News & Pics 2022

News & Pics 2022

Entries in reverse date order

Wickens Pool  27 November 2022   Christmas Contest

Mild for the time of year and no wind. Some colour in the bulk of the pool from heavy rain a few days ago and some fresh colour coming in from overnight rain.

New member Steve Johnson was off to a flier with a carp in his net before I had started. Having shown us all what he could do he throttled back and satisfied himself with catching little perch. I was delighted when Shirley brought his net into play and I thought it was a modest carp but it turned out to be a lovely perch nearly a pound and three quarters. Ian Wilson went one better by catching a perch of just under two pounds. Richard caught a nice carp as he was about to pack up.

The rest of us scratched for bits but it was fitting that the two people who put so much work into looking after the lake should take the top two places. Shirley has caught lots of fish here but in competitions the luck has completely deserted him so I was delighted that he has finally triumphed. Ian, the other half of the dynamic duo, has clained the laurels on several occasions here but I'm sure he will be as delighted as anyone that it was Shirley's day to shine.

This was the last event on the fixture list for 2022 so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Newbridge on Wye   20 October 2022

Another cliff-hanger from the weather point of view but the forecast rain skirted round the catchment and the river remained low and we only had one sharp shower.

Peter Mountford started off fishing with bread and had three nice chub by lunch time. He swapped over to maggots but was disappointed to only catch four small grayling by the time he had to leave.

Roger must have killed a robin at the start of the year because him abyssmally poor luck continued. He hooked three fish before lunch which all came off. I tried to help in the afternoon but failed to change his luck.

Richard had one grayling on the sunk nymph and three on the dry and I managed four from the top stretch on the sunk nymph but the biggest only a pound.

A quiet end to our trips to Newbridge this year but we have been lucky that the dams provided enough water for us to fish this drought-stricken season. Let's hope we have plenty of water this winter but no great floods rip up the river bed and banks

Ham Bridge   15 October 2022

Taking my cue from a competition I fished there many decades ago when the river was as low as it is now I put my thigh waders in the car. In those far off days the Izaac Walton used to rent the fishing on the opposite side (the right bank looking downstream) to the one we fish now and barbel had recently populated the stretch from the Severn (down stream). There were lots of barbel mostly under four pounds with many smaller ones and when the competition started from Ham Mill Farm (we used to draw for starting positions) the anglers set off at measured intervals with no overtaking allowed. 

The favoured stretch for the barbel was the field above Ham Mill farm and that's where most of them headed. When my turn came I hopped back into my Minivan, parked at the top of the concrete road and scampered across the field to fish just below the bridge. I reckoned that all the fish from the top two fields would have moved up into that stretch and so it seemed as I caught 47 fish for 30lb odd - chub, barbel and dace. 

This time when I started I thought I was going to have a repeat performance with four cracking chub in the first 30 minutes but then it ended. I swapped from bread to maggots eventually and had a mangled maggot on one ccasion but that was all. I think perhaps one or more pike move in and everyone else scarpered.

The stretch below the bridge  has changed much since I had that great day's fishing. Some time after we had stopped renting that water the River Board took it into their head to dredge the stretch under the bridge and downstream for a distance and grade the banks. It has gradually restored itself but has still not yet settled and has changed quite a bit in the last couple of years but is well worth watching.

Newbridge on Wye   6 October 2022

Water too high and coloured. Very frustratingbecause we knew that by the following day it would be fishable again as the heavy rained had not caught the Ithon catchment which would have coloured it for days.

Let us hope that it is OK for our last visit here on the 20th of this month but before that of course we have a competition at Ham Bridge on the 15th.

Tenbury   Evening session 24 September 2022

Ed Brady caught this magnificent barbel from the Bream Hole (Peg 6) on our Tenbury water. Ed estimated its weight as between eight and nine pounds and he knows what he is talking about having caught several larger ones at different venues.

He had prebaited the swim several times with 18mm boilies similar to the one he used to hooked this fish.

Well done Eddie.

Newbridge on Wye   22 September 2022

River dead low with rain forecast for the end of the day. Started with weighted nymphs, hooked and lost a medium size grayling in the top pool, nothing in the Big Ash Tree pool then caught an eight ounce grayling by Ernie's Stone. Erne Summers used to sit on this stone and trot pearl barley down the river and catch Dace and Chub there. That was before the Goosanders of course. We haven't caught any dace on this stretch for 35 years where there used to be shoals of hundreds. 

After an early lunch I tried the sunk nymph without success so decided to change to dry fly. I caught half a dozen in Cornwall then moved down to Hoyvell to get warm. I raised a fish then hooked one which got off.There were obviously a few there so I went back upstream to find if anyone wanted to join in the fun.

Richard hadn't increased his score since lunchtime but Roger hadn't had any at all. I knew he had left his jacket with some of his gear in it at home by mistake but then he had announced that he had found much of his kit in a bag. What I didn't know was that he hadn't any light line on his leader and was using 4lb line. In the slow water below where the Ithon enters the Wye you really do need a fine leader. I tied on a length of 2.8 lb Froghair for him which is just about thin enough. There were some fish rising there so Roger tried for those and then I spent the last hour trying to teach Roger how to fish down-stream dry fly. I'm a very bad teacher because I have never been taught how to cast so I don't know how to explain to people to another angler how to do it. 

I have never had very good eyesight so I tend to get close to my quarry. Two days earlier I had been wading waist deep down the Welsh Dee at Corwen using sunk nymphs and had picked up some weed on the tail fly. As I was cleaning it I became aware of someone tugging at the line - a trout about nine inches long had taken the middle dropper whilst I was cleaning the tail fly which is only eighteen away. After a few leaps it unhooked itself but left me a little wiser. I don't think I need to get as close as that but the fish didn't mind.The situation was very different than the one that I was in instructing Roger but shows that if the fish sees a food item it then it will sometime lose its caution.

Roger was fighting all his instincts - we were fishing downstream with a dry-fly which he knew we should be casting upstream, he was being told to let the fly land with four feet of slack line upstream of it with the rod tip as far as he could reach up in the air upstream. He was being shouted at for automatically retrieving some of the slack line wnen he knew that he had to do that to strike at a take.Everything ran counter to his previous learning and hard won instincts. And of course the fish studiously ignored the fly.

He has booked some golf lessons.

18 September 2022 Junior Contest Wickens Pool

The much colder night of two days ago blunted the edge of the carp's appetite and kept most of them tucked up against the island. Blunted appetite leads to lightly hooked fish which tend to shed the hook and several escaped after being played for some time. Fortunately the perch are least affected by cold so were still responsive.

Alex and Aston by casting directly to where the carp tend to shoal against the island caught a fair number but lost several lightly hooked fish. Ian and Tarlia suffered worst of all losing five, one with the help of a sunken twig, and ended up with nothing in the net at all. Adam had the best perch of the day about eight ounces and several smaller ones. Richard 'n Jimmy and Martyn 'n Rosie became dedicated perch fishers but even those little maggot pinchers were not quite so willing as normal.

Alex and Aston were worthy winners on the day.

Click on the images to increase their size.

14 September 2022 Archeological dig at Tenbury

The fishing platform at Peg 10 is a raised earth platform retained by stakes and backboards. These are beginning to crumble but I need to discover how to support the stakes as the earth they are driven down into is very shallow. On examination I found that the stakes are supported by nails driven through them into the ends of horizontal posts set into the bank.

I asked a neighbouring builder what size of posts he would use for such a task but he said that a retaining block was needed on the ends of the posts to stop them puilling out. I decided to see what the people who had built the platform had used. I did not want to dig a trench down the front of the platform to one of the horizontal posts and then follow it back to where it ended as this would weaken the platform. With winter floods coming I needed to be able to complete the task in a short time or leave it until next summer. The answer seemed to be to dig down through the platform, leaving a wall of undisturbed earth between the excavation and the river.

I found a puzzling wooden framework which needed delicate excavation as it had crumbled practically to soil. I couldn't find any substantial horizontal timber to match what I was looking for but eventually realised that I what I had found was a wooden pallet.!! I don't know yet if the stakes are joined to the pallet/s but I filled the hole back up again in case of flooding.

I might have to wait until next summer or a brainwave. In the meantime you can see some photos of my archeological dig by clicking on the slider  below.

Tenbury 1 13.9.22
Tenbury 2 13.9.22
Tenbury 3 14.9.22
Tenbury 4 14.9.22
Tenbury 5 14.9.22
Tenbury 6 14.9.22

8 September 2022    Newbridge on Wye

The visit was in the balance because of the stormy nature of the weather but we were lucky and the river was only up a few inches and reasonble clear. There were only two of us so we went to the head of the Aber Ithon Pool where I had caught a dozen on the previous visit but there were no takers. This was a return to normality for this spot and I wish I could work out why.

By lunch time Richard had netted two nice grayling, one to a dry fly and one to a nymph, while I had lost one on a nymph. After lunch I tried a couple of spots upstream with a nymph with no success then returned to the car for my wet fly rod. Calling in on Richard on the way downstream I found that he had increased his tally on the nymph by two more grayling. Then the rain pounded down for an hour while I fished Cornwall pool to no effect.

I tried a short section of the Aber Pool below where Richard was fishing and had one pluck on the wet fly while the rain continued and the river started to change colour. As we collected our gear and walked back to the car the rain stopped and the river looked better. Richard after his success with the nymph just below where the Ithon enters suggested that we fish the Bridge Pool. His succcess continued with two more grayling although one undersize.

The source of the colour in the water was revealed as the little brook which enters the main river at the head of the Bridge Pool. The coloured water clung to that bank so that it did not interfere with our fishing the Bridge Pool from the other side..

I was delighted that Richard had such success with the weighted nymph under conditions that were far from ideal.

3 September 2022    Tenbury

The river is very low indeed. Yesterday Vincent Brian and myself were exploring the fishing platform at Peg 10 with a view to renovating it and we met Mr Nott who owns the land alongside the river. He said the river was lower than he had ever seen it and he has lived here all his eighty four years!  

While it was dreadful for fishing it made up for it in allowing the fish to be seen. I saw some chub cruising around all in the two-and-a-half to five pound bracket and Richard had seen some as well at Peg 1. Dave Evason who fished the peg below me saw a small group of bream cruising around in Peg 6 (known as the Bream Hole) but couldn't get them interested. The same fate was in store for Eddie Bradley fishing at Peg 9 who could see a large shoal of bream in front of him but none of them would look at his pellet as they cruised up and down.

I had arrived late so did not have much time to reconnoiter. I plumped myself down at Peg 5 and realised that I was too visible sat out on the slabs exposed by the low water so retreated to the shade under the bank. The minnows kept making short work of the bread on my hook but I was gambling that any passing chub would pay attention to the minnows flashing at the  pellets of bread I kept flirting in. After an hour and a half a raiding party arrived and there were chub all over the place trying to grab some bread before it had all gone. A chunk of bread soon had one on the end but to net it I had to come out of hiding and cross the slabs to net it and the rest of the chub disappeared.

That result was anticipated so not too heartbreaking. What surprised me was how totally freaked out all the minnows were. I fished for another two and a half hours and didn't have a nibble on the bread. Perhaps they realised that when a shoal of chub goes on the rampage it is not a happy place for a small fish to linger but the completeness of the effect was  striking.

One of the great meteorlogical events of the year is the Autumn Equinox in late September which often has a profound effect on the weather. It broke up the long drought of 1976 and looks sure to do the same again this year. When Britain was a great seafaring nation the great gales of the equinox were regarded with mixed feeling of exhilaration and dread. Lets hope we get plenty of water but not  too much in the way of gales.

25 August 2022   Newbridge on Wye

A curious day. The river was two inches up as a result of rain on Plynlimmon a couple of days previously and I predicted a good days sport. Fished down the run-in to Cornwall with nymphs and not a touch from anything which was just as well as I discovered that I didn't have my scales with me. Back to the car and saw that Roger who was fishing just above the bridge was having problems so we sorted that out and he caught a small trout. Nipped home to pick up the scales and returned in time to have lunch.

After we had all decided where we would fish I tried down Grimwoods pool to see how it would fish and confirmed that it had completely gravelled up hopeless. We can only hope that the winter floods will clear some of it out. Moved out of Grimwoods and into the  run-in to the Aber Pool and BINGO I had found the grayling. A dozen fish later iincluding four over a pound it was time to pack up.

Dave normally does very well float fishinga worm but on this occasion he only caught small trout and grayling which was quite mystifying especially as the slight rise in  water level should in principal start the larger fish moving. The fish in the Aber Pool seemed to have moved out from their favourite haunt just below the confluence with the Ithon up to the head of the pool which rarely seems to hold them. This in itself is mystifying because if I had not seen it happen so often I would bet guineas to bricks that the run-in would be stuffed with grayling.

It is the mysteries that keep us retirning to fishing.

20 August 2022   Wickens Pool

The warm sunny weather continues and the carp enjoy every minute of it. I had to go to a family reunion and looking at the results I missed a good day's sport. Alex displayed his skill with the swim feeder once more to hit the top of the podium with over 38lbs to be 25lbs ahead of the field.

11 August 2022   Newbridge on Wye

Forecast was for 30 Degs.C with a gentle breeze, cloudless sky aand the monitoring stations recorded summer low with minimum compensation from the dams - just right for a picnic under a tree.

Roger started with nymphs just above the bridge and Richard went upstream to try out his new nymph rod. After Roger had caught a couple of smallish ones I went to see how Richard was faring. He had fished down the run-in without a touch and then got the flies into a tangle. With three weighted nymphs on the leader the potential for a scissor job tangle is never far away and this was close to that high quality of tangle. With two of us plucking at it we  managed to salvage it but could not persuade any fish to take.Normally it is a very productive pool so we assumed that some predator/s had recently visited it and the fish were keeping their heads down.

After lunch Roger and I went to the bottom pool and had a few trout and grayling on the nymph and I practised my untangling skills a few more times. The trout seemed to be packed together as they do near spawning time which was a bit strange but so is the weather.

It was so pleasant wading in the river that when we came out into the sun in the recently cut hay-field the blast of heat made us realised how lucky we were to have such a pastime. 

28 July 2022    Newbridge on Wye

I didn't know how it would fish as following our last visit the flow fron the dams had been augmented with an extra three inches for three days, then reduced by three inches for a day and then reduced by a further three inches to achieve the basic minimum flow that we saw in April. Then the rain had brought the Wye up a foot so that when we arrived at Brynwern bridge it was up about three inches but rather peaty.

Very few rises but Richard managed to catch a couple on his beloved dry fly late on having caught one in the morning on a nymph. Geoff caught a couple on the worm after he had worn himself out with the wet fly and Roger caught a couple and lost a couple more during a nymph fishing tutorial. The tutor  had a last hour and managed to demontrate how to catch (1) how to have good takes but not connect (4) how to catch a rock and almost fall in whilst unhooking it (1).

It was a very enjoyable day and we all caught fish.

14 July 2022    Newbridge on Wye

     A chance meeting with the chairman of the Gwent Anglers while fishing the Wye in Builth  a couple of days previously served us well.

     We met in Newbridge car park and Richard and I were talking as I attached a new leader to my nymphing line (20lb Cameleon). I was already in my chest waders which is a bit of a giveaway when it comes to guessing peoples intentions and a lady accosted Richard and declared that we shouldn't be fishing. She had seen on the television that all angling had been banned on the Wye because of the high water temperature. 

     I explained that the water released from the Elan Valley Dams cooled the water in the Wye so that the fish were not stressed where we were fishing near to Newbridge. Quoting the chap I had met a couple of days earlier I could tell her that he had taken the temperatures of the Usk and the Wye at Glasebury which were 24 degs.C and again at Builth where it was 17 degs.C The fish start to become stressed as the water temperature exceeds 20 degs. I thanked her for her concern for the well-being of the fish.

     By  lunchtime I had weighed four nice grayling on weighted nymphs and lost a few more and Richard hadn't had a rise to his dry-flies. The afternoon was devoted to an intense tutorial in weighted-nymph fishing with Richard landing five grayling and losing about an equal number. I think I have acquired a convert and with a bit more work can pack up my nymph rod go back to dry fly while I watch the rest of them nymph fishing.

7 July 2022     Wickens Pool

Usually a high weight competition the result was a little disappointing. Ian Wilson was missing from the field which didn't help. Alex Greenhow lost four fish during play which could have made a big difference as the one he landed was a five pounder. I was lucky as I decided that I needed a leak as I arrived at my chosen spot so wandered up the bank to seek relief under the big Lime tree. As I wandered I spotted a couple of carp near the side so decided to fish there instead of the original choice. 

Liquidised bread and bread punch was the favoured approached using Warburton's 20/20 bread. This is made from a mixture of brown and white flour. I don't know if it makes any difference of course but one day fishing the Irfon I caught 17 nice chub on floating bread. Significantly they would only take a piece that had some crust on it and ignored plain bread.

I baited with the liquidised bread and caught lots of roach and soon the carp came along to eat the floating bits. They swirled away from any pice of bread with a hook in it so Plan B was called for. Get out the expander pellets, toss some into a maggot box full of water, throw some in for the carp and when they started gobbling them up stick a softened one onto the hook, cast in and watch them gulp it down. Everything went well up to the final act of the drama when the carp came up to the hooked pellet and then shot off as though receiving an electric shock.

Moving the shot to half-depth for a slow sinking punched bread bait cast onto a handfulof liquidised bread gained me four carp and a handful of roach but I know that someone with a bit more nouse would have caught a lot more.

I was fishing in fairly shallow water up by the big Lime tree on the left as you look up the pool from the dam. The sun came out late in the after noon and the fish were in the warm water. Down by the dam in the deeper water two very talented anglers, Peter and Dave, struggled to get a bite simply because the fish were not there. 

They say it is better to be lucky than lovely - well I was lucky!

Come to Newbridge on Wye on Thursday (14th) and see if you can catch more grayling on a worm than Dave Evason.


30 June 2022   Newbridge on Wye   

On  Monday, three days before this outing, I had become fed-up waiting for the test match which was delayed by rain. I had my lunch then went down to Builth to fish my local water. It was up a couple of inches from local rain but the fish liked it and I caught several grayling and trout.

When I checked the river level for our competition I was delighted to see that it was three inches up at Rhayader a few miles upstream of Newbridge. As we all know nothing is certain in fishing and the fish did not like the day for some reason. At lunchtime it went very dark and I was sure we were in for a soaking but it passed with only a few spots of rain. 

I started very well but not very well! I walked down to the bottom pool and then slipped and slithered my way slowly across the stones to the head of the pool. I used to have a wonderful sense of balance and would wade quite swiftly but a tiny tumout on my acoustic nerve has hampered that but it was all worthwhile when I hooked a grayling of about fourteen ounces on my third cast. That was when the good start tarnished a bit. I reached behind me for my landing net which hangs down my back and realised that it was in the car along with the scales to weigh the fish. The grayling was swiftly returned to the river and the saying the the only fool dafter than an old fool is an older one sprang to mind. 

I caught a few during the day on a weighted nymph but Roger and Richard fared less well although Richard hooked a nice trout of about a pound which slipped the hook as he went to land it.

The river keeper Steven said that recently the fish had been rising well when he looked at the river in the mornings but on that particular morning the river had been dead. Just our bad luck.

What will happen at Wickens Pool next Thursday afternoon when we fish the afternoon and evening? (3 pm to 8 pm July 7)

25 June 2022    Newmill Bridge

A forecast of mixed weather gave us pause for thought when choosing what to put on. The threatened thunderstorm chose to just growl at us in the distance for which I was very thankful. I recall one occasion when it thundered and lightened all the way back to Tenbury and I never got out of third gear until I reached Wooferton because the road was awash.

I fished the armchair swim which really needed a bit more water to be productive. Had a chub about a pound first swim down with bread and another smaller one later on legered maggot. 

Peter Mountford fished below  the Pike Hole where I had seen fish rising all the time I had been working there. This was the swim which had harboured two trees including the Periscope tree. (See below) He caught lots of undersize chub and grayling there on maggots.

We were pleased to welcome new member  Henry Stephenson who liked the look of Peg 1 but had to curtail his fishing when his partner phoned to say she had locked herself out of the house. 

Richard like many before him was disappointed with the Pike Hole. It can produce fish at times but is very fiskle - perhaps the fish are frightened away by the name. Maybe if we change its name to The Chub Hole we might do better!

23 June 2022     Tenbury bank work

A volunteer for bank work?!! I met Vincent Bryan at Tenbury at nine oclock in the morning and we set off to clear Peg 4. This Peg has been ignored/written off since we bought the stretch because from the top of the bank all you could see were the tops of a fallen tree sticking up out of the water. Clambering down the bank revealed that in the present dead low water the tree is lying in about a foot to eighteen inches of water and presented few problems for removal. We didn't clear it completely but it is clear to fish. We need to cut several overhanging branches but that will be staightforward.

We went up to look at the pegs above us up to the top boundary and I was horrified to discover that contrary to my observations on the 31st of May the path from Peg 2 to Peg 1 was completely blocked. An ivy covered tree had fallen across the path forming a barricade about four feet high and twenty feet long - job for another day! The thermometer in the mid twenties and the humidity nearing 100% with thunder forecast if I was ever to see Vincent again it was time to call it a day. 

A very successful visit opening up a new stretch of the river and gaining a new fishing pal.

This coming Saturday (25th) we have a competition at Newmill Bridge which might benefit - or not - from the localised thundery weather. Then it's the Fly-Only competition at  Newbridge on Wye on Thursday (30th) hoping to start like our last visit there with a two pound grayling on my third cast.

16 June 2022   Newbridge on Wye

A lovely fishing day with sunny intervals and no wind to speak of until about an hour before we packed up. There were not many flies on the water and few rises apart from the tail of the Aber Pool. The grayling stoutly refused to take a dryfly or a traditional wet fly but would take worms and weighted nymphs. Dave Evason with his worms and I with the weighted nymphs managed to land eight sizeable grayling each but he pipped me on their total weight. His best grayling at 2-06-00 bested mine by six ounces He had three trout as well but at eight ounces each they were just under size.

Richard stuck to dry flies and caught two nice trout - a two pound river trout is good in anyone's book. Geoff had to leave early and Tony caught a nice grayling.

The hot weather is nice to be out in but means that the fish tend to feed early and late making it a struggle during the main part of the day, 

There is some rain in the forecast which might be enough to stir the fish for our next contest at Newmill Bridge. a week tomorrow (the 25th).   

5 June 2022  Newmill Bridge

     Peter Mountford who knows the Teme as well as anyone was kind enough to walk down our Newmill water in  February and mark the good fishing spots. Several were unfishable because of fallen trees and he took a couple of photos to demonstrate. One was in the Pike Hole  which was easy to cut off and winch out. The next one downstream was close to the bank and in low water I could get to where it was thin enough to cut with the pole pruner and winch out. Then  I realised that there was a twin to it angled out into the river with the tip of it just breaking the surface - the periscope tree! It shows up on one of Peter's photos but I ruled it out as inaccessible.

     About a fortnight ago I walked down there and thought that I had been too pesimistic. After several visit and many hours work I replaced the pruning blade with a bowsaw blade which bent alarmingly in the current. Using just the tip of the blade in the water I managed to slide it into the vertical cut I had made with the pruning saw. Then it was plain sailing (well relatively speaking). I cut it through in two place as I was getting it out and measured the pieces. They totalled 35ft. 10ins.

      I am interested to know how much it weighs. It wouldn't fit into the Society's weighing net so I will measure the diameter of the four cut ends, discard the weight of the tip end, use my "O" level geometry/trigonometry to work out the volumes of two truncated cones, and assume (this is the bit that drives my wife to distraction -" just assume normal temperature and pressure, normal barometric pressure, normal diastolic and systolic pressure, normal pH, normal car parkinng fees, oh and," the ultimate straw that breaks the camel's back  "experimental error. Why not just assume the answer?.") assume the density of soaked willow to equal that of water.

Click on the image to activate the slider

31 May 2022   Tenbury

     I thought I had better check what the winter floods had done to the Tenbury fishing. Fortunately apart from piling up flotsam over some of the steps there seemed to be no damage. I cut back the vegetation down the steps to make it clearer where they are and will cut some of the overhanging vegetation at Peg 1.

     I'm sorry that we have not cleared Peg 4 nor sorted out Peg 7 yet.

     If anyone has a walk down  and spots anything that they think will improve the fishing let me know and I will do my best to get it sorted. This applies to any of our fishing. 

22 May 2022  Armchair peg final

      The tree-up-the-trees was a slow task simply because I didn't know what it would do - and even a small dead tree weighs a couple of hundredweight or more. Starting from a couple of feet above my head it would do more than ruffle my hair-do! Fortunately all went well and cut through about four feet along from the root mass the heavy root-end swung.down to wedge out of the way. A few more hiccups on the way and the trunk was neatly cut and stacked in the nettle patch on top of the bank, The overhanging branches cut off, the final photo taken, two barrow loads of gear taken to the car and the final trip down the field to collect the telescopic pruners and then a final 60 mile drive to drain the oil out of the chain saw. Then nip down the road to collect the fish and chips.  You can die of boredom when you retire. 

Click on the image to activate the slider

Newmill Bridge 20.5.22 Armchair Peg 1
Newmill Bridge 20.5.22 Armchair Peg 2
Newmill Bridge 20.5.22 Armchair Peg 3
Newmill Bridge May 22 Armchair Peg 4
Newmill Bridge May 22 Armchair Peg 5
Newmill Bridge May 22 Armchair Peg 6

17 & 18 May  Arm-Chair Peg Newmill Bridge

     Peter Mountford had his tongue in his cheek when he christened this swim. I decided to make it easier (relatively speaking) by putting some steps down the bank. I called in at our car park in Tenbury and collected some short lengths of rail that I had stored there.which I use for strengthening the front edge of the steps. 

     My trek down to the peg was halted by a fallen dead tree which the walkers had stepped over but my wheelbarrow load of wooden rails would not surmouunt. I dumped the rails, spade and brush-hook and took the barrow back to collect the chain saw and its oil bottle. My little electric chain saw only has a 12 inch blade so I amused myself by cutting pieces out of the side of the trunk instead of just cutting it from both sides. Post-Covid weariness overcame me so I returned the next day to put the steps in.

    Having put the steps in I started looking at the peg from a fishing point of view. A small dead tree had arrived on the flood and was suspended in the trees with its top partway down the swim. Its side branches had broken off so it presented with the trunk and the remains of the root mass wedged between three trees. Several other overhanging branches also need cutting off. Work for another day!

14 May 2022   Wickens Pool

    Having had horrible weather for the first few meetings at Wickens Pool it seemed only fair that we should be more lucky this time. The forecast was for light winds and sun which should raise the water temperature and bring them on the feed but the fishing gods laughed at our hopes and instead of  feeding the roach and  perch decided on an orgy of spawning. The carp anglers were OK because the water temperature was not high high enough for the carp to become amorous but the silver fish anglers struggled for a bite.

     I was determined to catch on expander pellets on the pole but eventually swapped to maggots which brought me two small perch. At three inches they dwarfed the two perch that  maggot maestro Dave Hemming managed which struggled to register on the scales. The other maggot maestro, the other Dave, fared even worse by hooking one small fish which got off so didn't register on the scales at all. A very rare occasion for D.Evason.

     Having watched Alex landing one carp after another I changed to legered sweetcorn for the last hour and managed to catch a small carp which gave my net  some sort of decency. Inexplicably Richard Stowe didn't have any luck with the leger while Geoff Rimell discovered that it wasn't first time lucky at his debut at Wickens. He stuck with maggots on float and leger and never had a bite - a feat which on almost any other day would prove impossible. 

     Alex meanwhile was demonstrating his ability to build a swim with a swim-feeder and pellets catching eleven carp for 19-00-00. Shirley had a couple of carp as did Ian who showed his skill by landing the best fish of the day at 3-09-00. He lost another good fish which snagged him by the island.

     Congratulations to Alex for a star performance and commiserations to the unlucky.

23 April 2022   Wickens Pool

    Having had a settled spell the forecast of strong NE winds with gusts of 36mph and low temperature didn't do much for our confidence. I had decided to stick to pole fishing for the day using expander pellets not having used either for about 4 years. The pole elastic is Diawa Hydrolastic which I'm hoping does not deteriorate like latex but that was not put to the test. What had deteriorated was the expander pellet pump so I had to resort to hard pellets and bands which produced about six bites but no fish.

     I'm always wary of anglers who turn up late. Peter Mountford is a classic example who can arrive at lunchtime and half empty the pool by six o'clock. This time it was the turn of new member Nigel Phillips who wandered up a couple of hours later for a spot of pleasure fishing and beat us all out of sight. He fished from the slabs (about half way up the pool on the right hand side as you stand on the dam) floatfishing maggots and feeding casters. He had something of everything by the time he had finished with a best carp of 4-02-00 and best perch of 2-08-00.

      Ian Wilson as usual managed a good bag under the conditions caught mainly in the early afternoon. The two Daves beavered away but Dave Evason's perch of 1-10-00 assured him of third place. Shirley hooked and lost a carp shortly after the start but was left with a dry net.

      We were delighted to see Tony Quarterman turn up recovering slowly from a stroke but the fishing gods showed no mercy and he caught no more than Richard and myself.

      Congratulations to Nigel for a wonderful bag of fish and for showing us once more that the fish can be caught.

       I look forward to seeing you all again on the 14th of May with a working expander pump - you don't stand a chance!!


2 April 2020   Wickens Pool

    Sharp overnight frost, cold north-east wind, plenty of sunshine, what more could you want? Actually is wasn't quite as bad as I thought and as we waited to start the odd little roach were topping. The fishing gods rationed everyone to one fish over 6 ounces each to join the little roach and perch in the keepnet except for Dave Hemming who didn't get one. I thought that was a bit mean but perhaps the evil thoughts he was generating every time he got tangled in the bush didn't help. Everyone else was rationed to one carp over a pound and a quarter except for yours truly who had a perch of 1lb 14oz. 

     Shirley opened his account with a carp of 1lb 12oz and everyone thought that this was the day when Shirley showed us how good he really is but the fishing gods were just teasing and that was his only fish. Ian's carp was the best of the day at 3lb 8oz.

     It was a nice days fishing with everyone catching. Nobody expected  a big catch under the conditions so we were not too disappointed. When I returned home Mr Blackbird was thrilled with the result as he is feeding a nestful of demanding youngsters who really appreciate a beakful of maggots.

Wickenss 2.4.22 E
Wickenss 2.4.22 D
Wickenss 2.4.22 A
Wickenss 2.4.22 B
Wickenss 2.4.22 C


30 March 2022    Annual General Meeting   Upton Snodsbury

     The first AGM since 2019 due to the rules governing meetings during the Covid-19 Pandemic prohibiting such events. The meeting was held at the Twisted Spoon at Upton Snodsbury just east of Worcester. 

      The Chairman welcomed the ten members present and thanked them for turning out on a cold evening. He expressed sorrow for the passing of the President in December2020 who had been a member of the Society for seventy eight years having joined as a teenager on 1 January 1943. He fished until the final year of his life and had a great circle of friends outside of angling as well. We celebrated his wonderful life by having a toast in orange juice respecting his teetotal habit.

       The pandemic restrictions eased last Spring so we had nearly a full program of competitions and also allowed some work to take place at Tenbury. Nearly all of the pegs are now fishable. 

       The Chairman thanked the many people who helped with maintenance during the year, Ian Wilson and Shirley Allington who maintain the surroundings at Wickens Pool, Tony Whitney who mows a path alongside the river at Tenbury and put a new fence round the car park at Newmill Bridge, our secretary and treasurer who put in steps at  Tenbury, Peter Mounford who masterminds where to put in pegs at Tenbury and Newmill bridge, a new member Rob Knight who helped clear peg 1 at Newmill Bridge, our auditors Ed Bond and Martyn Macefield and Martyn again for his help with Health and Safety. Thanks also to members of the committee who gave their support over the phone during the pandemic and to the wizard of the spreadsheet Tony Bromley who sorts out the competition results. I think he is brilliant and when you see the competition results you will see why! Thanks also to all those whom I have ungraciously overlooked. Lastly and most importantly thanks to Richard Stowe who carries the whole of the Society.

       The business of the AGM was the presentation of the accounts, election of the Officers and Committee and some minor changes to the constitution to allow some flexibility in the event of another pandemic or similar disruption to society.

      The Secretary wearing his Treasurer's hat then presented the accounts for 2019, 2020 and 2021. These had been audited and circulated to the Committee, After some discussion the accounts were adopted.

       The AGM voted to re-elect the Chairman Lance Burton and the Secretary/Treasurer Richard Stowe unanimously.

       There was an important change in the officers of the Society forced by the demise of David McCowen our President since 2012. Tony Quarterman, one of the two Vice-Presidents, ruled himself out of election to President but was happy to remain as Vice-President as he is recovering from a stroke and did not want anything extra. The other Vice-President, Roger Onions  was happy to stand for President. That left us short of a Vice-President and at the pre-AGM committee meeting it was enthusiastically agreed that David Evason should stand for Vice President. The AGM endorsed the proposal that Roger Onions should be the Society's President  and Tony Quarterman and David  Evason be the Society's Vice Presidents.

       The Committee were re-elected en bloc and the minor changes to the constitution.passed without dissent.

       David McCowen had been one of our auditors for years and after he passed away Ed Bond had been co-opted. It was proposed that Ed should join Martyn Macefield as the Society's Honorary Auditors this proposal was passed unanimously.

That concluded the official business of the AGM.

       After a short break the Presentation of Prizes took place with the newly elected president Roger Onions presenting the prizes.  We starting with the the Junior Shield won in convincing fashion by Aston Haywood  with 7lb of carp. He could not be present to collect it  and it was passed to Shirley who promised to hand it on. The President's Shield for the heaviest fish caught in any of the Society's competitions on home water  was won by Ed Bradley with a lovely bream of 5-05-00 from Tenbury. Peter Mountford won the Izaak Walton Challenge Cup for the heaviest combined weights from any two competitions on home waters.He had 4-02-00 at Newmill on the 19th of June and 16-12-00 at Tenbury on the 25th September for a total of 20-14-00. To his embarrassment the chairman scooped up the remaining five trophies but his wife explained that he was the only one who turned up to all the competitions - so that's OK then !!!



    The President presents the Roland 

      Painter Cup to Lance Burton

   The President presents the Challenge

          Cup to Peter Mountford

      The President presents the             Presidents Shield to Ed Bradley

29 March 2022  Newmill Bridge   Banclearing

      Back to Peg 1. Removed the branches that were dangling into the water. Left the two main branches dangling fron a "hinge" of split willlow. They can last for years and take hours to cut down. Fortunately they are well downstream from where you fish the swim.

      I have added a photo of the hinge and two before-and-after sliders

Newmill Bridge 29.3.22 C
Newmill Bridge 28.3.22 A

28 March 2022  Newmill Bridge   Bankclearing

    I decided to take a photo of Peg 1 now that Rob and I had opened it up a bit to demonstrate what we are trying to sort out.

26 March 2022   Newmill Bridge   Bankclearing

    Rob Knight had volunteered to help me. We were working on Peg 1 which is a short distance above the Pike Hole. We made steps down to the peg and a couple of overhanging branches removed opened it up nicely. Clearing our way downstream through the flood debris revealed the extent of the obstructions in the water from the fallen trees

     We then ran into a problem that I have had before when we tried to saw through some branches which were hanging straight down. The teeth on the pruning saw do not have much offset so unless the cut tend to open as you get deeper into the branch it tends to jamb.I shall return on Monday and start from the tail of the obstructions.

      We had made a good start on the peg and my thanks to Rob for his expertise with the chain saw.


19 March 2022   Wickens Pool

    Brilliant sunshine and bitterly cold east wind made my absence from the field of battle owing to a positive Covid test less of a test of will power than it would normally be. The result echoed my gloomy predictions but congratulations to al those who took part.

To persevere, never mind to catch something, when everything is against you is commendable.

    So congratulations to Alex and Ian for managing to attract a carp apiece and to our silver fish experts (Dave and Dave) to work tirelessly to try to beat one another. This rivalry extends beyond the boundary of the IWAS and is sometimes decided on the number of minnows caught so they know all about fishing gruellers.

     Next time it will all be different and bulging keepnets will be the order of the day.

1 March 2022   Newmill Bridge

     Had a great bonfire. The bramble patch where I had been throwing all my branches was hiding another heap of branches. They had been thrown there when we had a previous onslaught on the car park before the pandemic. All gone up in smoke !

When the river settles I can get back to pulling branches and trees out of the river but there are plenty of overhanging branches to keep me busy.

I look forward to seeing you at Wickens Pool on Saturday the 19th of this month.

22 February 2022

    Arrived 9.15 a.m. at Newmill Bridge but even my firelighting skills could not light a bonfire in those conditions.

21 February 2022

    I was going to have my big Bonfire at Newmill to get rid of the branches and debris I have built up clearing all the rubbish off the collapsed fence round the car park. The named storms have prevented me from demonstrating my arsonist skills for the past 10 days or so but there seemed to be a window of opportunity today. The deluge of the past few days put and end to my plans and when I checked on the various water level monitoring stations the last glimmer of hope disappeared. The EA then contacted me to say that Burford and Tenbury were going to be flooded which confirmed my expectations.

    I don't think it will be a monster flood which will sweep all the branches down to the sea but the roads which I use to travel to Newmill will be flooded. Very frustrating.   I'll try again tomorrow.

14 February 2022

     Back in action again although I haven't been completely idle. I mentioned to Peter Mountford that it would be helpful if he would mark the best swims at Newmill Bridge as he did for the Tenbury Water. Sure enough he emailed me to say that he had markrd the best swims but that overhanging trees and fallen trees in the swims were a problem. He sent me photos of two of swims.The easiest from my point of view was the Pike Hole which only had one tree in it.

      I cut off the main side branches, cut off the top ten feet, cut it off near to the bank, winched it out and cut the trunk up into three pieces.

      The next spot, Peter's favourite peg, posed more of a problem because it was a bigger tree and the bank was much steeper. It was in deeper water so I couldn't see what side branches were underwater. Fortunately it lay close to the bank for the first ten feet or so and the trunk had dwindled to about 9 inches diameter before it became out of reach. So cut off the side branches, winch out the trunk, cut it into manageable  pieces BUT

      The big but was revealed when I had pulled out the tree . Its twin which had grown up alongside it had also fallen in!. The photograph only shows about half of the tree I have since removed. The presence of the other one, which angles out from the bank, is revealed by a little "V" on the surface where the tip of one of its branches breaks the surface about half way across the river (see white arrow). The two trees are each about two feet across at the base and I cannot access the second tree many feet  along. If I manage to cut through it I might have a tiger by the tail as my winch line is only good for one and a half tons. I will have to wait for dead low Summer level to have a good look at it.

       My thanks to Peter for marking out the pegs and taking the photos of the fallen trees obstructing the swims.


       I decided that the car park and its fences took precedence over the trees in the river. The fences were almost obliterated when the river flooded over them some time before the pandemic. The roadside hedges are marked by heaps of brambles and dead nettles and goosegrass. A old sprawling willow tree in the fence between the car park and the field had collapsed and the Gods of Evil had ordained that the big branches that split off the tree lay directly on top of the barbed wire fence. They had rooted through the wire just to help matters. 

     I have cut off most of the branches now and pulled the wire free

      I'm now going to have a great bonfire then see about putting up another fence