There are two ways to fish in line on small rivers. The so-called running fishing, when with a rod in hand, the angler moves along the river bank, fishing for promising areas. And the second method is stationary fishing, when the angler, having chosen a suitable place, pulls up and holds the fish in the wiring zone with the help of bait. But regardless of which fishing method you prefer – running or stationary, it is important to remember that fish in medium-sized rivers are very capricious and cautious, and therefore it is advisable to use as sensitive tackle as possible for fishing.
For running fishing, a light wire or Bolognese rod 5-6 meters long is best suited, preferably with a low test – 2-8 g, 3-12 g, which will allow using light rigs and more effective fishing. It is also good to have light rings on long legs on the rod. To avoid freezing of the rings when fishing in frost, you can lubricate them with liquid vaseline oil: it is odorless and you can buy it at any pharmacy. It is best to use a reel without spinning, small in size, with a main line with a diameter of 0.12-0.16 mm and preferably a special one designed for long-distance casts, for example, for match fishing. Leashes are 0.08-0.10 mm, 25-30 cm long. It is best to connect the leash to the main line with a swivel number 22-24. Well sharpened hooks No. 16-22 depending on the type and size of the attachment.
For running fishing on small rivers in winter, you can use various rigs. For example, for fishing at half-water, when the hook with the bait does not touch the bottom, you can use sports-type floats with two attachment points, an oblong shape and a metal keel of medium length. The installation of the boom is simple: one pellet every 15 cm. When fishing from the bottom, when the hook with the bait is dragged along it, you can use sliding floats. But floats with two attachment points are still much more sensitive and stable in the current than sliding ones. The installation of the load is also quite simple: a supplementary load, after 30 cm an intermediate load and after another 30 cm – the main one.
The selection of the lifting capacity of the float is determined not only by the strength of the current and the test of the rod, but also by the expected activity of the fish. However, in any case, it is worth choosing a float according to the principle “the lighter the better.” I myself, when fishing on small rivers in the cold season, rarely use floats heavier than 2-2.5 g, and basically generally limit myself to using floats with a carrying capacity of 0.5 to 1.5 g. As a rule, on small rivers this is quite enough. For stationary fishing, you can, of course, use the same wiring (Bolognese) rod, but, in my opinion, in this case, it is still better to fish with a fly rod with a dull rig. A rod 5-7 meters long (this is quite enough for fishing on small rivers), medium-fast action, allowing the use of light and thin rigs. The main line is 0.10-0.14 mm in diameter, leads are 25-30 cm long and 0.07-0.09 mm in diameter. Floats, hooks and rigs can be used the same that I indicated for walking fishing.
And a little advice when using a fly rod in sub-zero temperatures. To avoid knee jamming and freezing, disassemble the rod before fishing and wipe all knees except the butt with liquid vaseline oil. This will save you from many problems, and possibly from breakage of the rod itself. By the way, this procedure should be carried out with a Bolognese fishing rod, however, without taking it apart.
About bait and its use
Regardless of whether you will be running undercarriage or stationary fishing, the use of bait when fishing in the harness on small rivers is highly desirable. But it should be applied carefully and with caution. As for the possible compositions of bait, they may differ slightly depending on how and whom you are going to fish: will you fish from the bottom in the hope of picking up something decent or half-water fishing, focusing mainly on small fish – the same bleak or gudgeon. Half-water bait, intended mainly for small fish, should be of such a consistency that, when it gets into the water, it creates a cloud of turbidity. To do this, you can use both a branded, preferably special winter bait with the addition of soil, or a mixture of your own preparation. For example, from compound feed and rusks, also with the addition of soil. It is good to add a little milk powder to both the one and the other mixture.
For fishing from the bottom, it is best to also use branded winter bait, but with the addition of undercooked millet or pearl barley. The main composition of the mixture is best prepared at home, and upon arrival at the river add clay and “living creatures to taste” – a worm, bloodworm or maggot, that is, packing material. As for the feeding technique itself, when fishing it is best to feed the fish rarely enough to only attract, interest and at least briefly keep it in the area chosen for wiring. To do this, having blinded several balls no larger than a tangerine, throw them a little higher upstream. It will be even better if you make a kind of track of several bait balls for the wiring.
With stationary fishing, it is best to act according to the following scheme: first, starting food with large, orange balls (forty to fifty percent of the whole bait), then, depending on the activity of the fish, toss from time to time two or three small balls. You can also toss the ball after catching the fish. But try not to overdo it with feeding, so as not to overfeed the fish: in cold water, it does not need much for this.
Two words about baits
Naturally, each type of fish needs its own, I would even say personal, approach and its own baits. Bale and medium-sized roach, despite the inappropriate season, will not refuse a piece of fragrant dough or talkers, will not swim past an appetizing maggot. Larger roach takes good barley on the grain, slightly smelling of anise. The gudgeon, like the ruff, loves bloodworms. They will not be offended by the proposed bunch of 4-5 bloodworms and a breeder with a thicket. Ide is always ready to show interest in a cute worm for a couple with maggots, if, of course, it has time to hook before the perch. And the chub will not mind trying a piece of cheese or bread crumb.
In general, different baits are needed for fishing line on non-freezing small rivers. And therefore, when going fishing, always take with you not only a variety of hooks, but also more different attachments. Don’t forget that fishing is not just a vacation. This is a constant search and experimentation. You cannot become an experienced angler just by reading newspaper articles. Articles are needed, but real experience must be made on real fishing.