There are a number of occasions when fish will accept a stationary bail yet will completely ignore a moving one. To present a stationary bait at a distance, you must leger – a method of fishing we will look at later – but for fishing close to the bank you can employ a method known as ‘layingon’. In winter when the water temperature is very low and the fish are not prepared to move for a bail this method can he very effective. For laying on, position the shot well down the line towards the hook, with a huge shot which will he resting on the river bed. Set the float so that you are fishing well over depth. Cast out across the current and then place the rod on two rests. The current will swing the tackle round until it comes to rest immediately downstream of your rod. Bites can vary quite a lot. And because you are fishing with a very light line between the rod tip and the float, a strong bite may pull the tip of the rod over. If no bites are fortheoming after ten minutes or so, you can reel in a couple of turns to draw your tackle a few centimetres upstream. The float should be long and slim and fixed to the line both top and bottom. A fat-bodied float will create too much resistance to the surface current.
This method is very similar to laying on. The float is set well over depth with the shot lying on the river bed. The tackle is cast directly downstream and the line tightened up. By raising the rod tip a fraction, the weight on the river bed can be eased downstream a little way before coming to rest again. Keep the line between the rod and the float under tension at all times. By continually lifting the rod tip and letting line out the tackle can be very slowly moved downstream. This is a very good method of searching for fish when the river is high and coloured, such as after heavy rains.