West & Fens Fishing: Bites hard to come by - but are you in the right place?

You couldn't make it up, could you? All those dry summers, when the regulars on Ten Mile Bank blamed lack of colour and flow when the fishing became a struggle.

Since the start of the season, you'd be hard pushed to find a run of two consecutive days when it hasn't rained. Yet the bites seem to have dried up on the river of late.

One curious thing about the river is how little of it actually gets fished. While you see a few anglers around favoured spots like Modney Bridge, St Mark's and the Wissey Mouth, you can go for miles upstream of Modney and not see a soul.

On an early pike fishing trip last October, out in the wilds near Danby, I saw a huge shoal of bream. This was at a time when anglers were struggling further down the river.

Parking's not as straightforward, the banks are quite a climb and a lot of the swims are well-overgrown. But the forgotten river which lies between Modney and Littleport might have some of the answers when it comes to where the fish have all gone.

Pick of the bunch at the moment seems to be the Middle Level Drain, with St German's, Crooked Chimney and Pingle producing bream, skimmers and the odd tench.

The Ivan Marks Memorial, fished to commemorate the great matchman, is returning to his favourite river Welland. Marks took the river apart with the legendary Likely Lads in the 1970s, coachloads headed for the Fens from the North and Midlands.

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The match is being fished on Sunday, September 23, on the Deeping waters around Crowland, where a memorial to Marks stands by the river. Advance tickets, priced �20, from Trevor Leigh, 21 Gregg House Crescent, Shiregreen, Sheffield S5 0RW (enclose SAE).