Des Tay­lor’s

Di­ary of a Coun­try­man

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

“I’d be happy with eight barbel in a ses­sion any day of the week”

ABUSY week, even by my own stan­dards, but that’s the way I like it!

I made the trek across the bor­der for a shop day at Ed­in­burgh Angling Cen­tre, and the guid­ing was good, de­spite a des­per­ately low and clear Sev­ern. I even man­aged an overnight ses­sion. Here’s how my week went…


A long drive up with Scott Gra­ham of DAM for a shop week­end at Ed­in­burgh Angling Cen­tre. I had an early night be­cause I wanted to be nice and fresh to meet my Scot­tish friends.


In the shop (mas­sive ware­house, more like!) by 8am. The spe­cial­ist an­gler can get most things here and I was told that Glasgow Angling, owned by the same peo­ple, is even big­ger.

I talked to salmon, trout, pike, perch and carp an­glers and made some great con­tacts which are go­ing to take me to some great fish­eries in Scot­land – I can’t wait!

That evening Paul Devlin, Ed­in­burgh and Glasgow shop owner and his fam­ily, took me and the other ‘stars’ for a slap-up meal ‘eat as much as you like’ buf­fet.

As a Black Coun­try lad who takes a size 12 shoe but can get in a size 4 if they’re free you can imag­ine that I put that claim to the test.

I ate un­til you could see the food in my eyes and rolled into bed a very happy man!


Much of the same as on Satur­day, with me talk­ing fish­ing un­til my voice went.

The high­light was when top cast­ing in­struc­tor Mark Roberts of­fered me a few days on his lo­cal salmon river to help me brush up on my fly cast­ing technique.

I asked how much that would cost and he said: “For all the en­joy­ment that your writ­ing has given me over the years, it would be a plea­sure to take you fish­ing with no charge”.

Things like that make me proud of my work in the sport – thank you, Mark, for those kind words.

Mind you, I hope he still thinks that when I cop him one on the back of the head with a big salmon fly, thanks to my way­ward Spey cast­ing!

My time spent in Ed­in­burgh was great fun, and when you see a tackle shop work­ing so well you re­alise that there is a fu­ture for this sport of ours.

It took us five hours to get home on Sun­day evening and my back was shot. Need­less to say, only a few ciders could dull the pain...


Back to the guid­ing af­ter a day off and trip out with Ray and Ross, from the lovely city of York. Al­though it was hard go­ing in the low and clear wa­ter con­di­tions we still man­aged eight barbel, and both lads had a per­sonal best.

Yes, the Sev­ern is fish­ing hard at the mo­ment but as soon as a few inches of rain goes into the river it

will fish its head off. To be hon­est, though, I’d be happy with eight barbel in a ses­sion any day of the week. Nash TG boilies and my own hook­ers were the bait, fished over balls of soaked pel­lets.


An­other early start for a guid­ing day with cou­ple Mark Trea­sure and Gill Read. Mark is a good match an­gler and cap­tain of the Daiwa Gor­don League side from Glouces­ter­shire, and he wanted to know how to sort out the bet­ter barbel in matches. Gill had never caught a barbel. No pres­sure then!

Mark went away with a few tips up his sleeve to hope­fully to catch him a few barbel this year in his matches on the Bris­tol and War­wick­shire Avons, and Gill caught her first barbel.

She’d never caught a fish be­fore on rod and line and the 4lb 14oz barbel she was at­tached to re­ally pulled her string. You could see the bot­tom all the way across the river but we man­aged an­other eight fish, no mean feat I’d say!

I got home at 4pm, had a shower and a bite to eat, then shot down the Avon for an all-nighter with Ray Cut­ler. We baited up with soaked pel­lets and boilies but all six takes came to my down­stream rod. The best fish was about 8lb.

Strangely, they wouldn’t move up­stream to give Ray a take. That’s fish­ing, though.

When you’ve done a guid­ing day and an event­ful all-nighter you can imag­ine I was pretty tired when I got home. Mag­gie May, my wife, said: “At your age you must be mad!” No, even af­ter 50 years of fish­ing I can’t enough of it.


WHY not book a day’s fish­ing with Des this year? Just visit destay­lorstack­le­ for all the info and lots of great gift ideas.

Ray and Ross from York, with one of eight barbel we caught.

Ed­in­burgh, and a fan dis­cusses a book of mine I had handy!

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