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Thread: Barbel on flies

  1. #1
    Stewart Bloor Guest

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    I read that John Bailey caught 14 Wye barbel in the summer of 2000 on Goldheads (Info from the new EA magazine).
    Has anyone fly fished with intention to catch barbel? If so, how did you get on? How does it compare, catch rate wise, to conventional barbel fishing? Does it attract a bigger or smaller stamp of fish?
    Anyone caught barbel by accident when fly fishing?

  2. #2
    Dave Johnson Guest

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    Sedge, I had a barbel of about a pound on a GRHE last season from the Dove, not intentionally, was after a brownie and didnt even see the barbel.
    Apparently in some Eastern bloc areas it is the std method.
    I have however had stacks of chub on all manner of flies, both imitative and other, exciting fishing in May and June on small rivers.

  3. #3
    Carp Angler Guest

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    I've seen barbel taking flies off of the surface on the Hants Avon, they weren't the most delicate of takes.


  4. #4
    Martin James Guest

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    Nymphing for Barbel - Martin James
    Seeing this title your probably thinking has Martin James having turned sixty has lost his senses, Can he be serious about fly fishing for barbel you probably say. My answer is, Yes I am The same was said twenty, thirty years ago when I started to encourage anglers to fly fish for pike. These days many fly fisherman spend as much time trying to catch pike as they do rainbows. Pike fight harder than rainbows and its a lot cheaper for tickets and you don't have to pack up or buy another ticket if you have caught 2 or 4 fish as the limit dictates
    In fact all fish can be caught on an artificial fly or nymph from fresh and saltwater. I am not saying its the best way but its an enjoyable way of taking fish. Many brown trout anglers fishing nymphs on rivers containing barbel have said they have lost big fish which they didn't see. Its a good chance those fish were barbel. Some fly fishers have landed the odd barbel but all this was probably by accident.
    The great thing about barbel fishing is they often live in beautiful English rivers, Where water flows over clean gravel with plenty of water weeds such as water-crowfoot (Ranunculus) with its daisy like flower, We also have that delightful water weed Starwort in a delightful shade of green that will often harbour a crayfish, Chub love to lay under it popping out to grab an item of food that passes by. Some other plants are Mare's tail, Water-mil foil and in the slow stretches you will find Potamogetan. A river rich in plant life is rich in animal life that fish eat naturally and a weedy river is a river that usually holds some good fish.
    The banks of my favourite rivers will often have a profusion of wild flowers and plants Adding a touch of gold to the riverside scene in the cold month of March will be the Marsh-marigold usually one of our first colourful flowers to brighten a cold day .Then we have the Yellow and Purple-loose strife, Pink campion and various parsley's, Cow, Hog weed, Sweet cicely and Hemlock to name a few. You will often see that delicate flower the common forget-me-knot. I believe its this flower circles the clock on Norwich Cathedral.
    Today you can sometimes see Foxgloves at the waterside and of course you will see the Himalayan balsam growing in profusion. Your now probably asking what have water weeds, plants and wild flowers to do with barbel. Its because these are often the conditions on my barbel rivers In clear flowing rivers with plenty of plant life you can expect to catch barbel but also other coarse fish such as. Pike, perch, chub, roach, barbel, grayling and dace. Living in the same water you will often find the delightful brown trout. To catch a brown trout on a dry fly is one of life's great experiences. I really do feel its a privilege to be an angler and fish in beautiful places for wild fish.
    Barbel are a fish that has had my attention over the past few years, but should another species show I will have a go for it. I have never been a one fish, one method angler. I fish for them all with all the legal and sporting methods available. Over the past couple of years or so, I along with several other anglers have always felt barbel were a fish that could be taken on a nymph. - Is not the barbel a bottom feeding fish for most of its life, Then surely its main diet will consist of various nymphs and caddis crawling around on the bottom of our rivers or under the fine sand gravel or silt. If they are daft enough to eat meat balls and luncheon meat why not an artificial nymph which is far more natural.


    [this message was shortened to fit new size restrictions - contact the poster for full details]

  5. #5
    Leon Foreman Guest

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    We have some Barbus species in South Africa which I supect is part of the same family as found in your local waters namely Barbus kimberleyensis (Largmouth yellow fish) and Barbus holubi (Smallmouth Yellow fish). I know that they are caught on fly's on a regular basis by fisherman as well as the more traditional ways. They also take to lures I understand. I know catfish round these parts are also caught on lures and I have heard a rumor they are actually willing to take fly's in waters called Harties in Pretoria. I have never treid these methods however but I know that one Fly fishing magazine run a series of articles on fly fishing for yellows a while back. Will try to get more information should anyone be interested.

  6. #6
    Ron Clay Guest

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    I have caught both Largemouth and Smallmouth Yellowfish on the fly rod. In fact Small Mouth Yellows (Barbus holubi) can be taken so when they refuse bait.

    I have caught many sharp tooth catfish on fly Leon from Hartebeespoort Dam. The best time of the year for them is springtime (Sept Oct). They come into the shallows to spawn. Drop a good sized Woolly ****** accurately in fron of the cat and he will have it like a shot.

    Again fairly hefty fly gear is necessary together with a disc grag reel that will take at least 300 metres of backing.

    Leon, go and buy African Fly Fishing Handbook by Bill Hansford Steele. It tells you all about fly fishing for cats and more. I did a great deal of the photography in it. The forward was written by my old mate - Cyril Rhamaposa. You can get the book at Mia Sports in Midrand or Jo'burg.

  7. #7
    Rob Brownfield Guest

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    Barbel regularly take tube flies on the Wye. I presume they think they are minnows. Yep, BArbel will eat fish on occasions. The patterns that i know of as being catchers are Williw Gunns and Stoats Tails.

  8. #8
    Rob Brownfield Guest

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    Should read Willie Gunns..sorry

  9. #9
    Philip Inzani Guest

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    OK I dont want to rock anyones boat but I am beginning to wonder if some of the claimed methods of taking fish are really what they are being made out to be. It may make no difference whatsoever in the grand scheme of things but I sometimes wonder if we can draw a line between the various fishing disciplines. Let me try and explain....

    If I stick a lump of plastic bread on a hook and fish with it long enough I would probably catch a Carp. Now did I catch that Carp lure fishing ?
    If I had cast it out on a fly rod with fly line could I say that I was fly fishing? Do you see what I mean?
    Another example is the guy fishing with a rubber lure impregnated with flavour, smothered in fish oil and anchored inthe middle of the river until a fish takes it. Is that really true "lure" fishing ?

  10. #10
    Paul Williams Guest

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    Rob,
    Seeing as you are a dab hand at fly making could you design and make one for Sedge???
    We could all have a go at naming it...how about "Blankers glory" for a start!!!

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