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I Went to fish the River Severn at Bewdley with my mates last Sunday (05/09) for three days of splendid barbel fishing. Micky’s friend, Stanley, had been fishing the previous week and said that the water was very low and the fishing was hard, which dampened spirits a bit. I didn’t know what to expect but we had discussed tactics and decided that we needed to scale things up a bit from our normal River Swale 1oz and 1½oz feeders and leads. I acquired some 2oz and 2½oz knobbled in-line feeders and Micky got some huge, heavy feeders the size of baked bean tins. Frankly I never thought I’d use them!

First day we were put on the stretch just upstream from Bewdley by the local legend tackle shop owner, Stan Lewis, the river was about four feet below normal according to other anglers on the bank. I had a couple of perch on the stick float and Micky had a small pike on and lost it. There was an awful amount of litter on the bank!



The second day we opted to travel into Shropshire to fish the Hampton Loade stretch, made famous by Matt Hayes on TV. It was certainly more interesting with shallows and deeper glides. Other anglers had been catching so we were encouraged and made a start fishing at the end of some rapids where the valley narrowed and was a bit rocky. I lost four feeders in quick succession and Glen lost five, it was a tackle graveyard! I had no idea how to combat the flow, I had my rod tip up in the air but was still loosing tackle. What would Sean do I thought? Eventually I opted for a link ledger with a rotten bottom so I would only lose the lead and managed to find an area that didn’t seem so snaggy. I blanked.

Mid afternoon Micky got one about 4lb on 10mm halibut pellet so we were confident about coming back the third day.



Heavy overnight rain had added a bit of colour to the water and the river level was slowly rising. We made our way down to the bottom of the fishery and tackled up in the Matt Hayes’ swims. It was a long straight with streamer weed but otherwise featureless apart from an occasional willow. By midday, there had been no action so I decided to move back to where we fished the day before. Twenty yards upstream there were geese standing in the middle of the river!

I actually started to get some interest in my bait; I’d started to wrap a 10mm banded halibut pellet in paste and it seemed to be getting some attention. With only an hour and a half left of the holiday I struck into a decent bite only to feel the fish for a moment then slack line. The line had parted company at the hook, a clean end indicated a sharp snag on the eye? I fished hard for the rest of the time available, even during a cloudburst but a few more lost feeders put a premature end to my day. Glen had stuck it out doggedly and was rewarded with 5lb 6oz Severn special to win the world Championship; well done Glen!

I was going to call this blog “Like a Virgin” but that would have implied it was a pleasurable experience, fishing the Severn for the very first time but it wasn’t. The water was low, my stock of feeders was low and my spirits became low, hence The Foo Fighters. Funnily enough, I’m very keen to return with some new ideas next year if not sooner.

Andy
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