Des Taylor’s Diary of a Countryman
...but matchmen still persist with their swimfeeder tactics. Will they ever learn?
THE river season is in full flow and now the fish have seen a bit of food they have started to put their nose bags on!
I think the bigger female barbel are still near the spawning grounds, but the smaller males have returned to their usual summer haunts, so the ladies won’t be far behind!
Here’s how my week went…
A guiding day on the River Severn with Geoff Adams and Bill Taylor, two anglers from the south who wanted to catch a few barbel in nice surroundings – and that’s what I gave them today.
The only problem was, it turned out to be one of the wettest days I have ever fished in. It belted down, as we say in the Black Country. Even so, the river fished well and the lads caught seven barbel and a chub, and lost a couple. By midday the river was starting to rise and bits of weed were catching on the lines, which is always a pain on a rising river.
We were still getting takes, until an otter decided to show on the opposite bank which, as usual, killed sport stone dead. But we saw grey wagtails, kingfishers and buzzards, and along with a few fish it was a cracking day spent under the umbrellas sheltering from the storm.
The lads shook my hand and said they had enjoyed themselves. I had too. My aim is to put a smile on a face of my customers when their rod is bent double, and that happened today.
Geoff and Bill stayed over and fished my and Ray Cutler’s stretch of the Severn on their own, but by now the river was really starting to rise and I knew it would be difficult for them.
I gave them the bait and went off to a meeting I had around midday. They told me later they’d caught a chub and a barbel – about as much as I expected in the conditions.
Had to cancel a guide day, which is rare, but the river was bombing through with trees and sheep coming down. Not ideal, and I hate a rising river to catch fish.
Looking forward to next week now, when it’ll fish its head off.
I also learned today that Ray and I had been accepted into a syndicate on a river in the Midlands which holds some right lumps.
I’ll keep you posted on that one!
Made a late decision to go down to the river on my own stretch after I’d noticed while on my way for an ice cream that it was fining down quite nicely.
I quickly got a few boilies from the freezer and within the hour was casting in the Willows swim.
There were a lot of rowing boats on the water, which tend to annoy anglers, but I don’t know why because it does not affect the fishing at all. In fact I have had many a take from a barbel as boats have gone over their heads!
There was a match opposite and they were struggling to catch barbel, but although I had a slow first hour, I then had six on the bounce. I’m certain I would have caught more, but a customer who was stopping in Bewdley for the week had been double-booked at his accommodation so I had to get back and sort that out.
I asked a couple of mates who’d fished the match how they’d got on. Apparently only a couple of barbel had been caught between them, which goes to show that they had been using the wrong
method. For God’s sake, they have been using the same tactics for 10 years! Match anglers don’t like change, that’s for sure!
Boilies are the way forward on this river, fished over heavy balls of pellets with no swimfeeders! How many barbel do I have to catch before anglers take note?
I’m not trying to be clever here, I just want anglers to catch on the river so more and more of them will come down here!
Another quick trip down to my stretch, and again I was into barbel straight away on boilie over pellet.
I caught eight fish to 8lb in four hours, and yet when I popped into the local tackle shop a chap on holiday told me the river was fishing terribly and he was going to a local stillwater to catch a few before he went back home.
I told him how I had been catching and he replied: “I don’t use hair rigs or boilies, they’re for the carp boys.”
I shook my head, finished my coffee and headed home.
The river looked great for my next guiding day and the weather forecast was pretty good as well. I was out with Kent angler Terry Buist, but unfortunately the river was covered in foam and by the time it had stopped coming through the sun was high in the sky so the fishing was hard.
But with a few little secrets I managed to get Terry some bites and he ended up with seven barbel. Not bad considering the conditions!
Rowing boats on the Severn near Bewdley… but they don’t bother the fish.
It’s great to be back on the river…
Wednesday – Terry Buist with one of seven barbel he caught on a tough day.