Saturday 30 July 2022

Wipe Out

Chemotherapy is hard. Took about 3 or 4 days to hit me, in which time it lured me into a false sense of security - could I be one of the very few who don't react badly? Then BAM - you feel absolutely f*cked for three or four days! About as bad as I've ever felt - not surprisingly for a treatment that's based on the deadly Mustard Gas!

Over a week after being poisoned (and with new anti-sick meds), I needed to escape to the riverbank. Nothing breaking the mold - just needed to chase some barbel about - the simple things! And it was great watching them in the clear water and tempting them into hitting a bit of bread - just what the doctor ordered!

Twelve little barbel found the net before I had to dump the gear off and head for radiotherapy. Best two just over 5lb - but I did spot a couple of barbel about 7 or 8lb. And as I haven't set a summer challenge yet, I think that's it; A 7lb+ Small River Barbel - I hope there are a few that size left... And bigger...

Saturday 23 July 2022


Finally got the biopsy results on the second cancer - and it's negative - thank f*ck!! I don't normally worry about stuff - but over a week waiting for those results was starting to play on my mind!

Started chemo & radiotherapy (on the same day) - not nice at all - and I realise the effects are cumulative. Currently feels like a mild hangover, so I'd better get some fishing in before it gets worse...

An afternoon wandering about on the small river; 24 barbel to about 4lb (but mostly tiny), 8 chub to about 3lb and a surprise roach about a pound - got my money's worth out of that loaf of bread!

Monday 18 July 2022


Far too hot for river fishing, last thing I want is for a barbel to go belly up. The River Wye fish from the previous few posts were all caught 5 July - 9 July, before the water got too warm.

Haven't had the results of the new biopsy - and chemo is supposed to start on Wednesday - so I don't know what is going on! Perhaps I can target a stillwater carp or tench while I'm waiting..?

Stag Beetle Update: Only two spotted so far (3 & 15 June), but I haven't been out searching for them much this year.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Summer Wye V

Last session of the week & back out into the midday sun - too bright for barbel? Not ideal conditions but you've got to be in it...

And 4 barbel found a bait (including one on bread), 17 chub and 3 eels - the eels seem to be making a comeback! (9 July)

Cracking trip to tide me over a few months. Final tally was 30 barbel to 8lb 4oz, 70+ chub to about 4lb and 7 eels to 2lb+. Brillant!

Oh, and the Wye Valley butterfly count total was 15 species, not bad for less than a week! Too busy fishing to photograph them though.

Thursday 14 July 2022

Summer Wye IV

I didn't think I'd get to fish much, if at all this summer - so I've ducked out whenever I can string a few hours together, especially while I'm on the River Wye. Six weeks of chemo/radiotheraphy will probably keep me off the riverbank - so making hay while the sun shines!!

An evening session, almost three hours until dark and rolling meat again - they do like a moving bait. Great fun and 4 barbel landed, plus two chub and another 2lb+ eel, before an otter spooked the shoal. Back home for tea and medals!! (8 July)

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Dung Beetle

Another beetle, for no reason, a Dung Beetle found in the Forest Of Dean (Gloucestershire). In fact I found loads!

Monday 11 July 2022

Summer Wye III

Blazing hot mid-day River Wye session...

And the chub were on it - completely lost count of them...

But a couple of barbel eventually slipped up...

Before it was time for an icecream! (7 July)

Sunday 10 July 2022

Hey Instagrammer

Instagrammer: "Great photo, just one more..."

Sometime later... Instagrammer: "Great photo, just one more..."

Friday 8 July 2022

Summer Wye II

Quick morning session - so back to the island - and a very early start (not really, got there about 7.00am).

Same tactics as the previous trip and 6 hard-fighting barbel found the net. Plus six chub and a 2lb+ eel - bonus!

Then tried to find a perch, chucking a lure about on the walk back up the river - where are they? No perch found so far...

But I did find a few Wye Valley butterflies, 10 species so far, including this beautiful Silver-Washed Fritillary.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

Summer Wye I

The River Wye, Swan-Shit Island, my favourite summer barbel spot and... Actually I'll start in London; Last week I had a planning scan for my radiotherapy - and it *might* have shown up more cancer - CRAP - I need another 'emergency' scan before we can continue... but that scan isn't for a week... to The Wye...

Swan-Shit Island, my favourite summer barbel spot and there is no evidence that anyone else is fishing it. Very odd as it looks perfect; shallow, fast and lots of cover. It's a long walk and getting onto the island is a pain - but so worth the effort - perhaps it's just been forgotten about - great news for me!

Rolled luncheon meat was the starting method (with some static ledgering later) - and the first 4 casts produced two chub followed by two barbel - it set the tone for the day! A cracking session - landing 14 barbel, the best two going 8lb 4oz and 8lb 1oz. Plus a back-up 14 chub and two eels... What a fantastic day!