Des Tay­lor’s Di­ary of a Coun­try­man

It’s nice to meet up with old friends, es­pe­cially when you can re­pay a few kind­nesses

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

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.

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