Some fish and a herd of “killer cows”!!

We have been long talking about what we shall do for our friends 50th, and the time had finally arrived…We were off up to the higher reaches of the mighty river Severn! The plan, to camp, fish, and enjoy the time away in good company. After no debate at all we were in the pub! We (semi) planned the next couple of days fishing and were ready to get out there and catch from pastures new. 

 

Day one produced some bites for half of the party and new fish too, it was a very promising looking quiet stretch.

The next day saw a more challenging Upper reaches day where we managed to spot a couple of Barbel and my friend lost one to an uncharacteristic braid brake near the hook! A shame but that`s fishing…

But the amusing factor here was that when I went walking and stalking, I ran into some over friendly cows. (They had horns too)! I tried my usual “mush” technique, but it seemed they thought I was calling them! So they all came running at me…I ran with rod & net in hands as fast as I could, but when I looked around, there was one there right up to my face, I turned and ran harder. As I arrived over the brow of the riverbank, my friends were surprised to see me so flustered, then I explained, and there was some laughter before we got out of that field.

The farmer later explained that it was his fault as he hand feeds the cows! So they thought I was “calling” them rather than “shooing” them. Back in the pub one of our group explained that he was sat watching and laughing at the whole commotion from a distance down the bank where I did not know he could see. When I asked why he did not help in some way, he said he was too busy falling around laughing!

Next day was the Birthday, and the “Boy” had a few fish to celebrate with!! As did most of the party, before heading back to our local for a nice meal. A good trip for us all.

 

A Long Overdue Entry……And a P.B. For My Boy And I!!

I know I have been busy but I didn`t realise how busy, I have not posted an update for the whole of July. There has been some fishing going on and lots of Barbel caught as well as many other exciting things…

After a very encouraging start to the season with several fish for our group in the first days, the weather stayed fine and settled, and seems to have helped fishing all round for many rivers. We even had 10 Barbel between 3 of us off the Teme on the 17th June!! The beginning of July saw me do a reccy for one of my customers before our day out, this produced “15″ Barbel between 6 & 9lbs!

A nice June Barbel!

A nice June Barbel!

The day out came and we caught several quality fish, and his first for the river too. Once we had said our farewell`s and he had hit the road for a 3hr drive home, I headed for a charity event not far away, it was a sponsored Barbel fishing match (Bag a Barbel Lets Beat Cancer) organised by Andrew Poole. It was a credit to him and his family that the weekend went so smoothly, and everyone enjoyed many laughs and even plenty of fish aswell, the charity is one close to all of us and you can still donate by clicking on this link; https://www.justgiving.com/Andrew-Poole2014/ and whilst on the subject of charity events there is another Barbel related one happening as I write. It is in aid of the “Army Benevolent Fund” and is mentioned with a link on my cover page, there are 5 brave souls from the Barbel Society attempting to catch “20″ double figure barbel from 10 different rivers around England in 10 days, the link for this very worthy cause can be found here; https://www.justgiving.com/jerry-gleeson1/   (I can report that 3 double figure Barbel have been caught so far, so well done guy`s and keep them coming)!!

Back to my diary entries and my last session 65 miles from home with my son Joseph very keen to get out in our new car, and spend the night in it, as the seats fold down to make a double bed. So we had a couple of hours evening fishing before getting our heads down, we started first cast with a 4.5lb Bream, it was a bite at least! Half an hour or so after, the pull was much harder and a hard fighting barbel was coming to the net…

Bright lights on tired eyes!!

Bright lights on tired eyes!!

It was midnight and our last cast, the rod started nodding like another bream bite but as I lifted the resulting fish towards the net, it was no bream at all….The silver side and red fins showed us a beautiful “Roach”, it was a very pleasent surprise for me and my biggest ever at 1lb 15oz! So close to a 2lb river roach, we did not get a picture because after weighing we let it go. While fishing for “Barbel” I have now had P.B`s of three other species.

Little did we know, that events the next day, were going to take the turns they did…….After a good nights sleep in our new family vehicle, I decided we would have a good chance of catching and spotting some fish on a different river. As we attempted to drive away, I promptly realised that we had a flat back tyre (surely I haven`t put on that much??). “No problem” I thought as I reached for the spare tyre……which was FLAT! So we put the kettle on, and while we waited for the AA, I set a rod up for Joseph to see if he could get a bite here. After a short while – he was still holding the rod and I was messing with tyres – I heard his call “Dad dad helllpp”! Standing up the bank, I watched as Joe was getting dragged around with the rod tip pointing at the fish and the drag clicking rapidly. It was great!! The result was the fish pictured here;

Joe`s P.B 7lb 15oz !

Joe`s P.B 7lb 15oz !

After lots of laugh`s, we baited the swim and cast back out for another go. I received a call from the AA to ask for directions to our riverside location, and was told they would be with us in 10mins. Low and behold 10mins later Joe was calling and the same had happened, and as we played the fish, so Dave fom the AA arrived to say “what a whopper”.

Another P.B!! (What a Whopper)

Another P.B!! (What a Whopper)

We put air in the spare and fitted it, it stayed up, Dave carried on to another job while Joe and I would have one more cast and another cuppa! Yes, another Barbel was on. We landed the fish and went to check on that spare…..It was flat, another phone call and we had an hour to wait, another cast?? Of course. We had another barbel and then a phone call, similar to the last, as our rescuer was arriving, the rod – in it`s rest now because Joe`s arm was aching – decided to bend in half and start heading to the reeds! Joseph got fingers to it, as I helped and tried to gain control, the fish knew where it wanted to get and was already half way there when we started to play it. As it was nicely getting buried in the bulrushes, a boat was heading our way…..as was our rescuer….and this fish was not!!

Joseph made a run for the far side of the river, I explained gently what was happening to our rescuer, and then asked the kind lady on top of the boat (my faith in boaters is restored), to take the rod and pass it across to Joe. She did this happily as I ran across to join Joe and play this fish from the best possible angle! The boating couple were now captivated, as was our rescuer, all we needed to do was catch this fish, and eventually we did persuade it out of the rushes for a good old tussle before netting. Everyone was happy to see the result of such commotion, it weighed 7lb8oz!!

One for Dad too...

One for Dad too…

Oh,,,,, and we made it to the tyre fitters to do the necessary!!!

 

 

A New Season Awaits….

So welcome, one and all, and more importantly tight lines and wet nets for the coming season!

I am pleased to announce that beginning from the glorious 16th of June an observational study of rivers, streams and waterways we fish, will begin. The information will be collected from various sources and gathered together to form an assessment of our waterways as seen by us.

This is proudly supported by the BFW, Barbel Society, Barbel Fishing (Prince of the River), Angling Trust and the Enviroment Agency, as well as other social media sites. The aim of the study is to survey the condition of the waters and how healthy a habitat they presently are, for all water based life.

The details being collected are very straight forward and quick to record for you. They will consist of: Location, Time, Date, Type of Sighting. The sightings can vary from extra low levels, fish struggling, silted gravels, predators ie) cormorant, otter, mink, crays etc. And please all positive signs you see, more fish than usual!! Preferably backed by pictures too.

This is purely an observational study to show everyone just how much we, as anglers – between us – on the banks every day and night, do actually witness. Please take the small amount of time it will take, to take part whenever possible.

Please remember – in an emergency – to call the Environment agency hotline first on ;0800 807060.

End Of Season Encounters!! Part Two..

Well this one has been a long time coming! I am sorry to those of you who have been checking in for my updates and found a blank page. I have been fairly (and squarely) tied-up for the last while with the imminent arrival of our baby, and then he has arrived, at 8lb not a bad weight!! But the house and all within have been well and truly taken up with gaga and googoo. A massive “WELL DONE” to my incredible wife who manages to juggle so much!
So here goes;
The next session I had was on the wild Wye and – with only a few days left of the season – a bite would be nice!! It was very tough going , but just before dark the bite arrived and a fish of 6lb ish was in the net after a very spirited campaign towards some underwater snags. The day had been a perfect Wye day and with a baby of around a pound to follow the last, two Barbel was the outcome.

Another Smile.

Another Smile.

Congratulations to my great mate Mark, on landing his Severn P.B just 2 days before the end of the season. It was a cracker, and no doubt, worth losing those leads for! Nice one mate, I still say I really am your lucky charm!!!

For my final trip of the season I was back on the Avon and trying for another bite and fight to finish the season with….I set off very early on the morning of the 14th Mar,

Sun up on the last day.

Sun up on the last day.

with the intention of going until lunchtime(ish). As the Dawn chorus was just beginning to head towards a crechendo my rod plunged under the surface of the clear river, and this could only be one fish….A fine specimen of 7.5lb.
Pleased with this fish on the dawn of the last day, I moved on to another swim and hardly waited a few minutes before the rod was doing the same dance to the birdsong! The next fish was slightly bigger and – as it turned out – my last of the season. The sun came up and burned brightly and lots of anglers started to arrive as I decied to call “time” on quite a challenging season.
I hope you all fared well, and had a pleasing end to your season too, and look forward to the coming season with great anticipation…..

My next diary entry (next week), will be all about my close season rambling and the new fish I have found, and of the Barbel Society meeting last week.

End Of Season Encounters!! Part One..

I decided to catch the river with temperatures rising and levels falling slighty. It was a late start after settling the house for bed, I decided to head. I would be on the river by a civilised(ish) time (all being well). But junction ’9′ was closed! So I diverted up to 8 and back down to 9 on the southbound side. Still I was fishing by around the “eta”, and tried a couple of swims before the “right one”. It was just below a swim that I knew fairly well.

After just 5 minutes or so, on the Special Spam, a good take and this fighting 9lb 4oz fish!

Fin bar

Fin bar

It had some war wounds and fin rot as shown here,13lb 9oz 003
Healed wounds..

Healed wounds..


so I applyed some Friars Balsam as recommended by no other than Ray Walton, and released it to fight another day!

I moved then, onto an area that has done well in the past for me. The river was pushing hard and I could just get down on the bank to cast. After a couple of fruitless cast’s – with big bow’s in the line – I landed a good cast. Holding the rod high it did not take long for an indication.

I thought the tapping bite may be a chub at first, then it took off like a barbel upstream. As it got level with me, it shot off hard and low like a “big barbel”, the fight had really begun. And when I thought that the fish was beat, it kept using the flow and it’s weight against me! Even on the last, I had the fish over the net, it was huge, as I laid the rod down to pull up the net the fish was out!! I grabbed the rod and 5 minutes more fighting ensued. Finally I managed to do what I thought only two people could do, and landed the giant!!

Season`s biggest!

Season`s biggest!

It weighed 13lb 9oz and made my season!13lb 9oz 009 I then lost a “log fish” on the downstream rod which hook pulled before I saw it. I think it was a carp. Or perhaps a foul hooked fish??

I slept in the car, and the next day had this nice 6lber before heading back for lunch!

One for breakfast.

One for breakfast.