Glynde Beddingham & Firle Angling Club
That finest of match anglers Kevin Ashurst once said to the journalist Colin Dyson "if the River Trent is the Big Ben of match fishing then canals are the little Swiss watch,"
A comparison where you could easily substitute Glynde Reach for canals.
Intricate, delicate and exact.
With a required level of finesse that can be as intoxicating as it can be frustrating.
The Glynde Reach is a narrow fishery. So much in fact that on almost every section a 12.5 metre pole at full length is enough to lay your hook on the far side reeds.
Stands pretty much the favoured and most effective (in my view) method is to pole fish the venue.
Not to say a running line won't catch fish and a rod and reel has to be the set up if you're setting your sights on some of the big carp and pike. More of that later.
There's a small and rarely fished short section of the Glynde Reach where you won't get right (and very tight) over with 12.5 metres. Other than that the entire fishery can be coped with at 12.5 metres maximum and most of the time a good bit less.
The trick with each peg is to find where the fish are. Stating the "bleedin' obvious" perhaps but nonetheless key and not so easy as you may think.
They might be tight over, down the middle or a touch either side of centre, they might be on the near side.
In all of those locations they might be straight in front of you, they might be upstream and they might be downstream.
They will often switch off in one feeding area and switch on in another.
Thus once you find the fish you may have to switch your target area - sometimes more than once.
Getting all these choices in the right sequence is how most fish are caught and matches are won.
Always plumb up carefully. You'll find 4' to 5' down the centre track sloping up to 3' or less on the inside or tight to the far bank. Imagine a cross
section of the venue as a U shape but with sides a little more sloped - that'll give you the picture.
Start an inch or so off bottom and jig it around if you're not getting bites - you need to find the feeding depth and pattern. Don't be shy of coming up in the water especially during the warmer months as there is a very big head of rudd - they'll feed anywhere from the surface down to bottom.
Feed three swims before you start - one as your main line of attack and two other as "in case " target lines. Best to pot it in but failing that small pouch fulls by catapult. Don't over do it - a little is best to start - you can always step up the feed rate if the catch rate demands.
Baits - maggot, pinkie, squatt, bread punch, caster - in about that order of effectiveness. On a water where you might think caster would be king it doesn't work that well at all.
Groundbait - it works. Not all the time. Again feed little. Often if you need to. What's the most effective? - none more than another it's your choice.
Rigs - keep them light. The only time you'll find a strong flow on the Glynde Reach is after a great deal of heavy rain and even then it's spasmodic as and when the sluice is opened. Mostly the water is static. No more than 3 number 9's down the line is needed with hook sizes 16 to 22.
Everything outlined above caters for the silver fish stock of the fishery. If you want to target some very big carp and pike it's a different ball game.
Floating crust, boilies, big pellets, corn and worm for the carp. Location is the key for these fish - they do patrol over some distance as a close season recce on the right and in the right weather will reveal. But essential for carp anglers to do their homework and find the holding areas which are certainly away from the more regularly fished areas.
Dead baits and lures for the pike. A rod a reel for both. Don't spend too much time in the same spot when lure fishing as fish tend to come very quickly if they're there. Dead baits and a wait seem to take the bigger fish.