17 rivers in 14 days
● Charity mission ● Barbel ace and pals ● Light gear ● Public transport
AN ANNUAL challenge saw its intrepid organiser tackle an impressive 17 rivers across Europe in 14 days.
Barbel specialist Jerry Gleeson, a head chef, raised nearly £5,000 for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, bringing the total over four years to £15,000.
Jerry told Angler’s Mail: “The whole thing is exhausting. I’ve come back with aching body parts I never even knew I had.
“I travel as light as possible. There’s no bedchair or bite alarms, just a lightweight seat and rod rests.
“I started on my local River Goyt then worked my way down south, joined by a mate on the River Lea in Hertfordshire, then a few other friends for the European leg.
“We fished the Meuse and
I’ve come back aching in parts I never even knew I had.
Semois, in France, then fished in Belgium, Germany and Holland.
“The best barbel I had came
from the middle River Trent, at 14 lb 2 oz, but I also had a very good specimen of 12 lb 2 oz from the Dove, which was even more pleasing, as there are few big ‘uns left in there. Jerry Gleeson
“I managed to tempt 15 different species, most of them very small, but had a 7 lb bream on the Trent and a 4 lb 8 oz chub in France. The only river I didn’t catch from was the Colne, where I had been joined by a friend, but decided not to fish because I was so tired.
“The charity is very dear to my heart, as I had two brothers and several close friends in the Army. It is run totally by volunteers, so there are limited costs, meaning most of the money goes to help the veterans and their families.
“I won’t be doing the same thing again, as it’s just too exhausting, but I’ll look to do something different,” added the 43-year-old from Stockport, Lancashire, who travelled to the rivers in this country by public transport.
Jerry was chuffed with this 12 lb 2 oz whisker from the River Dove in Derbyshire.
Jerry enjoyed company from pals. Christophe Pelhate had this 11-pounder during Jerry’s brief visit to the Kentish Stour.
Help from locals, including this French tackle shop, was invaluable to Jerry.
■ Jerry Gleeson shows his best fish from his latest roving mission – a 14 lb 2 oz barbel from the Trent.