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Tuesday, 16 August 2011


If Carlsberg did rivers.... rather than over abstract them ;0)


I'm sure you're all really disappointed that I've not been updating my blog. No? Really? With all this quality banter and angling narrative?

Anyway to the fishing...

The Wye - rises in Welsh Wales and discharges into the muddy waters of the Severn estury.

Famous for - salmon (once) now barbel.

This was a fishing trip, hijacked by my family. Sean had booked a couple of days with the Wye and Usk foundation on a couple of stretches of the Wye. One we've fished before and another we'd not.

Ali and I booked a cottage on the edge of a cliff in Symonds Yat for the week and Sean and Dad were due to join us mid-week.

I managed to resist fishing to lovely Wye for a couple of days, just relying on a fix of looking into it's lovely opaque water at a few leaping salmon and small chub.

Dad and Sean came down on the Monday in preparation for an early start on the Tues.

After a number of false trips down dead-end country lanes we ended up crossing a number of flat agricultural fields to the river. First impressions were that the river was wider and steadier than expected, not quite what we'd hoped for. However, on wlaking upstream we found some more classic Wye habitat and it wasn't long before we'd put bait in about 6 swims. The barbel fishing on the Wye is so good that expectations were high, although Dad had never fished it before, Sean and I were talking it up saying a normal day would see 5-6 barbel on the bank....

We all choose different sorts of swims. Sean a hole in the weed, dad a classic looking glide and me, as I wanted to catch trotting, an inside run.

Normally on the Wye, "if you feed them they will come", but it didn't happen on this stretch! I fished for a few hours without a bite and decided to see how dad and Sean were getting on. I found Dad ledgering pellets but with out a bite. Sean on the other hand was emptying it having had a couple of fish and lost a couple. He was fishing a nice looking hole in the weed, so a change of plan was needed. The rest of the swims in this area looked a bit shallow so Dad and I set off downstream. Dad choose another weedy swim and settled in. I moved further downstream, and because of the bright sun, decided on a deeper swim amoungst some rocks.

After a few trots through I decided that today was not a day for the float, so broke out the more "traditional" barbel gear - pellets and PVA bags...

To cut a longish story short, the fishing was untypically slow. I had three bites all day and landed two fish. Fortunately on of which was a new Wye PB. Dad had nothing and Sean had a couple more fish... Back to the drawing board!

Back at the ranch we had a few beers and thought about our game. The next day was on a stretch we knew better and we hoped we'd find the fish.... Unfortunately at about this time Mr Geer started to feel unwell and retired to bed.

In the morning we we'd built the excitement back up and were raring to go - except for Sean who'd come down with some mystery bug (probably caused by over exertion on the previous day when he'd caught all the fish!). He couldn't be convinced to come down and try and fish, so Dad and I set out alone to the fishery.

This stretch of the Wye is much more scenic with Buzzards circling overhead and the river winding through a lovely cliff banked stretch. There is a lovely mix of steady salmon pools and streamy runs and as we'd found a lot of fish here before so I set up the float rod. I set dad up in a swim that I thought screamed barbel and went off upstream.

After a couple of hours of trotting trout pellets and maggots, all I had to show was a few small chub and a couple of dace. I'd seen that dad had had a couple of fish so went down to see what he's had. It turned out that he'd managed to get a load of chub feeding hard and when ever he dropped in at the top of the swim he'd get a bite, not always hooking up, but catching regularly enough. We catch plenty (and much bigger) chub down on the Stour and Avon so I suggested that he should cast further down the swim in the shallower water.

At this point Ali and Alfred turned up so I went up to find them. On my way up my phone rang, it was dad. He'd just had his first barbel of about 5lbs! Excellent!

We had a bit of lunch and then returned to the swims. I thought this was an excellent chance for Alfred to see his first barbel.... First cast and another barbel was hooked.... And then it went crazy. Over the next few hours Dad had 18 barbel!! Nothing huge - upto 9.5 or so, but all fighting fit fish.

That's more than we have in a season on the Stour or Avon!



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