‘THIS BARBEL IS FOR YOU DAD’... I WAS MADE UP!
What a great gesture – it never ceases to amaze me what nice people anglers are
ANOTHER busy week for me, chasing around the countryside, and long may it last! Difficult conditions with so much rain, but that’s all part of the sport, and knowing where to go and what to do are two of angling’s many skills.
Here’s what I got up to…
Got the show on the road by taking Londoner Bernie King and his brother-in-law Rob Stump to the Severn. Bernie had caught a couple of tiny barbel from a stillwater by accident, Rob had never even seen one, so today I was going to change all that!
I showed them how I fish for barbel nowadays on this river and thankfully it all worked out for them. Bernie caught his first river barbel and Rob had a fish of 7lb 14oz and an eight-pounder on a boilie.
Rob’s father used to travel from London each year to fish the Severn but sadly he died when Rob was still young, so the lad never got a chance to catch a barbel with his dad.
Years on, he wanted to catch a barbel in his father’s memory – well, he did, and I was glad I could help him achieve his goal and see the smile on his face when I said ‘that one’s for the old man’.
A day guiding with Wes Hedingham, a builder from London who simply wanted to learn how to catch barbel from the Severn. I took him to the Rowley water at Coalport and the river was on fire – he caught five in the first 45 minutes!
It did slow down a bit after that but he still ended up with a great bag of barbel up to about 7lb. I get on with Wes, who’s had a couple of days with me now after different species. We always seem to catch a few and we have a good laugh as well.
Fishing TV wanted me to catch a barbel for them for a programme they are making about the River Severn. They started right up there at the source and are finishing in the estuary. Today they met me on the middle Severn in my home town of Bewdley.
I took them to mine and Ray’s stretch and put the other star for the day, Rae Boras, in the willows peg and baited the swim for him.
First cast the rod hooped over and it was job done with a barbel of about 6lb – perfect!
I then took the crew up to where the Severn Valley Railway crosses the river and we filmed a steam engine and its carriages coming over the viaduct where anglers were fishing below, a classic middle Severn scene.
We all agreed that the Wyre Forest is one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of Britain. I never forget that, and every time I set up my gear on the river bank here I look in wonder and think to myself ‘how lucky are you, Des?’
Took Trevor Horne and his daughter Tash barbelling on our stretch on the Severn at Bewdley. It was a difficult day with the river on the rise but Trevor managed a 7lb-plus fish and Tash caught a
mint-conditioned 9lb 4oz barbel. That one will easily make double figures later in the year, for it was completely spawned out.
Tash had recently had a wrist operation and her barbel certainly tested the success of that medical procedure!
Again, lovely people that I get on with so well, and seeing that smile on Tash’s face as she held up her pb barbel was worth all the work I put in to help them catch on a difficult day.
To get consistent results in this guiding game it takes a lot of effort, and by the end of the day I was exhausted, believe me.
The river was running high and still rising, but I had a canoe fishing session planned with James Tuscott and partner Amy.
I’d told them I wanted to cancel the fishing because the outlook was poor, so they settled for just a canoe trip down the Severn for Amy’s birthday. I said I would give them a day’s fishing at a future date to compensate – everybody happy, which is the name of the game.
We all had a smashing day just paddling down the river from Hampton Loade down to Bewdley, a distance of some 10 miles.
We saw many different birds, some of which the couple had never encountered before… we went over rapids where water sprayed over our faces… and we pulled in for coffee made with hot water from the Kelly kettle.
As we went down the river, anglers shouted things like: “Enjoy the new Angling Times magazine Des,” and “How’s it going, Des lad, I’m from where you come from.” I’m humbled by how many anglers recognise me and say nice things.
Fished the Severn at Coalport but cut the day short after a few hours as the river was still coming up and running fast from water in Wales. Lots of rubbish was coming down too, making fishing almost impossible. But give it a few days and the river will fish its head off again, so it’s not all bad news.
High water is all part of a Severn angler’s year and makes the river what it is. Cutting the trip short at least gave me chance to catch up on my paperwork back home. It was starting to pile up, to say the least. Later I took the wife out for fish and chips, sitting beside the river. Sometimes the simple things in life are the best.
Baiting up for Fishing TV – soon the rod hooped over!
Your Fishing Week
Tash and I hold her 9lb 4oz barbel.
A happy Rob Stump with ‘one for his dad’.