Wednesday 31 July 2019

Wandering The Wye...

Red and raging in winter, the summer Wye is a different river...

Low, gin-clear and full of life...

Less than ideal conditions to try and tempt a fish...

But we still found a few willing chub.

Saturday 27 July 2019

Woodland Wander...

Tourists in our own past...

Me and Paulos revisited the playground of our shared childhood...

Some truly beautiful ancient woodland...

And a quick cast in the secret pond for old time’s sake.

Wednesday 24 July 2019


Well it looks like this hot weather is going to stick around for a little while, with talk of a new July record happening in the next few days. Probably best to leave the small river barbel alone until the normal drizzly English summer is resumed!

Last couple until then - bullied out and well rested before being released. Still going to try and locate those river carp though, and maybe target the bigger rivers with more oxygen - oh, and those stillwater carp are still very much on the radar...

For the records: 6lb 8oz & 5lb 10oz (55)

Sunday 21 July 2019

Bait & Wait. And Wait.

An estate pond, my quest for a thirty and rock hard fishing - only one thing for it - bait ‘n’ wait! Fortunately I had carp guru Richard on hand - because the rig for my river carp a few days ago consisted of a size 6 hook tied directly to the 8lb main line...

My rigs for today consisted of metal and rubber and screws and putty... I’d love to put a photo on here but they’re top secret. And don’t get me started on bait - I had to sign a NDA (non disclosure agreement) before he’d even open the bucket!!

A very long day, dawn ‘til dusk, for only one fish - but a 20lb 2oz beautiful common carp made it all worth while. Massive thank you to Richard (who also bagged a twenty and a ‘pasty’), now just for something half as big again - we’ll be back!

Thursday 18 July 2019

Black Gold!

Walking along the river, eyes always glued to the riverbed, I noticed the silt had recently been disturbed. I sat back and watched, waiting for the culprits - and soon enough three carp swam into view.

A few bits of bread crust floated down to them and they were soon feeding off the surface. And my freelined crust was instantly nailed by the biggest of the bunch - cracking fight in the fast water.

A jet-black chalk stream common carp - 12lb 9oz - but weight is really unimportant when they look like this - beautiful! And to my mind there is no better way to catch them than off the top.

A fish like that would make anyone’s day - but she was the last fish in a bit of a mixed bag, along with three barbel, a chub and an eel - an absolutely fantastic afternoon in the sunshine.

For the barbel records: 5lb, 3lb, 2¾lb (53)

Sunday 14 July 2019


It’s technically a fly but is designed to look like a dog biscuit, half a dozen real dog biscuits with this cast in the middle and it should be like shooting fish in a barrel... Easy!

Nearly 3 hours of fishing later no carp, they’d take it but spit it out so quickly I couldn’t hook one - I did land a random chub, I think it’s the first one I’ve ever caught from a stillwater so a 10oz PB.

I had a break for a couple of hours before returning and eventually bagging a carp - that was a lot more work than I thought - not the easy cheat I was expecting - back to the zig-bugs then...

Friday 12 July 2019


Couple of quick missions to the river in an attempt to get my barbel count to fifty. Was hoping to do it in one trip but they’ve wised up and are getting harder to find - but target accomplished!

For the records: 6lb 14oz, 4lb, 3½lb, 3½lb, & 3lb (50)

Monday 8 July 2019

Shark Hat

Hat Test 01: Barbel 6lb 0oz, followed by it’s twin, also exactly 6lb...

Then a 7lb 0oz one, followed by a wander and three threes...

Next up, 7lb 9oz...

And finished the short session with this beast - 5lb 2oz chub...

Perhaps this hat is lucky - ah well!

For the records: 7lb 9oz, 7lb 0oz, 6lb 0oz, 6lb 0oz, 3lb, 3lb & 3lb (45)

Saturday 6 July 2019


A tree grabbed my hat off my head and catapulted it into the river. In my haste to net it I got the reel tangled in the net and transferred the hook into my hand - untangled and unhooked I was in time to watch my hat float away! Desperately I ran downstream and rescued it.

Then I rang it out and ripped it!!

Originally send to me from the States by my brother I’ve been wearing this hat fishing for far longer than the ten years I’ve been blogging. And I’m not saying it’s lucky but I landed 4 barbel before I ripped it and bumped 3 in quick succession afterwards.

It’s drying out and I’m deciding if it’ll do for the rest of the summer season - what was already a scruffy hat would now look more at home on a scarecrow! Lucky or not, I’m going to miss it when the kids on the local river ask “is your name Bubba?”

“No, my hat’s name is Bubba.”

For the records: 4lb, 3½lb, 2½lb & 2lb (38)

Thursday 4 July 2019

Flying Gold!

Afternoon on the pond stalking carp on the fly, and out of the corner of my eye I saw gold heading towards me. Now my fly casting varies between halfway decent and something resembling a chimp smashing apples with a tennis racket - but this long cast was perfect!

Landing the fly gently 6 inches in front of her, she nailed it without hesitation - cracking fight on the light rod and a 10lb 3oz mirror-koi was in the net, my first one ever and a double. An ancient looking fish, rumoured to be as old as the pond - absolutely beautiful!

My afternoon was already made, but I fished on and added six more common carp - love catching them on the fly. And Richard, who fished crust last time, swapped to fly fishing this time and bagged his first two carp on the fly - not the last fly-carp trip this summer I’ll bet!

Tuesday 2 July 2019


A wander down the river for the evening, stick ‘n’ pin, half a pint of maggots and no particular plan. It’s great this time of year; you can still see your float at 10pm - so I fished until then!

Plenty of walking and plenty of fish. I landed loads of little chub and roach getting on for a pound, plenty of dace, two minnows, a gudgeon and a perch (still fairly rare on this river) - bonus!

Despite the late finish I was up bright and early the next morning for a wander along the canal, searching a five mile stretch for an elusive carp in the morning sunshine - I’d seen a few here before.

Only one carp spotted in the 5 mile section, and it wasn’t feeding, I’m sure there are more hiding out there! A quick blank-saver bream before I left it to the boats & canoes about 10am - I’ll be back!