Des Taylor’s Diary of a Countryman
It’s nice to meet up with old friends, especially when you can repay a few kindnesses
IT’S been a busy week, but then again they always are, and that’s the way I like it! Who could ask for more?
The Severn is so low it’s unbelievable, so I put the waders on to see what invertebrate life I could find in the gravel runs and silt beds – and basically have a play in the river!
I learnt a lot last year when I attended the Riverfly Partnership workshop at Craven Arms, and fancied doing a little research of my own. It’s helped me catch more fish over the years.
It’s not always about what rods, reels and bait you use – sometimes it’s knowledge and watercraft that make the difference.
My old friend Dave Jordison, who helped me a lot years ago with tope in Essex and later at Hayling Island in Hampshire, phoned me up and said: “I’m up your place tomorrow, can you put me on a few barbel?”
I don’t suppose he realised that along with my guiding days I was due to make a presentation to an angling club and have a meal with my daughter and son-in-law. But I have the most understanding wife in the world. She realises I am where I am now in angling because of the likes of Dave, so she let me fit things in to help him have a good time up here.
At around 6pm I put him in a known peg on the Dudley water, where there are some decent fish,
and, first things first, I fetched a couple of beers to sit in the swim with him and talk about the old days. As we sat there a pair of peregrines came over, then on dark a little egret flew low to the river, followed by two kingfishers.
It had been too long since our last trip, in fact the last time we fished together was eight years ago in America for tarpon, when we both caught monsters.
All too soon it was dark, and I left Dave in the swim on his own to catch a barbel or two.
I popped down to see how Dave was getting on – sadly no barbel, but he had caught three chub and it was only a matter of time…
That afternoon I drive down to the Birmingham AA stretch at Blackstone to present the prizes at a small contest held in memory of Paul Reeves, who died last year of a brain tumour.
His sons Chas and Tom had invited me to the match to take photographs and have a beer, and it was a pleasure to see such a tight family having a great day in celebration of Paul’s life.
Tom’s kids Scarlett and Harrison had to be in camera lens, and lots of friends were there to see Tom take first place with an impressive bag of Severn bream for 32lb 8oz, the best just shy of 6lb.
I was proud to be part of such an important occasion.
Dave phoned to say he had caught a decent kipper of a barbel at 9lb 2oz from Bewdley. He was chuffed to catch one, but I reckon I was even more chuffed to have helped him score on his first trip to the Severn. It took a Nash Squid and Scopex boilie and there was not a mark in its mouth.
It only goes to prove these fish are not being hooked on the pellet, which is what I have been saying for the last two seasons!
A guide day with a man all the way from Canada! Matt Foster is staying with a mate of mine, Kevin Lee, and Kev asked if I could take him out for a day’s barbel fishing.
I decided to take him to Bewdley, but conditions for daytime fishing were abysmal, with the river as low as I have seen it for many a year. Still, I’m glad we did fish, for he caught four barbel, the last one a cracker for the middle Severn weighing in at 10lb 4oz.
Spent the day getting my gear ready for a trip to the far North East for salmon and coarse fish. I haven’t fished this river before so I’ll let you know how I get on.
I am going to find it hard to sleep tonight. It’s always the same when going to a new venue. I’ve been like that since I was a kid, and long may that feeling last!
You can learn a lot about the river by leaving the rods at home every now and again.
A wonderful shot of the Reeves family.
Matt Foster from Canada with his barbel of 10lb 4oz.