‘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

Angling Times (UK) - - YOUR FISHING WEEK -

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…

TUES­DAY

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’.

WED­NES­DAY

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.

THURS­DAY

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?’

SATUR­DAY

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.

SUN­DAY

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.

MONDAY

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’.

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