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Old 13-01-2018, 14:30
Geoff Jubb Geoff Jubb is offline
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Question Water visibility?

After reading some threads on this forum I had decided to get up early this morning and try some pike lure fishing.

On arriving on the lower Tees I found the water was like chocolate.
I decided as I had travelled there I might as well have a go but felt low in confidence.
I know pike use vibration too and I didn’t want to bait fish.
I didn’t get anything and managed to snag one of my lures.

I was hoping you might help me with some visibility questions I have.

Are there ways of checking river water visibility before driving there? I know you can check water levels.

What causes poor visibility on rivers? I imagine it must be rainfall and increased water flow?

Are you less likely to get poor visibility further upstream than a rivers lower reaches?

I was thinking of trying again tomorrow so thanks in advance for any advice!

Geoff
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Old 13-01-2018, 15:33
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sam vimes sam vimes is offline
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Default Re: Water visibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Jubb View Post
Are there ways of checking river water visibility before driving there? I know you can check water levels.
Beyond looking at the levels and knowing that a river is above normal levels, and therefore likely to be carrying some colour, not that I know of. Looking at the levels of the significant tributaries above where you intend to fish can be worthwhile. Both the Leven and Skerne can add significant colour to the Tees, without adding significantly to the level of the main river, if the are running high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Jubb View Post
What causes poor visibility on rivers? I imagine it must be rainfall and increased water flow?
Any extra water is likely to lead to extra colour. The Tees is a bit different to the nearby Swale in that it's largely controlled by the numerous reservoirs at the top of the dale. It can sometimes carry extra water and colour well after significant rainfall has occurred. Occasionally, it suffers from seemingly random level rises as extra water is allowed to run off from the reservoirs. I've generally found that the Tees rarely runs really clear outside of the summer months. There's usually a certain level of stewed tea colour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Jubb View Post
Are you less likely to get poor visibility further upstream than a rivers lower reaches?
Much depends on where the rainfall occurs. The Swale can be low and clear down to Morton yet up and coloured further downstream. All it takes is significant rainfall on the North Yorkshire Moors which swells the likes of the Wiske and Cod Beck. The Tees can be similarly affected by tributaries such as the Leven and Skerne. This influx of mucky water may not significantly affect the level of the main river, but can introduce lots of colour.
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Old 13-01-2018, 15:34
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Default Re: Water visibility?

That's pretty impressive making your first post having joined some twelve years ago.

My experience is limited but like you I share an interest in the condition of my local river, the Great Stour running through Kent and in particular a stretch I often fish through the City of Canterbury.

I don't think you'll find recorded data giving you an indication as to the colour of the river but you maybe able to get an idea from its level, many of the UKs rivers have monitoring stations and readings are taken a few times every day, perhaps your river will be listed here....

Flood warnings for England - GOV.UK

My local stretch is a chalk stream and for much of the year is gin clear which has its pros and cons in equal measure. It's only been in the last few weeks that we've had any significant rain, increasing the levels and bringing colour with it too. Much of that colour is due to the run off from the town via drains, in rural areas it maybe similar from fields and agricultural land.

Like you I'm getting into lure fishing for pike and all the written advice is that if they can't see the lure in coloured water, then don't bother wasting your time, however this is fishing! It doesn't always work that way. Two weeks ago a young lad caught a 22lb pike from the town stretch with a lure when the river was in flood and highly coloured, you never know what the next trip is going to bring.

Last edited by s63; 13-01-2018 at 15:37.
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Old 13-01-2018, 15:40
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sam vimes sam vimes is offline
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Default Re: Water visibility?

Farson Digital Watercams

The live feed cameras at Barnard Castle and Piercebridge might help give you more idea than just the basic river levels do.
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Old 13-01-2018, 16:01
Geoff Jubb Geoff Jubb is offline
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Default Re: Water visibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam vimes View Post
Beyond looking at the levels and knowing that a river is above normal levels, and therefore likely to be carrying some colour, not that I know of. Looking at the levels of the significant tributaries above where you intend to fish can be worthwhile. Both the Leven and Skerne can add significant colour to the Tees, without adding significantly to the level of the main river, if the are running high.



Any extra water is likely to lead to extra colour. The Tees is a bit different to the nearby Swale in that it's largely controlled by the numerous reservoirs at the top of the dale. It can sometimes carry extra water and colour well after significant rainfall has occurred. Occasionally, it suffers from seemingly random level rises as extra water is allowed to run off from the reservoirs. I've generally found that the Tees rarely runs really clear outside of the summer months. There's usually a certain level of stewed tea colour.



Much depends on where the rainfall occurs. The Swale can be low and clear down to Morton yet up and coloured further downstream. All it takes is significant rainfall on the North Yorkshire Moors which swells the likes of the Wiske and Cod Beck. The Tees can be similarly affected by tributaries such as the Leven and Skerne. This influx of mucky water may not significantly affect the level of the main river, but can introduce lots of colour.
Thanks for the great answer and link, they are both really helpful.

Do all rivers of the north east carry colour all winter?
I really want to fish lures so may try the Wear instead.
I want to stick to free stretches until I am a bit surer of what I am doing.

Love the name by the way, wish I had picked Rincewind now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s63 View Post
That's pretty impressive making your first post having joined some twelve years ago.

My experience is limited but like you I share an interest in the condition of my local river, the Great Stour running through Kent and in particular a stretch I often fish through the City of Canterbury.

I don't think you'll find recorded data giving you an indication as to the colour of the river but you maybe able to get an idea from its level, many of the UKs rivers have monitoring stations and readings are taken a few times every day, perhaps your river will be listed here....

Flood warnings for England - GOV.UK

My local stretch is a chalk stream and for much of the year is gin clear which has its pros and cons in equal measure. It's only been in the last few weeks that we've had any significant rain, increasing the levels and bringing colour with it too. Much of that colour is due to the run off from the town via drains, in rural areas it maybe similar from fields and agricultural land.

Like you I'm getting into lure fishing for pike and all the written advice is that if they can't see the lure in coloured water, then don't bother wasting your time, however this is fishing! It doesn't always work that way. Two weeks ago a young lad caught a 22lb pike from the town stretch with a lure when the river was in flood and highly coloured, you never know what the next trip is going to bring.
Lol S63!

I am mainly a sea angler but flirt with the idea of pike fishing every few years.

I don’t have a lot of spare time so tend to read more about fishing than actually doing it and I don’t like to post advice unless I am very sure of what I am saying.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 13-01-2018, 16:13
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sam vimes sam vimes is offline
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Default Re: Water visibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Jubb View Post
Do all rivers of the north east carry colour all winter?
If you get a reasonable period without rain, no. The problem is that those with reservoirs up the dale can have run off from the reservoirs with seemingly little rhyme or reason. I've rarely seen the Tees without at least a tinge of peaty colour in the winter, even when it's low. The Swale doesn't have the reservoirs, so a decent period without rain can see it running pretty clear, even in winter. I'm not familiar enough with the Wear or Tyne, but as both have reservoirs, I suspect that they may be closer to the Tees in nature. However, neither have significant tributaries from a separate upland area like the Tees and Swale have with the North Yorks Moors.
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Old 14-01-2018, 08:11
keora keora is offline
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Default Re: Water visibility?

I've lure fished the Wharfe, Ure, Yorks Ouse (effectively the lower Ure) and the Swale.

If the water is heavily discoloured after rain, I've rarely caught pike on lures. By heavily discoloured I mean a largish lure can't be seen by the angler when it's at a depth greater than about a foot.

I used to fish the area where the Swale meets the Ure, and it was noticeable that after heavy rain, the Swale was more discoloured than the Ure. And the colour (sediment ) took longer to clear in the Swale than in the Ure.

I fish mainly the middle Wharfe, where the river bed tends to be mainly gravel and cobbles, and there's grayling and often trout. During a flood, the water gets discoloured but not as badly as the rivers flowing through the Vale of York.

If you intend to fish the Tees again, you should check the river levels before you go:

River level information for River Tees at Yarm - GOV.UK


The graph is showing a level of 0.44 metres for Sunday 14 Jan. Looking at the Key Information below the graph, the water level varies from 0.45 to 1.8 metres. So it's at a low level, probably the water will be clear enough for lure fishing.

But the air temperature this morning is only 4 degrees, the water temp will be a bit lower and at low water temps lure fishing for pike can be unpredictable.
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Old Today, 11:45
Phil Heaton Phil Heaton is offline
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Default Re: Water visibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keora View Post
I've lure fished the Wharfe, Ure, Yorks Ouse (effectively the lower Ure) and the Swale.

If the water is heavily discoloured after rain, I've rarely caught pike on lures. By heavily discoloured I mean a largish lure can't be seen by the angler when it's at a depth greater than about a foot.

I used to fish the area where the Swale meets the Ure, and it was noticeable that after heavy rain, the Swale was more discoloured than the Ure. And the colour (sediment ) took longer to clear in the Swale than in the Ure.

I fish mainly the middle Wharfe, where the river bed tends to be mainly gravel and cobbles, and there's grayling and often trout. During a flood, the water gets discoloured but not as badly as the rivers flowing through the Vale of York.

If you intend to fish the Tees again, you should check the river levels before you go:

River level information for River Tees at Yarm - GOV.UK


The graph is showing a level of 0.44 metres for Sunday 14 Jan. Looking at the Key Information below the graph, the water level varies from 0.45 to 1.8 metres. So it's at a low level, probably the water will be clear enough for lure fishing.

But the air temperature this morning is only 4 degrees, the water temp will be a bit lower and at low water temps lure fishing for pike can be unpredictable.
This can be overcome by fishing slower, deeper lures or even shiny spoons in bright conditions, especially if the water is reasonably clear. I find the real 'kiss of death' is snow melt followed by a rising river which usually is carrying extra colour.
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