A PLEASANT CHANGE TO FISH FOR A CHUB...
Another busy week on and off the bank and a cure for my bout of ‘barbel mania’!
MY DAYS are totally consumed by angling, whether I’m out on the bank or writing and talking about our great sport.
I know how lucky I am to have such a full and interesting life, and this is how it went this week – I certainly covered a few miles!
I travelled up to the River Wear near Durham for a day’s fishing with Scott Graham, the Country Manager for DAM.
Scott wanted to show me the river’s salmon, sea trout and coarse fishing potential. It took two-and-a-half hours to get there, but once I stood on the banks of this wonderful little river I fell in love with it straight away.
Like many other rivers in the country, the Wear is at its lowest in years, and I knew the fishing was going to be very difficult. As it turned out, it was impossible!
I tried for a barbel in the large salmon pool, but after a few hours it was obvious that night was the only time to be on the water and actually catch fish.
Next we did a little fly fishing – again no joy – and Scott even tried a floatfished shrimp. That brought a couple of very delicate takes from salmon, which sadly Scott missed. Did he swear? Too right he did, and I don’t blame him!
Scott showed me a number of swims that are good for sea trout at night, and it certainly whetted my appetite. I can’t wait for the rivers to receive a flush of water so that I can get up there again, hopefully to put a bend in the rod.
In the end I caught a very small brown trout on a worm, and Scott pulled out of what was possibly a decent sea trout or a small salmon – it was just not his day!
We stopped on the way back at a Toby Inn. After a long, hard, hot day on the bank I kid you not, my pint of cider was the best I have ever tasted in my life!
Mention the North East to most people and they think of mines and industry, but there really is some marvellous countryside up in this neck of the woods.
I took four lads, who had been coming down to Bewdley for a number of years, on a river walk. Each year they would fish the same spot and their catches were starting to diminish.
They wanted me to show them some new spots and the tactics I use for barbel, besides pellet and feeder. After three hours I had shown them some decent new pegs and a couple of spots where they could night-fish.
The lads had been given a ‘quick fix’ for their future fishing. All they need to do now is put that knowledge into practice!
A guiding day on the River Severn. It had rained a little, so I was hoping that the influx of fresh water would liven things up.
Sadly, when I arrived there with Graham Cox and Paul Miles the river was still on the rise and loads of rubbish was coming down. But we still managed five barbel – a ‘nine’, two ‘eights’, a ‘seven’ and a ‘five’. They were in great condition and again were caught on boilies fished over pellets.
The pellets I use are a mixture of Bait-Tech carp pellets, Nash Krill pellets and Nash 2mm Method pellets, which help bind everything together well after being soaked overnight.
I finished off another chapter of my upcoming book, due out just after Christmas. It’s called The Ramblings of a River Angler, published in a limited edition of 500 by Little Egret Press.
The company is making a list of people that want a copy reserved for them. There is no money up front, and it makes sure you will be offered a copy when the book comes out.
The book is full of of fishy tales, advice on how to catch and learning to be at one with nature on the river bank. To get your name on the list, log on to www. littleegretpress.com and click the ‘contact’ button.
My mate Ray Cutler picked me up for an afternoon and evening of fishing on the River Avon near Evesham. He’d been catching a few chub to over 5lb there.
Ray and I were talking in the pub the other night about how we had both caught ‘barbel mania’, and been missing out on other summer fishing.
It’s funny how lots of us who got bored sitting behind rods for stillwater carp are still sitting behind rods, waiting for the buzzer to sound or the centrepin ratchet to scream. So it made a pleasant change to break out the quivertip rod and actually strike at bites in order to hook the fish!
We caught a dozen fish, most of them over 4lb, on Ray’s cheesepaste. They all looked like they’d never seen a hook before, and that’s probably the case because how many anglers fish for 4lb chub nowadays?
Face it, the press and the specimen world don’t want to know about a chub unless it’s over 7lb – a sad state of affairs, because so few places can produce fish of this size.
FISH WITH DES!
WHY not book a day’s fishing with Des this year? Just visit destaylorstackleden.com for all the info and lots of great gift ideas.
Scott Graham casts a fly on the RIver Wear but the fish are not having it!
A nice chub of 4lb-plus from the Avon near Evesham was par for the course.
I spent some desk time writing my new book this week.