Finding My Feet on the R.Itchen, R.ColnBrook & R.Bourne.


 As my quest takes me on to my 9th river the net is being cast just that little bit more as I learn the likes of the ColnBrook, Bourne whilst continuing my quest on the Itchen and Kentish Stour. Setting about fishing each of these rivers has their own little challenges, the ColnBrook remains to be a tough nut to crack, having now fished it three times I'm yet to catch a fish and on my first visit I spotted three Barbel, from that moment I thought a double maybe on the cards and catching a Barbel quite likely, that hasn't been the case and the aforementioned Barbel have vanished.

 My first trip to the Bourne was probably not in the best of conditions as it was chocolate brown and typically runs like tap water, the purpose of this visit was first of all to see how the stretch looked and whether it held the capabilities of A; producing Barbel and B; producing double figure Barbel, after all that is the benchmark for each river on my challenge. So I didn't get to see the river properly but have earmarked a revisit in better stalking conditions and hopefully give me the opportunity to see something worth targeting.

 As for the Itchen, it still continues to make me work very hard, with a single Bream to my name in 4 visits since October last year, yes its not a lot of trips, I still feel given the conditions I've fished in that I'd have had more than just one fish. At one point on Friday night I did have a very good bite that I thought would have resulted in a fish, instead it was a fresh air hit and that was the only action for me. I will be back down in a week or two once I get back from a family holibobs.

 Here are some images of the rivers I have begun to frequent, most not well know at all, the Itchen possibly alot better known amongst the Barbel angling fraternity. Achieving river number 9 I hope is just around the corner. Funny feeling it will be the ColnBrook but yet to find a fish even close to magic 10lb mark.

Typical areas on R.Bourne


Ditto, hoping for a 3ft twitch.

Dusk settling in over Surrey.

A view experienced by many Barbel anglers.

Sunrise over the Itchen

Shallow runs with cover on the R.ColnBrook.

Lovely gravel runs but no Barbel.

Although there is alot of hiding places!

Some really pretty, but choked parts.


  1. I’ve fished the itchen stretch … very handy for the pub 😊🌞👍🏻Good luck with your quest . Great to see some one doing something different to camping on the Trent 🌞

    1. To be fair whenever I've been there its been night time and fishing has called my name just a little more than the pub :) who knows, if I'm successful I haven't got to go far to celebrate!!!!

      And yes, this challenge certainly isn't one of the norm and having done the Trent last autumn I shall not be going back, at least in the short to medium term!

    2. The last time I saw Jeff Hatt actually was in that pub when we shared a pie and a pint before heading up back to the Midlands, a long ole day.

    3. It is a long old day, but worth the effort. For me it’s just over an hour each way so I can zip down for 3/4hrs and it’d be okay. Maybe one day I’ll sample their food and drink!

  2. Some nice pics there James !!

  3. Replies
    1. They really are, especially the Itchen. It’s a river I have fished many times but with our quarry’s in mind, now the Barbel are firmly on the radar I hope that celebratory cigar gets lit sooner rather than later ;)


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