Autumn is always the start of my own fishing and I try to make the most of it. So after my last GREAT trip over to see my old mate Adam Fisher who runs Angling Dream and a few awesome stretches of the river, I just had to get back.
My time was limited yet even with just an evening and the following morning at my disposal, the 4-hour drive really eats into the time, I still felt like I had enough time to put a bait in front of a few fish…and hopefully another Wye double!
On arrival, I walked the river and baited a few likely looking swims. All deeper slower areas for this time of year. The plan was to only make a few cast in each and flick a few freebies over the top of the rig to hopefully draw fish into my hook bait. A small bag of mixed pellets helped make it impossible for the fish to NOT know it was there.
After a few cold nights I wasn’t expecting that much action but to my surprise, after just 5 minutes I had a wrap round resulting in a hard fighting 8.4lb barbel. I wasted no time at all in getting the rod back out. This time, however, as expected, I had to wait a while longer for the next fish to make a mistake, this one however felt like a totally different creature altogether. It stayed deep and instantly kited out into the middle and then headed upriver, all signs of a good fish. The rod was well into its fighting curve yet I still couldn’t get its head off the deck. Then out of nowhere, the line pinged off something and everything went slack for a split second. A few choice words nearly echoed through the Wye Valley. I’ve had this many times on the Wye, Severn and Trent. There are so many unseen snags that can just wash down with a little extra water and settle on what was originally a clear area. The key is not to panic and just wind down as quickly as possible to take up the slack and you should soon feel the resistance of the fish once again. If not, then cutoffs are also just one of those unfortunate things that can happen. Luckily in this case, everything held firm and I was once again taking the strain on what was obviously what I had come for. I was standing quite high up when I got my first glance of her and to be honest, she didn’t look that big at all but as I approached the water with the net and got closer to her, she grew and grew! As she glided over the net I saw the size of its mouth and in the back of my mind knew I had a very cool fish indeed. At 10lb 10oz its my second biggest Wye barbel and made me a VERY happy angler. I had a few more barbel and chub that evening but I couldn’t wait to try a new area early the next morning.
As the sun rose and the mist lifted of the glorious river my 3oz gripper lead landed on the dance floor. I was only going to fish until the traffic had died down then I had to hit the road. A few chub kept me alert as they all nearly took the rod down river on the bite and last cast was fast approaching with no morning barbel. I made 3 more bags and told myself that if I hadn’t caught one by the end of those bags I was off. I'm not one to bore them into submission. I set myself a time and I win or lose! The fish made me wait until the second bag but it turned out to be well worth waiting for as another double soon slid into my waiting net!
Once again the river rewarded me for the effort of an 8 hour round trip for not far off the same amount of hours with a rod in the water. Sadly, that’s my second and last barbel trip to the Wye for the year. Off to pastures new for my next few adventurers and maybe a few different species!