Sunday, 25 July 2021

Waiting For The Storm

A cooler day followed a much cooler night and it had been over a week since I last wetted a line - to the river! Although I managed 4 chub, 4 barbel (two of which were swing-jobs) and a dace with eyes bigger than it's belly - the bigger fish were spooking off the bait...

I think they are waiting for the storm...

Wednesday, 21 July 2021


It's too hot for fishing - expecially barbel - the water is warm and the last thing I want is one to go belly-up! But there is a storm brewing - kit packed and ready for the fresh water...

So instead I thought I'd do a Stag Beetle update; seems to have been a very good year with 36 beetles spotted (31 males, 5 females) - mostly at night or in flight when they're difficult to photograph!

Stag Beetle (Female) Stag Beetle (Male)
Stag Beetle (Male) Stag Beetle (Female)
First Sighting: 6 June 2021 -- Last Sighting: 13 July 2021

Friday, 16 July 2021

Fine Line

There is a glitch in my gudgeon fishing. The stick ‘n’ pin is normally set up in my office, I’ll occasionally think 'I fancy a gudgeon', grab the gear, tackle shop on route for half a pint of maggots (ones from the fridge out back - not the display models) and on to the river...

But the tackle shop has closed. A victim of Covid? Brexit?

It takes 24 hours to order maggots from Willy Worms - but I want to go now! Maggots are my go-to gudgeon bait - but bread will have to do. By the way; I’ve been told bread is a rubbish bait for barbel - all my barbel this year and most last year were caught on bread...

Barbel love bread. And gudgeon are pretty much mini barbel!

So on the river, half a bag of bread and... Boom - gudgeon first cast! Followed by a bit of a mixed bag; roach, chub, more gudgeon, ever-present barbel - even a rudd (which flicked out of my hand before the photo - not having much luck with photos recently).

Cracking couple of hours!

Wednesday, 14 July 2021


More small barbel (total now 75) but I did land one about 7lb - which escaped while resting in the net - at least it wasn't a double!

Talking of doubles; James has added another double to his 40 Rivers, 40 Doubles quest - check out his new-look blog here.

Thursday, 8 July 2021


I should try and track down a roach or rudd - but who could resist trundling a pinch of bread between those weedbeds?

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Bugs & Beasts 7

Welcome to the Barbel & Butterfies Blog! After a six hour barbel blank on the south coast, James and I decided to look for some new butterfly species before moving on to the next river - we're running out of new species locally - we never made it to the next river!

Species 37 - Large Blue - thought they'd be bigger.

Species 38 - Lulworth Skipper - is that all the skippers? Nope!

Species 39 - Silver-Studded Blue - on the windswept coast.

Species 40 - Grayling - perfectly camouflaged until they move.

Sunday, 4 July 2021

On This Day 2019

Two years ago today...
A stunning, ancient mirror-koi on the fly - feels much longer ago!

Friday, 2 July 2021

Quick Barbel Report (62)

I managed to hit the Small River five times during the opening two weeks in June (one full day and 4 afternoons). Action was explosive with 62 barbel landed - plus a small carp, a pound plus eel and about a dozen chub! The bigger barbel are still elluding me but I'll track them down. Cracking start to the season!!