WHITTLE WIZARDRY ON A DIFFICULT RIVER WYE
Hadrian adapts to changing conditions to take festival
RUNNING water wizard Hadrian Whittle warmed up for this weekend’s RiverFest Final as he defended his Wye Festival title on his local river and earned himself close on £1,000 in the 60- peg Shakespearebacked event.
On a river that began promisingly but then suffered an influx of cold, dirty water, the Sensas/Kamasan Starlets man returned points scores of three, one and one over the three days.
Rain injected cold water through the Hereford section and that saw the small fish turn off and barbel play more of a part. The anticipated big weights never materialised and it was case of knuckling down to earn every extra ounce towards the cause. Hadrian did just that.
“On day one I drew peg 58 at Belmont. I expected to catch on the pole to hand but this didn’t work and I ended up on the Bolo rod with maggot, running a 4g and 5g float through between three and five rodlengths out and feeding groundbait,” Hadrian said. “That gave me 41-10-0 of dace and small chub for third in section but 42lb was second and 43lb won it so I should have done better. That was a wake-up call.
“Thursday gave me peg 76 on the railings. The river was up and coloured, and fishing hard.
“I fished a flat float with maggot at 7m and took 18 roach, including a 2lb fish, for 9-4-0 to win the section,” he continued.
“Finally, I ended up on peg 2 at the top of the Belmont section, a favourite peg of mine, although only an ounce had come off it the day before. I knew that chub had been caught on peg 4 so I’d need to feed quite heavily to get them to move,” Hadrian revealed.
“I cast a big maggot feeder across to the far-bank trees to get some bait in. At the halfway stage I’d caught a roach but then I pickd up a few chublets and then three proper chub to finish with 11-6-0 and enough to win the section.”
Best weight of the week came on day three when Ian Winter bagged 64-1-0 of barbel from the top end of the Bartonsham section on maggot feeder.
Deron Harper took day one with 44-8-0 of roach and dace on Bolo rod and long whip tactics at peg 91 opposite the rowing club, and day two honours went to Craig Haupt with three barbel for 25-0-0 off peg 19.
Winner Hadrian Whittle is flanked by Ian Winter (left) and Deron Harper.