Sunday 25 November 2012

Mrs Spotty and Family

 For a while I have been contemplating on a return back up to the upper reaches of my most local of rivers in search of Brown Trout as it has been nearly 6 months since I last visited this stretch but the weather in London has been rather drab to say the least but I was thinking that the rain will colour up the very clear chalk water and give me some cover which may increase my chances of success.

 Unfortunately rain was forecast for the entire day so I knew it was going to be a wet one so I packed my little wychwood roving bag with only the absolute basics, which consisted of a couple of wire stem floats, pack of hooks and shot, plus my trusty Avon scales and camera with tripod, with today's chosen bait being a small loaf of Warburton's, around an hour or so of travelling I finally got to the river to see it up a few inches and also fairly coloured, immediately I felt confident but whilst I headed along the river downstream no Trout offered themselves up which was pretty rare as I tend to get a riser from a couple of the so-called 'banker swims'.

 Around an hour had past and I finally hooked into one on the trot from a very shallow gravel run but it didn't fight much and it turned out to be a very young Trout of around 3-4oz, next cast and I had another at 1lb 2oz a very silvery fish that did fight alot better than the baby, I moved down to the next swim and had a take straight away off of a Trout around 3lb but I missed it which annoyed me alot but oh well! it happens.

The tiny one.

 Another hour had passed and I'd caught another 4 brownies ranging from 1lb 1oz to 2lb 3oz, one of which was a lovely colour as shown below.

 Up this part of the river the fishing is quite limited due to the amount of bank side vegetation that is still present so there aren't as many swims as there could be so long trotting is a great way to capture the fish that are in the swims you can't access just like the next one I had that weighed 2lb 7oz which gave a fight like a bullet train with very strong runs and tail walking about 5 times before slipping into my net.

The day was fast becoming the best day I'd ever had in regards to quantity of Brown Trout in one day and as my session on the Trout beat came to an end I had managed to get my count to 10 spotty's, 9 over a pound plus which was mind blowing but the larger fish remained visible but too clever today but I'll catch them at some point one of which was well over 4lb but I know they are still around which is fantastic news as they do provide a great sport on light gear as was the case today for me.

One on the end.

Another pound plus Trout.

Back home after a good scrap.

A well coloured Browny, most are silver!
 After clearing the beat I took a hour and a bit stroll down river to try and catch a Barbel but the further down I got, the more the river had risen and coloured up I knew it was going to be quite difficult to catch one so I briefly popped into a known swim that holds Barbel quite often but for around 30 minutes my bait remained untouched by fish in general and the lead pulled around down stream constantly, but to break the monotony Brian from pikeblog came down for a few minutes to chat who had also had a pretty baron day but the conditions down this end of the river were not great and deteriorating rapidly so after Brian and Dan had gone home, I packed up and moved further downstream to find a swim with a slack in it to avoid the fast paced current and debris coming down with it, so I decided to put 3 swan shots on and roll a lump of bread around the slack water and on my 3rd or 4th cast I got a little pluck on my finger tip which I hit and the rod hooped over emphatically, I said to myself it was a Barbel without a doubt and after a couple of minutes of it steaming around the deep water it rose to the surface and into the net, on the scales at 3lb 13oz it wasn't big but I didn't really care but with the rain still coming down if not harder than it had been I couldn't take any pictures as I didn't want to risk damaging the camera.
 The little guy released I cast back into the same position not really expecting my rod to hoop immediately again but it did and I was connected to a fish that felt bigger than the last and in the dark I couldn't see the fish which held on the bottom the entire time until I got it up to the net and when it rolled over just in front of the net it dived straight back down to the bottom nearly pulling the rod out of my hand, a minute or so later she was in the net and my second Barbel within 10minutes banked, at 7lb 7oz it was a very good conclusion to a great day, I packed up and left absolutely soaked like a drowned rat.


  1. Good days angling my friend. Lovely Trout there, not sure about the Barbel... no pics! lol only joking well done that man!

  2. Well done on the Brownies James. Going to try to hunt some down myself this weekend all being well. Re you question on my blog, email me on

  3. Yeah, nice job with the Brown Trouts, James! It seems you really know where to find them and how to catch those fighters. On another note, I know most anglers do not look forward to this weather. But, raindrops break up the smooth surface, thus reducing the penetration of light into the water. Fish will then become more visible and easier to catch.

    Melanie Daryl


Six Foot.

   Well, winter still hasn't arrived and the rivers are in a constant state of flood, now for Barbel that isn't the end of the world...