Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Barbel fishing on the Wye’


Hot, sticky nights aren’t too good for sleeping.  Add to the mix a cool box that sounds like a jumbo jet taking off and Frank’s regular trips to the loo and the sound of the light cord being pulled; ching,ching just when you feel at long last sleep envelope you.  Fortunately I’ve got the sort of feet that in extreme temperatures can stop a charging bull elephant at 30 yards, so I manage to get my own back.  Still a couple of hours broken sleep never hurt anybody….well much.

Luckily Frank being a Landlord and all, is a dab hand at knocking up a very tasty breakfast at 4am!  Thank God for that, cos they would have got bugger all out of me except for a load of abuse.  Apparently the older I get the grumpier I get…hmm well maybe.  Still I was in good company; Frank who does a great impression of Blakey from On the Buses/Victor Meldrew/Adolf Hitler/Basil Fawlty and then the professional alcoholic and bon viveur that is Alex ‘The Chin’ Watson certainly made for interesting company.

Frank doing an almost convincible impression of an angler!

Frank doing an almost convincible impression of an angler!

It was day two of this trip and we were heading off to a delightful day ticket section of the Wye near Aramstone.  We arrived around 5.15am and it was slightly cooler than the previous morning.    In fact a jacket was needed to keep the chill air out, however it was most refreshing not to be baked alive.  We were going to fish the first swim and take it in turns.  This was a spot that is well known for producing big bags of fish and I was hoping it wouldn’t let me down.  There is something nice about sharing a swim with mates.  It’s more sociable and it’s also great to share in the experience of catching, casting and the general day to day antics of fishing together.

Barbel O' Clock

Barbel O’ Clock

This is a very interesting swim.  The river narrows considerably here, with an area of very shallow gravel commanding most of the swim.  However on the nearside is a deep, fast gravel run.  The water is almost a torrent as it’s pushed into the bank on a sharp bend and then runs off downstream.  Thick weed abuts the channel and an area of still water lies to the right of the fast, boiling and swirling deluge of water forced down through this narrow channel.  It’s an ideal spot for barbel to hole up.  There’s loads of oxygenated water, cover and food and all in one fairly small and concentrated spot.

A feeder was loaded with bait, two elips glued to the hair and the whole lot cast to the exact spot required.   If you get it right, keep hold of the rod, because it won’t take long.  A few sharp bangs and the tip rips round….fish on.  Soon a nice barbel of around 5-6lbs was recovering in the net.  Once unhooked and released it was time for the boys to have a go.  It was interesting to note that the barbel here almost pulled you in and when recovering in  the net, very nearly pulled that in too.  The only difference was the speed of the water and the amount of oxygen this gushing torrent produced and it allowed the barbel a very healthy environment to live in during these extreme temperatures.

The Stunning Wye

The Stunning Wye

Throughout the remainder of the morning Frank, Alex and myself continued to hit the spot with the rig and fish after fish came our way.  We lost a few here and there, especially Frank who’s as adept at loosing fish as anyone I’ve seen.  I have to say in his defence though that the barbel here are particularly good at throwing the hook.  They either bury themselves in the thick weed or twist and turn and just throw the hook as regular as clockwork. They all put up tremendous fights and all went back with gusto.

The time wore on and by around 11.30am we thought we ought to have a look at the rest of this lovely beat.  We drove up to the remains of the old railway viaduct, it’s stanchions straddling the river.   There are a number of really nice, pacey gravel runs up here but all were taken.  By now it was blazing hot again and we decided to call it a day, however as we arrived back down at the start we saw the swim we had been fishing was still free and Frank wanted one last try.  So for maybe an hour we had a final fling.  Both Frank and I had a couple more out and I think the final tally was me on 7, Alex on 6 and Frank on 5 and we probably lost 6-8 fish too.  So pretty productive with all things considered.

My new house...er well one day...maybe

My new house…er well one day…maybe

It was time to call an end to this Wye adventure.  We were hot, tired, thirsty and hungry and so it was about time we headed off back to Kent via the Air Balloon pub for a spot of much need sustenance.   I had thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The company was rubbish of course but at least the fishing had been good.  The chauffeur was a little suspect and the chef had a habit of getting his manhood out a bit too often to take a pee, with absolutely no discretion whatsoever but other than that it was in fact great company with lots of belly laughs and just a little bit of good old fashioned pee taking.  Love it. 🙂

Read Full Post »


So Sir Edmund Hilary thought climbing Everest was tough, did he?!  He had Sherpa Tensing to ably assist with lugging all of that gear.  Well he should have tried fishing the Wye at Aramstone, then he would have known difficulty, Human endurance and pain.  We arrived at our destination and descended down (and I mean down) into the Wye valley.  After the tricky decent and a walk along the river, it was apparent that we had ventured onto the wrong stretch.  So, back up the mountain to the car and eventually we found the right parking spot.  This time fully loaded with tackle and resembling a mountain ass (er, no comments please)  I again began the steep, slippery descent.  On finally arriving at ground zero, I was met by a rather angry and coloured looking  river.  So the walking began in earnest.  I traipsed from one end of the stretch to the other.  Then the heavy rain started again.  Things were looking really good!

Me arriving at Aramstone

Me arriving at Aramstone

After a long walk to the top end of the fishery I found several good looking swims, one of which looked particularly enticing.  With the river being up and coloured, this swim stood out amongst the others.  It had a overhanging bush to my right and after about 10 yards downstream, another bush to the left.  In between was an area of quieter water, with a crease running along the entire swim created by both the bush and the faster water slightly further out.  After chucking a lead around I discovered the bottom was gravel and clear, with the exception of the odd spot of weed but I felt that wouldn’t cause too much of a problem.

Due to the high colouration I wanted to get a good sent trail in the swim and try and pull the fish in and keep them there.  So large open cage feeders (cagefeeders.com) were the order of the day packed with mixed pellet and plugged both ends with the Hinders Barbel Bomb groundbait.  Initially I decided to use a couple of the large elips pellets but often in these coloured conditions I’ll use a longer hair and glue on 4 or even 6 large elips.  I was using a 3 oz feeder and casting it just onto the edge of the faster flow.  For the first hour or two I was casting fairly randomly along the crease, just to spread some bait throughout the swim.  Later I concentrated the cast into one spot and kept plenty of feed going in.

Aramstone

Aramstone

This certainly worked as the first bite came very quickly followed by several more.  The action continued right up until I stopped about 7pmish.  There would always be a short lull in between bites and often when the barbel went quiet, the chub would move in.  I ended the day on 13 barbel and 6 or 7 chub.  The barbel were mainly in the 6-7lb bracket and the chub fairly small.   They were all typical 3 foot twitches, which I love.

As part of the day I felt I needed to put the ‘beast‘ through it’s paces, especially after failing to catch a barbel with it towards the end of last season.  So this seemed like the ideal opportunity to give it a whirl.  It didn’t take long to hear that ear aching clicking that it gives off when giving line.  After a good fight, a feisty Wye barbel succumbed to the pressure and weighed in at 6lb 12oz and was about the smallest fish of the day.

The 'Beast' does battle

The ‘Beast’ does battle

It seemed silly to not make the most of this opportunity, so I stepped aside and invited Kevin and Geoff into the swim to also secure a barbel on the ‘beast’.  Geoff was soon in and he managed an even smaller fish of 5lb 6oz but sadly, as time was running out fast (we had promised Danny some food from somewhere), Kevin only managed a chub.  Still a 50% success rate.

6lb 12oz

6lb 12oz

Now all that was left to do was lug all of the gear about 1/2 mile along the bank and then climb Everest once again…… defibrillator anyone!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: