fish in these faster lengths. Whilst most anglers fishing for the barbel fish beneath the weirs, these fish can be caught anywhere along the Wixford length.
When fishing for the barbel or bigger chub it is advisable to use stouter tackle than when going after the general silver fish with 8lb line and Size 10, 12 or 14 forged hooks being advisable.
Baits can also be stepped up with quarter to half inch cubes of luncheon meat or 12mm to 16mm halibut pellets on the hook. These should be fished in conjunction with halibut feeder pellets, groundbait and other free offerings.
One of the features of the River Arrow barbel and chub is that they fight like crazy, and with barbel being caught to 8lbs and chub to about 5lbs fishing light tackle is often asking for trouble.
Another successful technique worth trying when the conditions are suitable is to fish floating bread in the slower or still parts of the river. This can be a deadly technique when fishing for the chub.
As with most rivers, the Arrow fishes best when the water is coloured particularly when the water is fining down after a period of rain.
Click here to see more photographs of Studley Angling Society's stretch of the River Arrow at Wixford
The Arrow at Studley Park
To be found across the field to the right just before Studley Parish Church, the Studley AS length at Studley Park runs for about a mile downstream from the footbridge as you cross the field downstream to where the brook joins the river just past Spernall Water Reclamation Works.
Unlike the Wixford length which has plenty of overhanging trees, shrubs and bankside cover, the Studley Park length for the most part is narrower and more open but is probably more heavily stocked than Wixford and offers some particularly enjoyable fishing.
Although there is a lot more shallow water than at Wixford, Studley Park holds good heads of chub, roach, bream and the occasional carp and trout.
Studley Park offers plenty of good fishing in the slower moving runs and the deeper pools which are often located on the outside of bends and are good holding places, particularly for the chub which are even more prolific than along the Wixford stretch.
More suited to rod and line than pole fishing, Studley Park is again a great water for fishing a shirt-button shotted stick float with caster fished with hemp. As with Wixford, it is recommended that anglers use 2lb to 2lb 8oz line and 14s to 18s hooks for general float fishing.
Whilst some anglers fish a feeder packed with groundbait, samples of hook bait and hemp in the deeper holes, these can be equally well fished on the float - although if going for the chub it is recommended that anglers use a slightly heavier line strength.
Most popular baits for the chub include luncheon meat, worm, bread, sweetcorn and halibut pellets, again fished on Size 10 to 14s hooks. As with the Wixford stretch, maggots account for plenty of decent fish but have the drawback that they attract minnows.
Because there is less weed than at Wixford, an alternative technique to fishing a float is to freeline worm, meat, bread or 12 to 16mm halibut pellets, using part of a blade of grass or grass stalk to hold the bait on the hook. Larger baits can also be fished on a hair-rig.
As with Wixford, another pleasant and easy way of fishing the slower glides and holes is simply to fish a piece of bread on the surface - an exciting way of taking the chub, particularly on warmer summer evenings.
Although there are several pegs where anglers can settle down for a full session's fishing, being a smaller river than the Arrow at Wixford, the Studley Park length will particularly appeal to anglers who like to rove a river, taking a few fish from a swim before moving onto the next hole or glide.
Click here to see more photographs of Studley Angling Society's stretch of the River Arrow at Studley Park
|Click on the maps below for larger images
How to get there...
For details of how to get to the Wixford and Studley Park lengths of the River Arrow, please follow the river maps link above.
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