September 2005







5th Yorkshire Ouse

Back to my roots.

As I mentioned at the end of last month, I had decided to spend some more time back on the Yorkshire rivers, Ouse Swale, Wharfe, Nidd and Ure yesterday(4th) was my 1st trip back up north and I went to the river Ouse just outside York along with the 2 Robs (Parsons and Hilton) I arrived at the river just after 5pm to find RobP walking along the bank to the car park to help me with my gear as I am not used to walking the 1/2 mile to the river. (thanks Rob) We looked at a few swims as we walked back down the tree lined river and he settled me into a nice looking swim upstream of him with an alder on the far bank its leaves just touching the water.

I decided on a 2 rod set up as the Ouse is notoriously hard (or so they say), pellet on one with a small PVA bag of pellets cast just above the tree and the other with kebab 10mm boilies and a paste wrap cast downstream midway across. Rob had prebaited for me as they had been there a couple of hours, he had a couple of taps straight away and ended up playing a bream that "luckily" came off in the weed, he had a couple of more taps and then the tip wrapped round and he was into a barbel, the fish was soon netted and rested in the net, she weighed in at just a touch over 8lbs, a new river PB for Rob.

Darkness was falling fast by now and all I had had was a couple of taps from the bream but no takes, Rob H had lost a good fish and his face told the story as he came for a chat from his swim 200yds upstream. The night was quiet to my rods but RobP was geting taps all the time from his rod down the inside,then he told me he had found a rather deep hole and thats where the bites were coming from! As the night drew on I could feel a blank coming as we had to be off by 10.30pm.I had recast my downstream rod slightly further across towards the far bank,when at exactly 10pm the tip gave a huge pull down and the baitrunner screamed off the fish was on, after a cracking fight Rob netted it for me. and here she is, a bit marked but at 7lbs exactly my 1st fish from the Yorkshire Ouse and my 1st fish from a Yorkshire river for just over 4years!


7th River Nidd

With the weather forecast good and England playing their world cup qualifier against N Ireland (nice easy win watch it on video when I get in!) a last minute decision to go fishing (I think I definitely made the right decision).

A quiet 60min drive to the Nidd (no traffic problems even through York!) I haven't fished the Nidd for best part of 30 years and never for barbel so I was looking forward to seeing her again, I put my money in the "honesty box" at the farm (yes we do still have them "up north") and drove to the river, it looked very low and after talking to Tony he directed me to a couple of swims 400 yds upstream, we decided the river was about 2/3ft below the summer level so I knew it was going to be a struggle. he had said the barbel here arn't used to pellet so it was sweetcorn on one rod and breadflake on the other, I sat and listened to the "footy" (wishing I hadn't), when Healy scored for NI the radio nearly went in the river! and the video wouldn't get watched.

The rods were motionless all evening, I switched one rod to the faithfull meat but even that never worked, untill at about 10.15pm a big pull down resulted in a missed bite (must have been a chub?) Ah well you can't catch all the time but it was a lovely night on the river finished off by a beautiful sunset in "Gods County" over the River Nidd.


11th River Nidd

After a couple of phone calls over the weekend from RobP, we met up late afternoon on the Nidd again, this time on one of the more popular stretches, we arrived to find only 2 more anglers on our part of the river and they looked as if they were about to pack up. We walked the length looking at swims and I settled into a lovely looking one with over- hanging willows on the far bank and a nice slow steady flow. I put in a handfull of pellets above the willow and a few downstream. A 2 rod set again, the 1st one baited with pellet was cast straight across above the willow only needing 1/4oz to hold and the other baited with a large lump of meat straight onto the hook was cast down stream about 10 yds in the main flow among the streamer weed this one taking 1/2oz to hold.

Small plucks on both rods kept me interested all night but nothing bold enough to hit, I tried everything smaller pellets, single pellet, smaller piece of meat, bigger piece all to no avail. Untill at 10pm the tip on the meat rod wrapped right round (I had changed to hair rig) and steamed off down stream the fish gave a very good account of itself on my gti and I was very suprised to see a barbel not much over 3lbs in the net. My 1st Nidd barbel and my 2nd Yorkshire river in a week!


18th River Wharfe

Another sortie into Yorkshire today, saw me brought back down to earth with a rather solid bump!

I met with the 2 R's just outside of Leeds and drove to the picturesque river Wharfe, I have fished it before but not for quite a few years, the last time was further upriver with Ralphy.

Only a short walk this time though, as Robp showed me the swims, we decided on one with a nice riffle down the centre, creasing off a broken down willow that had fallen in the last few months.

I had received a new rod from Roger, the GTX,and as you can only fish one rod it gave me the perfct opportunity to put it through its paces. Rob and I talked about the Wharfe and the varied wildlife along the river and he told me of the Peregrine Falcon he had seen last year over this stretch, but not at all this season!

As I started to tackle up I realised I had brought the wrong reel with me, the other one back in the boot of the car, I decide to go back and get it and as we walked up from the swim to the field, over head we saw the Peregrine flying over our heads to the wood on the opposite bank, what a sight my 1st Peregrine Falcon, the look on Robs face was sight to behold! I saw it 4 more times along with the obligatory kingfisher that was up and down the river this evening.

The fishing was to put it mildly "slow" Rob had a couple but I coudn't buy a bite so the GTX was never tested, it felt nice casting a couple of ounces and reeling in but I will put it through its paces later this week on the Ribble.


21st Ribble

Sue was off to Belgium for a few days on business, so after I had dropped her off at Manchester airport it was a perfect opportunity to make a re-aquaintance with BFWs Leso and the river Ribble, with any luck I would break my duck, after a blank the last time I was there a couple of years ago with "barbel stu".

Les met me and we went back to his house for lunch and I met his wife Boo for the 1st time (we have talked on the phone and on msn often) a lovely lady with a very long history and the "bacon butties" were delicious!

We set off in my car just after 2pm and after less than an hour we were soon at our destination the beautiful River Ribble, just outside Bolton, the ribble is a "spate" river that can rise at an alarming rate, very snaggy with lots of bedrock but does hold some huge fish and not only barbel.

We paid the farmer (sorry I paid the farmer!) a quick chat with him and then the drive down to the river bank, Les wanted to walk down the river to show me some swims but I thought better of it and said one walk was enough! After god knows how many fields,3 herds of cows, 2 stiles and negotiating a rather steep ditch!! then finally outrunning 2 old timers who threatened to catch us up, we reached the swims Les had decided on.

The river here is about 80yds wide! with 50yds of large sixe gravel under about 4ft of water, then 30 yds of bedrock under 2ft of water with a channel 5yds wide and about 5ft deep in the middle of the bed rock! the river was as low as Les could remember but we could see barbel flashing as he showed me the features. I set up high up the floodbank to give a good angle to miss the edge of the bedrock, just one rod set up today the new 12ft Peregrine GTX coupled with an Okuma reel loaded with the usual Power Pro but with a 20ft 15lb mono leader, the rig was a 2ozs lead and a small pva bag dipped in Les's "super dip" with a short hook link (6ins) and 2 elips pellets on the "hair" this was cast 60+yds into the channel.

A nice cuppa, a chat with Les and a with plenty of fish crashing about which was good to see in the daylight hours. A couple of small "taps" had been forthcoming and then just before 6pm the rod wrapped round and my 1st ribble barbel was on, a good fight ensued that ended up with some manouvering of the fish to a slightly deeper section of bedrock 20 yds down river to bring the fish out of the channel and over the bedrook, Les netted her for me and as she rested in the net, the look on my face told him everything and here she is 5lb of beautiful Ribble " gold".

As dusk approached we moved to the gravel swims back towards the car, we decided to share the same swim so we could chat more easily (Les is a bit deaf you see!) we talked of barbel and Les's new found affinity for "sea trout", as the darkness came the barbel crashed everywhere around us, and Les was soon getting indications of fish in his swim his 1st fish came at about 8.30pm and as I netted it he actually smiled! His "super duper dip" seemed to be doing the trick for him but I couldn't buy a bite so after another barbel and the obligatory chub, he was getting ready to cast out his rig, (oops he had left the top off his "super duper expensive dip" container) and proceeded to kick it all over the bank! not a happy bunny!

Les ended with 3 barbel,the biggest, this one at 8+ (love the "new" headlight) and me with another river under my belt.


25th Middle Trent

It was back to the Trent to see if we could round up a few fish, in return for the help the 2 Robs have given me over the last few weeks and Dave came along too.

We met in the pub and enjoyed a pint as we talked over the early part of the season and looked forward to the rain the rivers so badly need, Matt had made the trip down as we had to do a photo shoot for Rogers new website (should be live this week) so all my rods had made the journey to the great river to have there picture taken!

I had already shown the Robs the swims and they had decided where to fish, Matt and I soon finished the photos, all taken quickly as the light was perfect on a very mild autumn day.

Matt had decided to do a bit of lure fishing and he was soon into a pike of around 8/9lbs and a couple of small perch.

Then Ian who had ventured down had a most welcome fish during the daylight hours a cracking barbel of 11lbs 6ozs and followed this with 2 more the biggest going over 9lbs.


Ian and Matt left after dark came and we had all had the obligatory chub, a piece, Dave had sneaked out a couple of small barbel but then all hell let loose in the next 4/5 hours as the barbel went on a feeding frenzy, Dave and RobH both had doubles and RobP a big 9 We stopped counting 8's and below but in excess of 40 fish came to our baits, a cracking session by anyones standards topped off by some great company. I ended up with my best day this season and topped off by 2-8's and a big 9 all caught on the new 12ft Peregrine GTX which handled them superbly.

A couple of weeks off now as we all wait for the rain.

30th Ribble

Well a surprise Manchester Airport return job (pick up at 16.00hrs) saw me on the road back to the Ribble at 0500 this morning, a bit bleary eyd but very hopefull of adding to my river Ribble list. Les had been yesterday and it was 4ft up and he had 4 barbel, as I arrived at the farm, the opening of the gates was a rather smelly affair as it had been raining all night and the cows had been through earlier that morning! at least it was only 6in deep in cow muck and not the 12in when Les had been there!

I arrived at the river to find it still had plenty of water in, it looked like a bit of leaves and stuff coming down and it was raining too, as I settled into the peg just above the willow tree, barbel were crashing 30yds downstream of me so the chances of of at least hooking one were looking good.

2 rods were set up, the Peregrine GTX and my faithfull 4 piece, one rod downstream with boilie and a stringer, the other straight out with Les's special elips and a small pva net of mixed pellets, now just sit back (cup of coffee) and wait for the inevitable pull round! So I waited and waited and waited,the fish kept crashing, the rain kept falling and the water level kept rising and my rod tips never moved apart from the weed and leaves pulling them round.

Nothing else to reportreally, glad I bought the "Aqua" brolly last year though! I went home blanking but another trip out and it beats working.

Total for September

10 barbel


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page last edited 21.6.06

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