Sunday 26 November 2023

River Severn Double, That's A Wrap!!


 Success on this river has taken some time and in time I knew it would come, 300-mile round trip and 5hrs of driving makes it one of my less local of venues but it provides me with a better chance of a double over the tougher and lesser stocked venues like the Kentish Stour and the Arun for example. 

 I had about 24hrs to fish as a cold northern front was due to settle in from Friday evening and the sudden drop may affect the fishing through Saturday. A water temp of 11.3c upon arrival had me feeling quite confident of fish. Still pushing hard and up around 4/5ft but falling I thought it was just a case of finding fish and the rest would follow suit. Once I was set up and fishing I got to making some scran for myself which was bloody lovely. 

Not a bad view for the night.

Maple glazed chops and rice 😍

 The hours rolled by without a sniff and a move around 10pm didn't yield anything until I got to sleep when I got a tentative pull on the rod which sounded the Delkim, I was up and ready but nothing happened so I lay there star gazing and watching on as the shooting stars came across the sky by the dozen.

 Finally at 0315 I got what I was waiting for, the rod hooped over and I found myself rushing out the bivvy to lift into what felt a decent fish in the strong flow where we fought for a few minutes before landing my first Barbel of the trip, not a big one but nice to see.

8lb 7oz, Severn best at the time.
 Once the rod went back out I nipped back into my shelter and had to wait an hour for the next enquiry which came by way of a pretty docile nod of the tip and gentle peeling of line, this had to be a Barbel, totally unaware it was hooked! I lifted the rod and the fish was heavy but couldn't really gauge much from it, that was until I cranked it up to the surface in the torchlight, thats when my knees went, it was big and certainly a Severn double, by some considerable margin ( I estimated around 12/13lbs ) when on the third lunge for freedom turned to disaster, for it found something submerged not far off the bank, it didn't find it the first time around but this time it did and within seconds my 6oz lead came flying out the water, the fish had broke me off around 3 inches from the hook, I was fuming beyond belief, I was seconds from landing it, the net was out and ready, this was most likely its last lunge I could not believe it.

 I got that rod set up and back out in the spot that had now done two bites, I hoped for more action. Unfortunately for me that did not happen and dawn came and went without another touch. I had planned to move stretch so I went along with that plan. I set myself up and got my first rod out before putting a lump of meat on the other rod when out of nothing my rod that I had just put out starting lurching to the river and line peeling off the spool! I couldn't believe how quick that was!

 I wasn't ready, the net weren't even set up but its so easy to pop the arms in on the new 36" specialist net that I could do it with one hand and jam the pole between my legs. The fight didn't last long and very quickly the body of a substantial Barbel broke the surface, I thought to myself that's going to be close but when I lifted it out the water I felt quietly confident I had achieved what I'd set out to do and this one wasn't escaping at the very last moment.
Pristine lower Severn double.

River No: 23 completed 😎

 It took a few trips, mainly staring at motionless tips or blank rolls with the meat. It all finally came good and exercised those demons from what transpired overnight, a solid framed Barbel which weighed on the right side of ten pounds at 10lb 7oz! That will do nicely indeed.

 Release video of that Barbel just here πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰ Release Vid'

 I breathed a massive sigh of relief to have caught that fish and instead of packing down I decided to stick around and see if I could add to the tally of two fish and although the tip did go around again it was only with a modest Chub which was all I conjured up before leaving around 5pm. Job done, that will do me and maybe my last trip for Barbel this year unless conditions are too good to ignore.

At 6pm it was -1c and the frost had settled on the car.
This time I was successful.


  1. Well done James. Hope the loss of the big one has gone from your mind now. Until I just put it back!! Lol

    1. It was tough to take in that ensuing 4hrs, but it was mostly forgotten about when the "ten" slipped in. Just another tale to tell when this all comes to a close!

  2. Good stuff James, 24th won't be long now. Just saying that seems mad to me, respect !!

    1. Thanks Mick. It's quite an achievement even if I stopped now, pretty awesome fun though, even if it punctuated by passages of misfortune. 24 shall have to wait a while now I think, conditions look to be more akin to the time of year now, but the Barbel gear will remain ready, when that time comes again. :)

  3. Well done on your persistence James, I think you have discovered why carpers ditch their leads ;o) I'd leave the barbel until the back end, there's plenty more to target.

    1. Thanks Dave! I was not going to pass up one last chance to get a pre-christmas double, now conditions aren't great for them attentions will turn to other species, not long before the Pike will come into my thinking.

      Looking forward to getting back to the Wye back end of the season to try get a double off there.

      As for the lost fish, just gutting to be so close, ditching the lead may have been the difference!

  4. Great stuff - and just beat the frost! Time for a few pike now…

    1. It was very good timing mate, but I knew it was coming, that shift from SW to N was swift and very telling! Got what I went for so I am very happy, but it could have been soooo much better!

  5. Well done again. Tremendous amount of effort you put in on an insane project. The burning fire that keeps us going eh ? Love it.

    1. Really appreciate that. It really is a big task but I am relishing every challenge that is put my way. Never shied away from a challenge and will see this through to its entirety, however long it takes.

      Fingers crossed by the 2027/28 season it will have been completed, but we shall see.


8 Years in the Making.

   So we find ourselves finally able to get back on the rivers and thank god for it too. I don't mind stillwaters and canals now and aga...