Des Tay­lor’s Di­ary of a Coun­try­man

...but match­men still per­sist with their swim­feeder tac­tics. Will they ever learn?

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

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.

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