Floody hell!

My first session of the new river season on Saturday evening was mainly spent cowering under my cheap and cheerful Argos brolly, beside an extremely high and coloured river Wye.

Despite the fact that, as I arrived, three anglers that had been on the stretch for the day were pulling off, bite-less between them, I decided to give it a go in spite of the conditions. I settled into a swim that at least had a bit of a slack right under my feet, where my feeder would hopefully settle.

A chocolate coloured river Wye

The rain had pretty much held off all day, but of course as soon as I arrived the first drops started to fall from the heavy, slate grey skies. And it didn’t relent, pushing the already swollen river up even further as the evening wore on.

Despite such tricky conditions there were clearly a few fish about. I had two eels and lost another on Spam hook baits before a switch to pellet produced another series of tappy, eel-like bites. When the tip went around just a little bit more deliberately and then stayed there, I decided to hit the bite.

Instead of the expected writhing, fidgety fight of a small eel I was confronted with the powerful resistance of a good fish hugging the bottom in 12 feet of flood water.

A barbel! I was able to play the fish quite hard having geared up with 10lbs line and my old Hyperloop barbel rod, but she battled well and it was a relief when I finally got her in the net. A lovely fish of 6lbs 7ozs was the perfect way to open my river campaign and a memorable first ever Wye barbel.

My first Wye barbel at 6lbs 7ozs
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Author: tescovalue79

Age: 37. Work: Marketing & communications. Like: fishing, art, ITFC, good music, bad pubs.

5 thoughts on “Floody hell!”

  1. Thanks Ben, I could probably do with a bit of a design lesson though looking at your layout! I don’t find blogger the easiest thing to use. I started it for myself as much as anything as I’ve never kept a diary, but people seem to enjoy it. Personally I prefer blogs to magazine articles, much easier to relate to.

    I can’t work out where you live, as you seem to get about, but you might not be far away from my old house, if you fish Lake John and Fishers Green. I used to live at Enfield Lock, a couple of miles along the Lee Navigation from there.

    This comment doesn’t relate to this post I know, but I’ve had a good look around your blog. Great pictures, really good read and lovely river tench in particular!

    1. Hey Russell. Thanks for the kind words. I couldn’t agree more about blogs being easy to relate to. I love the DIY ethos of blogging and how there are now dozens of interesting, well written angling blogs that are simply everyday people relating their experiences of being by the water.

      Your blog is a really good read and I must say I’m just a bit envious of the fantastic tench and bream fishing you have available locally.

      It’s really is a small world – I moved away from Enfield in December after seven or so years there. I was living in Enfield Chase. I’m now in Chepstow, south Wales, which is still a little surreal after 12 years in the London area! I must admit I didn’t fish by Enfield Lock, I was always put off by the negative feedback I’d heard and the fact I enjoyed the fast flowing stretches of the ’old’ river Lea/Lee further upstream so much. Did you fish the Navigation much Russell? I’d guess it would be similar tactics to your ‘bonus fish’ methods you’re using on your local venues now? How long were you in Enfield?

      I was brought up in Sudbury, Suffolk, where the Suffolk Stour offers a superb variety of fishing. I really miss those big Stour tench.

      1. I grew up there and we moved here to Devon when I finished school at 16 (I’m 22 now). Enfield Lock was rough, I don’t know if that’s what you meant by ‘negative feedback’ but it certainly was and I never got to fish it in a way I would have liked. I had a ‘cheap’ set of gear for going down there as a teenager, either on my own on with a friend.

        There were lots of big bream below the lock in the long pound to Ponders End but noone ever fished for them. You could see them on the top, hundreds and hundreds of them. And of course, there are many carp above the Lock. If I fished it now, I’d guarantee I’d catch one, but I rarely did back then. I used to fish pretty basic with maggots and caught all species from roach, dace and perch to bleak, ruffe and tench. My dad had a 2lb zander on a pinkie once. All the tench I had were tiny! I had one which can’t have been an ounce on one occasion. Used to catch on hemp, decent bags of roach, but I never really fished it very well for the bigger species to be honest.

        On the edge of natural coarse fishing here really, any further west and there’s not a lot. I still can’t believe how brilliant the two Devon canals are though. Are you familiar with Albany Park in Enfield? I lived more or less there. There was a tributary of the Lee called the Turkey Brook that you could jump across and it skirted the perimeter of the park. Anyway, it held the biggest dace I have ever seen or caught. If I lived there now, I would buy a decent set of scales and fish for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 1lb dace through there..

  2. Wow, I honestly had no idea there was such quality fishing and array of species on my (former) doorstep Russell!
    When I enquired about the fishing on Enfield Lock the general response from locals and the tackle shops was that it simply wasn’t worth fishing – there were very few fish left after cormorant predation and various pollution incidents. I also had a friend who tried Enfield Lock a few times and blanked on each occasion!
    As a result I used to go to Jacks Lake in Cockfosters or Lake John for general coarse fishing and then upstream, on the old Lea, to fish for chub and barbel.
    I have certainly heard of Albany Park, but never been there. I believe there is a large school of the same name? I wish I’d explored the fishing in the area a bit more now!

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