When I first began fishing over 15 years ago the one place that I can really remember my dad taking me was a place we called the stream. “The Stream” (as we called it) is a small tributary river that flows into the river Medway. It is located in Tonbridge industrial estate and although not set in the most idyllic surroundings it actually offers some fantastic fishing for free. My memories of fishing there are few and far between but I do remember catching hundreds of gudgeon, dace, roach and if I was lucky a perch. During the times we spent at the stream my dad caught a 5lb pike and my brother a 7lb bream but nothing huge. These were the days we were learning the trade and a 5lb bream was not to be moaned at in fact it was a monster. I still remember my brother catching it in the dark. My dad took us down there for my brother’s birthday, camping on an industrial estate all night. No bite alarms. bivy, bed chair just three old rods and a tiny tent. My brother fell in once and started to frantically thrash about thinking he was drowning when he realised he could stand up and it was only two feet deep.
I decided to go to the stream 07/08/10 and catch some perch and maybe same chub. It was more of a trail session as I didn’t know what to expect. The last time I visited the stream there was rubbish everywhere, fridges, sofas you name it. The stream was inaccessible and it was such a shame to have seen it in that condition. I am pleased to say that when I arrived I was impressed with the condition of the surroundings and the stream itself. Tops tiles have moved in the plot next to the stream and have looked after it including cutting the grass that runs adjacent and clearing all the rubbish. My plans were to fish with red maggot and worms to try and entice some perch. I fished the first swim you come to which was the one we used to fish years ago. There are two concrete pillars protruding out of the stream and are good fish holding areas. I once remember seeing a man fishing with a pole catching 1-2lb roach from this swim so I know it can produce. (Swim pictured below)
I had arrived at the stream at 5.15am and had not even had a knock on the rod. The fishing was hard even to get a twitch on the quiver. I decided to have some fun and try catch some dace trotting maggot. I managed a couple but nothing like what I used to catch. I ended up exploring the stream following it down through the industrial estate into tranquil surroundings. I finally came to a sign for Tonbridge Angling Society members only and so decided to head back. There was a lovely house on the stream with a brick built bridge overlooking the river. (Picture below)
I stopped back at a swim by the industrial estate and, managed a few perch from under my feet fishing beneath the stream bank under cut. Finally the rod tip pulled round hard and after a great fight I landed a chub of around a pound (picture below). It was not the biggest chub in the world but was my first from the Medway so I was happy. For its size it put up a great fight. I am planning to go back to the stream and fish for the perch which is a bit of a gamble as I do not know the size they go up to in there. I am going to live bait small gudgeon on a paternoster ledger rig. There were some great looking perch holding swim which I have noted and will give a go.