The River Swift is a small, clay-based tributary of the River Avon, flowing in a roughly southerly direction from near Gilmorton before joining the Avon at Rugby.
Warwickshire Flyfishers Club have the rights to fish the North bank stretching from close to the village of Churchover to the A5 at Bransford Bridge, approximately 4 km of river. The river has a good head of coarse fish - roach and perch over 2 pounds, and chub to 6 pounds - all of which take dry fly and nymph. In the last seven years, WFF has stocked up to 250 brown trout annually, with one stocking in April and another in June/July. Generally, the stocked fish are under a pound in weight. However, we do now have trout that have grown on to 6 pounds.
The club has undertaken much improvement work to the river which can be viewed in the projects section of the site.
A few members have only fished in the field close to the A5 - and therefore nearest the car. This is a good idea late in the summer days when fish are rising quite freely to flies, but at other times can waste other opportunities.
Depending on your time available to fish, a recommended outing is to walk from the A5 or Cestersover Farm downstream, without walking too near the river, until you reach as far down as you think time will allow you to fish - say 2 or 3 hours of fishing time. From the A5 to peg no. 22, for example, takes about 20 minutes to walk and over 2 hours to fish. As trout always look upstream, you should always aim to stalk back upstream in the hope of spotting fish.
As a lowland stream having a predominately clay stream bed, the Swift varies hugely in depth and clarity throughout its course and suffers rapid flooding after heavy rain. Fishing after heavy rain can be very testing indeed. On the other hand, after a settled dry period the river can be crystal clear and you can stalk browns a lot more easily.
Is there a secret formula? No not really , fishing with a nymph across and downstream can produce good results, but as with any method won’t work every time. When the trout become more wary and settle into harder places to fish, dry fly fishing can be more productive.
Some of the bigger trout sit under overhanging trees or in the deeper pools and will respond to heavy nymphs.
Casting can be “exciting” and frustrating. A short leader of no more than 4 feet in length is recommended as using longer leaders will make you more prone to catching everything but not landing necessarily in the river.
A good rule is, if you catch a trout in one pool - move on, as the rest will be spooked.
Where do trout find attractive? It depends on the day. Like most predatory fish, trout like cover and Polaroid glasses are a must. On days when the river is murky from rain or animals taking a paddle, try a heavy nymph in the bigger pools. You can thrash about quite anonymously as the trout probably can’t see you either.
The season for Brown Trout on the river runs from March 22nd to October 7th. For those that can’t bear to hang up their rod, course fishing is permitted from October 8th to March 14th.