Latest News and Pictures 2022

Latest News and Pictures 2022


Entries in reverse date order


STOP PRESS

The crops have been harvested at Tenbury so walking to the Pegs is much easier



11 August 2022


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