RiverFest Fi­nal

The state of the Wye will be cru­cial

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

How it will be won

THIS week­end the cream of our river match an­gling tal­ent will bat­tle it out on the River Wye for the An­gling Trust RiverFest crown and the £12,000 top prize that goes with it.

Abil­ity aside, the state of the river will play a huge part in de­cid­ing the 2017 re­sult. The Wye through Here­ford can rise and fall by sev­eral feet in a mat­ter of hours, bring­ing with it cold muddy wa­ter and de­bris.

Catch it right, though, and the fish­ing will be fab­u­lous. At the time of writ­ing we need rain, as the river is low and clear.

The match is split into two zones – the up­per sec­tions, where chub and barbel dom­i­nate, and the town cen­tre sec­tion packed with roach, dace, chublets and perch. That means the win­ner will need to master both styles of fish­ing.

From Eng­land internationals, for­mer RiverFest champs, and rods who know the Wye like the back of their hands, the line-up is im­pres­sive. The pre­vi­ous four fi­nals went to Andrew Mur­phy, Steve Sadler, Tom Lane and Paul Bick. Andrew and Paul are here again this time round, along­side Hadrian Whit­tle, Der­ron Harper, Lee Ed­wards and Brian Rigby. All these men fish the Wye reg­u­larly, and to them you can add Eng­land Float and Feeder men Sean Ashby, Alan Scot­thorne, Steve Hem­ingray, Mick Vials, Ed­die Bri­don and Will Free­man, and Eng­land boss Mark Downes. Pick a win­ner from that lot!


“It doesn’t mat­ter who you are, much will de­pend on the state of the river,” said Tri-Cast/Bait-Tech venue reg­u­lar Dave Roberts.

“From pre­vi­ous years one thing is ap­par­ent – you need to draw two good pegs that give you the chance of catch­ing a weight. On a river in nor­mal nick, you can’t af­ford to catch ounces on one of the days. Around 40lb gets you in the money, go­ing on past fi­nals, and with the right peg, 30lb of that can come from the town cen­tre sec­tion. Dou­ble fig­ures from the bot­tom end should keep you in with a shout.”


“At present the Wye is low and clear but the roach and dace fish­ing should be good and the chub and barbel will still feed,” con­tin­ued Dave.

“What will wreck things is an in­flux of cold wa­ter, which we had on day two last year. This kills the fish­ing and makes it a real lot­tery, but look­ing at the fore­cast, not much rain is due so we should see a river in its nor­mal state.”


“The match is split into two zones, with an­glers fish­ing each one over the week­end. Zone A is the top end on the Bel­mont sec­tion and this will be all about catch­ing chub and barbel,” ex­plained Dave.

“The sil­vers have pretty much moved into the town cen­tre so on this zone it’ll be a feeder job, fish­ing to the mid­dle or two thirds of the way across un­less you have some far-bank tree cover. This will be mag­got, hemp and caster fish­ing, look­ing for per­haps only three barbel or six chub to weigh in around 15lb.

“That sort of weight will keep you in the hunt, but if I was fish­ing and only caught 10lb I’d still be happy. What you can’t af­ford is a blank!

“With the Wye in nor­mal nick I’d want to draw pegs 2 and 4, 10 and 11, 24 and the late 30s or early 40s. These are noted chub and barbel pegs, but right through the zone I’d fancy catch­ing a fish off any peg.

Both zones can pro­duce nets of good chub.

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