The Last Week! (And Cold Feet).

The Barbel are biting! Spring is in the air…so good luck to everyone getting out this final week of the season.

Be sure to check the predictions page, I am like mystic meg!

The big story from my last trip was about the fish which took off like a rocket and nearly got tethered, once again I had to take off my bottom half and wade into a river only 6 celcius, (it does not take long for the pain to turn to numbness in water this temp). By the time we both managed to get out, I was shaking & shivering but we were both ok. My feet finally came back to me in the car on the journey home!

Here are a few pictures of some from my last sessions;

8lber with a sreaming take!!

8lber with a sreaming take!!

11lb 6oz... what a fright and fight this one gave!

11lb 6oz… what a fright and fight this one gave!

Finally resting and recovering to swim away, and fight another day.

Finally resting and recovering to swim away, and fight another day.

Nice To Be Back..

Friday was my chance to make a dash up the M5 for my first session of the year, and try for a Barbel before the romance of “St Valentine” took over…..really?
After a lot of colder weather, the river temp had risen from 3ish c to nearly 5c in a few days. The pressure was dropping and air temps staying above water, so there may just be a chance. I made it there just before sunset and was keen to get a line in.
Within 5 mins the rod was bent over with a good take and a lively Chub, an unexpected and pleasing start, though this fish was very cold. A couple of casts resulted in more plucks and then hitting one of these, I hooked a bigger Chub than the first, this one nearer 4.5lb. I decided to move, as I had a “hunch” for another area, so took the walk. After fifteen minutes I heard a splash, and witnessed a big Otter pop up mid river just above my swim, it then proceeded to swim mid river right over the top of my swim (which luckily was approximatly fifteen feet deep). It sounded like a cow panting along the river heading purposefully downstream, and then dived.
Just as I was thinking negative thoughts for any chance of a bite here, the rod in my hand began to pull – with strength – over in my arm, I was into a Barbel!
It felt like a big one in the ensuing fight, and made some hard run`s before coming to the surface under the rod, and rolling into the net. It was indeed a big one, 11lb4oz in fact. What a great fish to start the year with, and end the longest “in season” layoff I have had since starting out for Barbel in 2006. I had one more cast in the first swim and another nice Chub resulted, time then to drive home and write the card!
Only 4 weeks now until the long lay off so good luck and tight lines.

An Anglers Observational Study.

As many of you will be aware & some not, I am involved in an observational study of our rivers from the eyes of anglers who fish them. The data has been gathered since the beginning of our rivers season in June 2014 & is proving very useful in giving an overview of locations for various predators and pests – from Cormorants to Cray fish and Otters, we are gathering to create a picture of the health of our rivers. Please do contribute whenever you see anything of concern!! Your input is much appreciated….

An unfortunate but common sight on some rivers.

An unfortunate but common sight on some rivers.

Another Day….

After a nice little break in Cornwall, and ready to settle into a New Year with many changes afoot, we were on the high road (A30) over Bodmin with snow coming down & a snowstorm ahead. Then – as if – from nowhere the road turned white and the next steep hill saw cars stopping and sliding back down! So we pulled over and I had to put my boots onto my nice warmed feet, and my coats back on, to help push those further up the hill!

After some hard pushing and eventual high fiving, a couple of us had managed to get everyone moving again. I ran back – watching my step as I did so – to our car, feeling good and wanting to get moving again before this next storm took affect……

We were on the move, and slowly, as the snow and hail was setting in again! A couple of miles along the road we saw a snow plough followed by a couple of police cars and an ambulance, and then another plough…I think we made it out just in time! (Its the first time I have experienced how people and their cars can get stuck very quickly).

As for the fishing recently, I am sad to report that I have not even managed to get out since before Christmas due to many reasons beyond my control, but I am very happy to report that in the preceeding weeks from Oct to Christmas, the fish (Barbel) really were obliging!

I Started the ball rolling with my first double of the season of nearly 13lb (12lb14oz) from the Warks Avon and followed that fish with others of 10lb 12oz, 12lb 8oz, and 13lb on the nose from the same river in the space of a few sessions which saw 18 Barbel come to the banks. Naturally pleased with these fish I tried the Severn, and could not believe my luck!

In one unforgettable session on the Severn (my first one of Oct), the rods would not keep still. I had two out at first, as the sun was setting. The downstream rod went and after playing and landing the fish, before I could bait up the rod, the other was going. The “tit for tat” continued….so only one line was in at a time! The fish got bigger with 4 x 9lb+ fish and a new Severn P.B. of 14lb 2oz. I was made up with this, and over the next couple of weeks 4 more doubles including an 11lb12oz and 11lb10oz, both of which would have beaten my previous Severn P.B. The BIGGER fish certainly were biting this Autumn!!

It was great to be out and catching some larger fish, as I had been catching plenty of smaller ones to 9lb or so (more than the last couple of sesaons), but had not until then, managed that elusive “double”. And then – like buses – they all came at once!! Here are some pictures;

A welcome 12lb 8oz!

A welcome 12lb 8oz!

11lb 10oz Severn Beauty!

11lb 10oz Severn Beauty!

A lovely 11lb10oz Severn fish.

A lovely 11lb12oz Severn fish.

Happy New Year!

To everyone who looks in….I wish you all the very best for 2015!! Good luck, and I hope you have all you need in the coming year, of course that will include some bendy rods!! Take care.

(I shall post a new diary account which will include details of all thats been caught and experienced, over the last couple of months).

Emily`s Day (Written by Emily)

We set off after school to stay the night in the valleys. Daddy and me cast a rod out at one spot and then another. When it was time to go to a different swim we pulled in the line and at the end of the rod was a gudgeon. Then we moved swims. It was 7.30 and the sun was setting we had 4 casts and three barbel. When one rod bent round the other rod went too. Here is a picture of the fish…

Twins??

Twins??

Then we went back to the car and I got into my Poppet onesy. Daddy made us some tea (sausages), and a cup of tea and we went to bed. We woke up and went to the bathroom for a freshen up. Daddy had a talk with a canoe man and he chatted to 3 anglers altogether. We then set off to the same place again had two casts and had nothing. So we went back to the swim, where we had the 3 fish, but no fish could be found. The river was full of canoes so we left.

It was alittle drive to daddy’s special spot. We saw 4 fishes in the swim, but none came to us. By then we had breakfast and I was making clay with mud and water. We went in to the woods

If you go down to the.....

If you go down to the…..

and Daddy showed me a secret clearing where there was a fire circle. Then I got scratched by some thorns and had a scab (and I still have it). We came out and walked to the waves which went up the mountain. Then we left for home and went back to the place from the night before and caught 3 barbel again. Then we went back home and I fell asleep in the car on the way back. We picked up chicken for tea with Mummy and then I went to bed.