News & Pics 2023

News and Pics 2023

Entries in Reverse date order

26 November 2023    Christmas Competition

The forecast two days previously was enough to keep all but the the keenest anglers in the warmth of their fireside but as I set out at 7.30 the frost had softened on the windscreen and the car thermometer recorded a relatively balmy +2 degrees. The updated forecast was for a maximum of 5 degrees with drizzle. By the time I had organised my tackle and gone back to the car for my keepnet it was nearly time for an early lunch. A cicuit of the pool revealed that Richard had caught two small perch, Peter had caught a roach and a perch, Dave and Ian had nothing and Steve had recorded two bites. Wow I had some catching up to do -  but not before an early lunch. I opted for a whip with a 2.5lb hooklength to an eighteen hook and flourescent pinkies with liquidised bread to attract the hungry hordes.

I could hardly believe it when the bristle suddenly sank for half its length and a bristling little perch was swung aboard. Now I haven't done much of this whip fishing so when the next two fish fell off the hook I had to ponder what was wrong. I realised that I was not taking advantage of whole idea of the whip which is to have a fixed length of line so that the fish can be swung in without having any slack line to worry about. I was fishing with three sections of the whip to swing the float out but had to unship one section before I could bring the fish to hand. I added three feet of line from the tip to the float, unshipped one section and cast the float using just the  two sections (and the top kit). Then I was in business and didn't lose another fish. Several fish did fall off but only into the correctly positioned keepnet. This old dog was learning quickly.

I was lucky in that I made the right choice of tactics from the start. Dave should have thrashed me under those conditions but  as it turned out as he  wasted half his fishing time fishing the outside line. When he moved to the inside he started catching straight away. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

May I wish you all a very good festive season and I look forward to seeing you all at the first competition in the New Year.

26 October 2023  Newbridge on Wye   Outing

Despite flooding in most of the country the upper Wye catchment missed most of the rain. The worst affected river was the Ithon which came up six feet on the 21st of the month at Disserth a couple of miles upstream of where it enters the Wye which is where we fish. The Wye itself upstream at Rhayader only rose three feet. This all pales into insignificanc compared to the Teme at Tenbury which rose fifteen feet or more which shows the astonishing variability of our British weather.

I tried below the Ithon confluence during the morning but only caught nine trout which are now out of season and out of condition but very hungry having just spawned. 

Pete fished just below the confluence on the right bank (opposite side to the Ithon) fishing in the clearer Wye water before it had mixed with the Ithon water. He caught several trout on legered maggot plus two nice grayling. 

Pete's arch rival Bob caught a nice chub of 3lb 10oz and lost a bigger one (of course) in the submerged grass at his feet. Pete's total weight fell 6oz short of Bob's which relegated him to second place amid light hearted crowing from Bob and dark mutterings from Pete.

I lost a chub to sunken branch and Richard had several nibbles but othing more.

So end the IWAS outings to Newbridge for another year. Luckily we did not have a single outing cancelled because of high water but were bedevilled with peat in the water for most of the season which cannot be avoided as is due to the weather conditions. The outings were certaily livened up by the good hearted banter of Geoff Rimell's two soulmates Bob and Pete.

Looking forward we have the Christmas Contest at Wicken's Pool on Sunday 26th November 2023  10 am - 2 pm.  

21 October 2023    Ham Bridge     Pictures

Steve Johnson knew the competition here was cancelled but came to see what it was like. We can thank him for the pictorial evidence to show that it was over the level of being fishable.

16 October 2023 Tenbury Pleasure fishing

At last there was some extra water in the Teme and a nice bit of colour. I'm no expert in coarse fishing a river using a worm but I fancied trying it. When I have fished a worm it has usually been a lobworm but I bought some large Dendrabenas, however I reckoned without the voraviousness of minnows. Peg 6, the Bream Hole, yielded lots of nibbles from the hoardes of the miniature pirahnas but nothing more.

Peg 5 second cast produced a 3lb Chub which I weighed and returned without a photo as I expected to catch something bigger. Two casts later produced a bigger Chub which I unhooked and left in the net while i put my rod tidy. The chub rebelled against being treated in such a cavalier fashion, gave a big flip which threw it out of the net and back into the river. Totally mortified at losing my photo opportunity I tried for another quarter of an hour there but no joy.

Peg 9 looked really good so I baited up with some hemp and started once more legering with worms. I spent the next two hours trying all sorts of ways to hook a worm on a barbless hook in such a fashion that the minnows couldn't pull it off. They were amazingly good at it and when I succeeded in getting it to stay on they made even the largest of Dendrabens appear very second hand after about ten minutes. Eventually perseverance had its reward with a 3lb 10oz bream for my photoshoot.

12 October 2023    Newbridge on Wye

Much to my astonishment we had a very pleasant day's fishing. There had been a small rise in the level the previous day but the forecast was for heavy overnight rain. I checked it at Brynwern at 5 o'clock on Wednesday but the Ithon was running fairly clear and the Wye, although fairly high was not impossible.- damn the overnight rain! As it turned out nowhere in the catchment above Llandrindod had a drop of rain overnight so we could fish in very nice conditions even if it was a bit high.

What a difference a night makes. That night the gauge at home collected 1.1 ins, the Ithon at Disserth, just up from where it comes in a Brynwern where we fish, was up 6ft 3ins and the Wye at Rhayader, a few miles upstream, was up 3ft 3ins It would have been totally unfishable - the scenario that I expected the day before.

The day was ideally suited for trotting a worm but an EA Bylaw from a forgotten age when salmon used to run up the Wye in thousands banned the use of worms in October. Maggots are allowed on the Wye  from the beginning of October and are permitted to be used on the stretch we fish at Newbridge but I was so convinced by the forecast that I hadn't bought any so it was going to be sweetcorn for the grayling and luncheon meat for the chub.

A delayed start meant that I didn't throw in some sweetcorn until one o'clock but as I caught a one pound grayling on my second cast I was obviously going to empty the river so the delay didn't matter. Dear reader, as you may be astounded to discover, it didn't quite work out like that. Before it was time to pack up I had tried legering sweetcorn for half an hour to zero effect and trotted the rest of the time. I hooked four more and lost three of them although the one I landed was the best of the day at 1lb 14oz  which was of some comfort. 

Pete showed once more what a competent angler he is with a good catch of grayling complemented by a 4lb 1oz chub plus a lovely out-of-season trout of nearly 2lb. Richard found some nice grayling in the slower water above where the Ithon drops in with four fish with the best going 1lb 13oz. Bob fished hard for several small trout and one respectable grayling while Geoff, hampered by his bad knee, drew  the short straw and only caught one small trout.

The rain god Pluvius granted us a bonus day for fishing for which we were very grateful.


28 September 2023    Newbridge on Wye

Twenty four hours before and both the Wye and the Ithon were reported as carrying extra water but not coloured although Storm Agnes was due later that day and evening.  In the event the Wye catchment was only on the edge of the storm although its rainfall had further increased the water levels come the day itself.  There were several inches above the concrete apron around the bridge parapet and the square buttress upstream of the apron was also well covered.

As a consequence it was a day for coarse angling rather than fly fishing.  Pete fished beneath the first field gate although he found it less productive than usual due to the speed of the water and by then an element of colour from the Ithon.  He caught one good grayling to his credit.  Bob and Richard fished in the clearer water of the Wye above Junction Pool and each caught one good chub. 

Lance unusually was unavailable on the day and with only three contestants the outcome as summarised on the results page is readily interpreted.  A day of quality rather than quantity.  Well done Bob!

Richard Stowe

14 September  2023     Newbridge on Wye

The river at a good height for fishing but the thunderstorms at the weekend had intensified the peat in the water. The afternoon featured a continuous heavy drizzle further reducing insect activity already dampened by the peat.

The conditions did not affect the appetite of the fish for worms however as Pete, Geoff and Ed demonstrated. Pete in particular revelled in the conditions having a cracking day including a 1 3/4 lb Grayling, a 2lb Trout and a 4lb 2oz Chub.

The fly fishers struggled with Steve having the most exasperating day losing several fish, one almost over the rim of the net.

Losing fish happens in all forms of fishing and is always most common when the fish are not feeding well and Heaven knows they were not taking well that day. To hook one at all in those circumstances was a minor triumph which makes losing one in play all the more painful. 

Better luck next time.


9 September 2023     Tenbury

River low and clear and the weather hot and stuffy on the sixth day of a heatwave with a record temperature recorded in the South-East on Friday and thunderstorms forecast. Fortunately we are fishing on the South bank with deep shadows at most of the pegs. Amazingly eight anglers turned up which is the best turnout for a contest on the Teme since Adam were a lad!

Steve Johnson fished Peg 8 runnning a maggot down for a load of undersize dace and chub in addition to a nice chub and a very nice bream.

Ed bradley had a lovely Chub at Peg 6 on a pellet early on with a lot of knocks but no hook-ups afterwards.

Robert Brookes on Peg 10 trotted maggots and eventually found he could only hook the fish in his swim by fishing very light. Two pound bottom to a fine wire hook resulted in a four pound seven ounce bream in the net but exasperatingly three straightened out hooks - one in play and two at the net. 

Dave Evason trotted maggots at Peg 5 and caught large numbers of undersize chub and dace but nothing sizeable. Richard saw several chub cruise through his swim at Peg 2 but nothing disturbed his bait. I fished Peg 1 with a light leger and managed to foul hook a nice bream which didn't even leave a scale behind.

My congratulations to all who fished in such unlikely conditions. I draw consolation from the number of fish which were sighted during the day and pray that one day we will get good fishing conditions to do justice to the stretch.


3 September 2023   Wickens Pool   Junior Contest

Once again Richard and Jane organised a wonderful day for the junior members of the Society with glorious Summer weather which subdued the carp but not the perch. This is a team event with a senior member mentoring each junior and when the perch and roach are feeding eagerly the senior member can get a bit frazzled putting maggots on, taking fish off, unhooking trees, shirts, grass, keepnet, and trying to put up their own gear. Sometimes a wandering voluteer will give a hand with the putting maggots on, taking fish off, etc. giving chance for the senior to cast in.  

Everyone hooked fish but Ian's came unstuck whilst his team member Tarlia came to the rescue with a nice carp on the pole. Her's was the biggest fish caught but not enough to beat the combined might of Rosie and Martyn by a winning margin of seven ounces swelled by a lovely Perch of one pound four ounces.

Jimmy came top of the numbers column helped by family members who were initiated into the arcane mystery's of putting maggots onto a hook, etc. Phoebe was enchanted by the little perch she caught and no doubt will finish on the podium in years to come.

The pool looked a picture with its mown margins and trimmed trees thanks to the hard work of Shirley and Ian whose efforts  deserve many thanks.

Team Macefield
Rosie's big perch
Rosie, Richard, Martyn and Jane
Look at my perch
Junior Contest 2023
Rosie winner 2023
Martyn, Rosie, Richard and Jane
Phoebe with a perch
Phoebe's catch
Rosie big Perch Admirers
I'm sure it's in here somewhere
All going back
Phoebe and Dad 2023
Biggest fish of the day

31 August 2023  Newbridge on Wye

The river was approaching Summer level although still covering the slabs below the junction of the Ithon. Still a trace of peat in the water affecting the insect life. A colder day of late with some drizzle from time to time. 

Most decided to go downstream while I went to the top pool. I soon hooked a trout which got off then a trout and a grayling. This was memorable in that I had never fished this stretch for so long without catching a grayling which I put down to the peat in the water.

When the peat dries out on the hills in dry weather (as we had in June) some chemical changes allow rain falling on it to leach out variouse tannins and acids. These continue to leach out until the peat becomes thoroughly soaked and stabilised from heavy rainfall. These contaminants from the peat seem to depress the fish and the insect life in the water and make fishing more difficult.

The results were dominated by Geoff on his second visit this season who caught three lovely grayling over a pound and a nice chub of four pounds six ounces. By a curious twist of fate the results were dominated  by the weight one pound thirteen ounces. Geoff's best grayling weighed one pound thirteen ounces. Pete's grayling weighed one pound thirteen ounces. Richard's two grayling added up to one pound thirteen ounces and my grayling and trout totalled one pound thirteen ounces. this added up to one winner and three runners-up.

What a strange day.

The Junior Competition at Wicken's Pool on the 3rd September is next and Tenbury on the 2th of September before we are back here again at Newbridge on the 14th.

26 August 2023  Wickens Pool  competition

The forecast thunderstorm made a token appearance in the afternoon with a few grumbles in the distance but apart from one fairly heavy shower the weather was OK until we had packed up. The heavens then opened as we stood under a tree while Richard announced the results.

The carp were not throwing themselves onto the hook by any means and Ed did well to land four including one beauty  of four and three quarter pounds. Dave Hemming had a good mixed bag off the dam including a carp and a cracking perch of one pound seven ounces with a multitude of small roach and perch. 

Ian Wilson had a couple of carp and some bits while Shirley had one carp and a couple of small perch. I stuck to an elasticated whip hoping that the carp might move in on the maggots. Dave Evason was also hoping that the carp might move in but had to leave early so missed the often productive last hour.

The year has turned towards Autumn and the water temperature has started to dip which often makes the fishing a bit patchy.

I hope that next contest will be in a good patch !

17 August 2023  Newbridge on Wye    competition

River still yo-yo-ing with heavy storms in the hills bringing down more peat. The Ithon adding some colour to the river but less than on the last visit here. They still would not respond to weighted nymphs so after lunch resorted to bread fished on a light leger. This brought me a couple of very welcome chub.

We are all hoping that the river will return to Summer level for our next outing here. 

5 August 2023

Change of Meeting Place for Fishing Trips  to Newbridge.

Due to workmen's vehicles being  parked in the car park we have decided to abandon meeting there and instead go directly down to Brynwern Bridge. If you are not sure where that is then contact me or Richard. 

Lance Burton    01597823119    07775735355

Richard Stowe     01902 796462    07976170040

3 August 2023   Newbridge on Wye competition

River up a few more inches than the previous meeting with Ithon carrying a little colour. This improved a little in the afternoon but made fishing below difficult. Wading in the Wye can be difficult at the best of times but when you cannot see in clearly then it is asking for trouble.

Steve went downstream but did not know the water well enough to find a place to fish. Richard fished over the edge of the slabs below the Ithon and was rewarded at lunchtime by a hatch of fly which brought the trout and grayling to the top. He enjoyed half an hours fishing and managed to catch a couple trout and a grayling before the flies stopped. 

I had a memorable days fishing on the Usk once when it was the colour of tomato soup and wondered how the devil the fish could see up through three feet of muddy water. Then I realised that the fish follow the nymphs up as they  travel from from the bottom and take the flies as they hatch so they are not doing what appears  to be inpossible - they are not seeing a fly on the surface through three feet of muddy water! If the flow isn't too strong they hang around near the surface and wait for the next nymph to come to the top and hatch.

Bob Griffiths a new member on his first trip to Newbridge stuck to coarse fishing tactics float fishing with worms and sweetcorn  before switching to bread on  the lead. He is a proficient fly fisher but took the advice of his friend and winner of the previous visit to Newbridge, Pete Watts, to stick to coarse tactics under the conditions. Peter didn't do quite as well as on his previous visit but had a fine grayling of about two pounds.

We have been lucky not to have been flooded off so far this year with the crazy weather but it would be nice to have it settled for a few days before the next visit.

Here's hoping,     Lance  

20 July 2023  Newbridge on Wye Competition

The river was several inches up due to a combination of the previous week's rain and an increase in the water being being

released from the dams. Water is abstracted from the Wye in many places during its journey to the sea for domestic, commercial and agricultural purposes. When the depth of the water over the weir at Monmouth fall below a certain level this triggers an increase in the water being released from the Elan Valley dam complex.

It's good to see new members making their mark, Pete Watts on his first visit to the water topping the charts with a mixed bag (one trout, one grayling and one chub) weighing five pound three ounces and Steve Johnson on his third visit catching the best trout of the day at one and a half pounds. It was also good to see Geoff Rimell here who is by no means a new member but doesn't find time to viisit us frequently. His arthritic knee is limiting his mobility but he still managed to catch a couple of grayling and a one pound six ounce trout.

The regulars were headed by our hard working Secretary Richard who caught the most fish of the day with one trout and four grayling including best grayling of the day  weighing one and a quarter pounds earning him second place in the charts. Our worthy President Roger showed Geoff how to catch that grayling which had risen all afternoon just below him by delicately presenting a small Red Tag.

How did the Chairman get on you are all bursting to know? Well if I had placed the four grayling and the single trout that I caught head to tail on a suitable flat rock they would have been almost as long as Pete's chub ! 

I learned a great deal which I will use to good effect in a fortnight's time.  Lance

13 July 2023  Wickens Pool  Afternoon/Evening Competition

We had some heavy rain storms in the days preceding the competition which tends to unsettle the fish after a spell of hot weather. I started fishing with bread but swapped to sweetcorn to try to catch some larger specimens after catching some very tiny roach. I caught a couple of better ones but that dried up. Back to the bread and the tiny roach had lots of fun growing fat on that. Swapped over to maggots and little perch - well they were different but not much bigger. Then I went into the madhouse and tried to catch the carp which were slurping down the liquidised bread. I have caught them on the past on floating expander pellet under similar conditions but had left those all at home. There were a couple of orange carp which were hilarious when they mouthed a piece of bread with a hook in it, setting off in a cloud of spray. For all their hysterics they kept returning but were too canny to engulf the hook.

Shirley did well to get a couple of carp by persevering with a swim feeder out to the island but they wouldn't settle down to feed. Ian hooked a carp which gave him the runaround before coming off at the net. He thought that perhaps it was foul hooked because it was so difficult to control. Richard caught a carp fairly early on but resorted to perch bashing with maggots.

Dave Evason can normally be guaranteed to attract a couple  carp to go with the silvers but they failed to materialise while Dave Hemming also soldiered on with the maggots. He was fortunate to be on a larger stamp of fish than his namesake and also attracted a small carp. A well earned mixed bag at the end of the day.

6 July 2023  Fly-Only Competition Newbridge on Wye

Prepared to set off, all the gear in the car, pulled on the breathable waders (akin to putting a sausage back into its skin), gave the wading boots a bang to knock out the scorpions then checked that there nothing else in there and was disconcerted to find that the inside of the uppers felt like a hedgehog. The uppers are made of a mesh--like material which allows the water t drain out when one climbs out of the water but is apparently peculiarly attractive to hay seeds of which there had been an abundance on the banks of the Teme the previous weekend. 

Climb out of the sausage skin, take off the thick socks, bundle the waders,socks and boots into the car and rush off to the car park in Newbridge. Not an auspicious start.

We all moved down to the bridge at Brywern and met the river keeper. Everyone tackled up and moved off and I pulled the laces out of my wading boots, then it chucked the rain down, so I struggled into a waterproof and got into the car, removed a handful of spikey hayseeds from the uppers of the wading boots, put the laces back in, pulled on my thick stockings and pulled on my waders. On with the boots, wading jacket, clipped on the wading staff. clipped on the net, locked the car and set off down the riverside track, turned round after a hundred yards, because I had forgotten the bag with the scales and I have bored you enough so I won't tell you about falling in and so on.

We had several small rises of the river since the start of the previous weekend so I thought that the weighted nymph might fish well and so it proved for me. Fish rose below the confluence of the Ithon but were very difficult to catch. I think perhaps they were taking greenfly because they were everywhere that you touched the vegetation. Catching them in that scenario requires very tiny flies and light leaders and I will have to spend some time at the tying vice. I will read up about it on the internet to gain further insight and suggestions.

I was lucky to catch a nice chub in the late afternoon. Using a string of three nymphs with a large heavy nymph on the point to take down the two light droppers I must have dropped the big nymph in front of the fish. The wind was ruffling the surface

which would have hidden me from the chub but it was a very welcome addition to the bag at just over four pounds.

Let's hope that we have a change in water conditions that promotes some larger flies to get onto the water.

Yes it was worth falling in for,  Lance

1 July 2023  Competition  Tenbury

I advised Richard to fish Peg 6 while I fished Peg 3 because I know all about fishing on the Teme (and everywhere else for that matter). Peg 3 is about three feet deep over bedrock with the odd rocks and variations in depth while Peg 6 has more depth and mystery. In Peg 6 a rock shelf extends a couple of yards out from the bank then drops off to about five feet shallowing up to about three feet midstream before dipping to four feet before shallowing up to the far bank. When the water is dead low like today the current tends to leave our bank here leaving a narrow strip of slack water. . When the water is over a foot up the fish move out of the main flow to lie over the slabs.

I put a few handsful of cooked hemp into the middle of the stream, threw in some soaked bread and followed it down with a small float to catch the expected chub. Unfortunately that did not bear fruit.

I threw in some more hemp and flirted in some maggots. Baited up the float kit with two juicy maggots, tried different depths but couldn't even catch a minnow. Tried a light leger with a couple of maggots but couldn't get a bite  Put in some more hemp and went to see Richard but he hadn't caught anything, returned to my swim to find that the chub had arrived. About eight of them were feasting on the hemp. 

A new member named Bernard (no not Venables) turned up along with his wife to watch me fail to catch chub. He was becoming quite animated seeing all these chub not eating my maggots so I took him to speak to Richard while I went to the car for some swim feeders. For the first time in about forty years I hadn't brought any with me! I emptied out all the tackle from my spares bag but drew a blank. No open ended feeders, no block end feeders, no light feeders, no heavy feeders, no black feeders, no green feeders, no clear feeders, no feeders disguised as pebbles - all safely tucked up at home. 

I remembered catching some chub on the Wye on sweetcorn which proved difficult until I reduced the weight to one number 4 shot. With a BB shot they could pick up a grain without disturbing the shot, chew off the grain and spit out the hook. Using the number 4 shot the line drfted down as the fish picked up the bait and I caught three chub over four pounds before the were spooked. I couldn't use the same approach here as the wind was gusting too much. I opened a tin of sweetcorn and tried of course but it was impossible!

I threw the remainder of the hemp to the chub, the sweetcorn to a pairof swan with seven cygnets, packed away the maggots and the nets and rods. Waved goodbye to an estimated fifteen chub stuffing themselves on hemp and sweetcorn and went home.

"A sadder but a wiser man he rose the morrow morn."

I'll remember the swimfeeders next time,    Lance

22 June 2023  Competition  Newbridge on Wye

Low and clear did not put off the grayling from nailing Dave Evason's worms trotted down the runs. He caught one of the best grayling we have caught at 2-12-00 along with one at 1-14-00 and another at 1-12-00. He had thirteen grayling altogether for 13lbs which is good going in anyone's book.

It was tight between the rest of us with new kid on the block Steve Johnson shading it from the old brigade. Tony Whitney might have put us all in the shade, hooking a specimen of Salmom salar which considered the situation for a short while before deciding to take Tony's Red Tailed fly back to the sea. Oh sweet sorrow! [Editor's note: all salmon must be returned immediately and can not be weighed in.]

It is curious how memory plays tricks. We were all convinced that last year we caught mainly 12oz grayling and no large ones but I see from the records that at this first outing last year we had a trout of 2lb and two grayling over 2lb.

Tenbury is next then it is back to Newbridge. I will have to buy another loaf and tie some flies.

17 June 2023  Competition  Newmill Bridge

Steve Johnson made us all excited with his description of catching about 30 fish, mainly dace, the day before at Peg 1. He was trotting maggots and there was a fair amount of colour in the water from a local storm. The colour had mainly dropped out now unfortunately but there was still a hint left.

John Stevens went off down to the bottom end of the stretch and Steve went to the Pike Hole. Richard fancied the Arm Chair swim  I have always fancied Peg 1 since Rob Knight and I cleared it out about 12 months ago so this was my chance. I wasn't put off by the thought that Steve had caught them all the day before as I was fishing with prayer-bread bread for Chub.

Prayer-bread is made from fairly fresh sliced bread. Take two slices and fold in half like a book. With a hand on either side dunk the bread in the water. Immediately lift the bread out of the water and press your hands together as in prayer to express most of the water out of the bread. Separate the slices so that they do not stick together. The aim is to drive out most of the air without crushing the structure of the bread into a paste.  Leave it for a couple of minutes for the water to soak into the bread. Tear off a crust fom one side of the slice then tear off a thin ribbon from the exposed edge. Drape the ribbon over the shank of the hook and pinch off the excess.  

Things went according to plan and I ended up with three nice chub and two chublings.

Steve had seven nice dace and a few chublings in the Pike Hole but his swim died after lunch despite fishing some luncheon meat on a leger for a while.

2 June 2023  Pollution scare at Tenbury

On Friday morning it was discovered that one of the underground petrol holding tanks of the filling station situated at the end of the bridge had sprung a leak. Petrol was finding its way into the river and the Environmental Agency and the emergency services were alerted.

Steve Johnson sent me an email alerting me to the situation which I read in the evening. The next morning (4th) I went to Ham Bridge, Newmill Bridge and Tenbury. It was a sunny day but the river had some cloudiness in it which restricted fish spotting. 

At Ham Bridge I walked the length of the stretch without seeing anything unusual. I spoke to Mr Wicken's at the farm who had not heard of any problems (nor had he heard about the petrol leak!)

At Newmill I saw three chub cruising around above the bridge. I walked down to the little wood checking at various places on the way.  A short distance  below the bridge I went down to the water's edge and under the trees the smell of petrol was quite strong but the mayflies were hatching at the Armchair Swim without any apparent difficulty.

At Tenbury on Peg 2 I saw one chub move out from under the trees on the far bank into the main current and on Peg 3 there were two fish moving over the gravel in mid stream. At Peg 12 there were some duckling which appeared to be fit and well.

I couldn't smell petrol there.

It would seem as though the pollution has not affected the environment  in a major way thank goodness.

13 May 2023  Wickens Pool Competition

A cold northerly breeze overnight stopped the carp feding until late afternoon. That winter standby the perch were prepared

to take maggots from the off and the roach followed suit a bit later for the two Daves  but I failed to ask Dave Evason what he caught his two carp on.

Ian caught a few bits on maggot then when the carp moved in had seven carp in an hour and a half. Why no carp moved into the swims of Shirley and Richard we will never know.

22 April 2023 Wickens Pool Competition

A cold night and a misty morning didn't bode well. Dave Hemming started after an hour with a couple of small perch and by lunchtime had a few small roach as well. Shirley made an early start as well with two small perch but try as he might he didn't add to the bag.

Early afternoon saw Richard catch the first carp of the day but his expectations withered on the vine while Dave continued to accumulate small roach and perch with one bigger perch to raise his hopes. Late afternoon saw Ian break his duck with a sturdy roach of 3 ounces. I caught a few small roach on maggot and bread.

Late afternoon saw one of the areas that John had been aiming at all day with his pellet feeder suddenly come alive. Ten carp came to his net with the best one being a beauty of six pounds. It seemed to me that every time I caught a little roach I looked across the pool to see John putting the net under another fine carp.

I advised Richard to go on the internet and look at all the YouTube videos of pellet feeders and catching carp on wafters. I might do the same myself!

21 April 2023 Tenbury. Icing on the cake

Steve returned to Tenbury and put the non-slip cover on the deck of the bridge. While he was there he also strimmed the vegetation at the pegs, as one does!

13 April 2023  Mending Bridges

The gang of three returned with a dozen planks and a scaffolding shackle which had suffered some TLC at Steve's home and was willing to do whatever was required of it. No nut, bolt, spanner, shackle, electric drill or gang member was lost to the mud of the ditch. The scaffolding holding down the decking was broken down, the dodgy planks replaced, the scaffolding rebuilt and the bridge was ready for another twenty years of neglect.

My grateful thanks on behalf of the Society and myself to Steve and Vincent for a good job well done. It was great fun.

5 April 2023  Mending bridges

The gang of three, Steve Johnson, Vincent Brian and your worthy chairman Lance Burton, arrived at Tenbury to lift the decking on the little bridge. The objective was to lift the decking to confirm which planks needed replacing and to check if there was anything else needing attention.

The scaffolding holding the decking yielded to Steve and Vincents'  blandishments although one shackle was whisked away  by Steve to receive some TLC at home.

1 April 2023    Wickens Pool    Competition

We had heavy rain the previous couple of days and opinion was divided over the chances of sport in the heavily coloured water. I bunched the shot about half way and had one No.11 a foot above my size 16 and one maggot. The theory was that the water clears quickest near the top so I would catch on the drop at  whatever the depth the fish were lying. Cupped in three lots of 5 maggots and then lowered in the rig. Voila! A bite and not only a bite but a fish - a nice 7 inch roach. Cupped in another three lots of 5 maggots again and then lowered the rig and the elastic was stretched by a carp of about one and a half pounds. And then I never had another bite all day !!

I was not alone - John Stevens had two nice carp in the first hour then five hours without a bite before getting three more in the last hour. The odd fish was caught during the dead period but for most it was dead. When Peter Mountford turned up near midday I thought that it would all change. He did succeed in catching some little roach but nothing more.

The two Daves (Hemming and Evason) can usually scratch a resonable bag in difficult conditions but even they were subdued in the mid part of the session. Alex Greenhow who had to arrive late and finish early thus missing the best part of the day managed to get a couple hooked on the feeder but they both came off as lightly hooked fish do.

Ian Wilson came nearest to catching throughout the day but even he had blank hours lke the rest.

Our congratulations to John Stevens in his first competition in the Walton with a good bag of carp (15-12-00) including the best of the day at 5-12-00 all on a pellet feeder. Well done!

30.March 2023  The Oak at Upton Snodsbury  Annual General Meeting

An enjoyable meeting - everyone re-elected from last year with two important additions. Tony Quarterman was elected as an Honorary Life Member and Ed Bradley as a Committee Member

Tony Quarterman  a very good match angler has been on the Committee for years as a very useful source of information about the farming community when fishing was coming available to rent on the Teme and kept Newmill car park and pegs clear by spraying in the Spring. He was impressive at bank clearing being very strong. Unfortunately he had a stroke a couple of years ago and has not been able to get around by himself since then.  A worthy recipient of the honour.

Ed Bradley is one of the youngest Committee Members the Society has had for decades. He is also a very good angler and very knowleable about the sport. Also by being about 40 years younger than the rest of the Committee he brings a new outlook onto the Committee - a wonderful addition.

Tradition has it that the AGM is followed by the the presentation of Prizes.  This has often been an embarassment to me as I have been lucky enough to have nearly always been able to fish every competition on the Society's calendar which has given my a great advantage over most of the other competitors who are not so lucky.  This prize giving proved as embarassing as ever but  Aston Haywood  proved a worthy winner of the Junior Shield catching several carp and winning by a distance, Peter Mountford won the Dace Cup and Alex Greenhow the Presidents Shield.

The Dace Cup is won by the angler catching the most Dace (over 6 inches) in competitions on the Teme during the year.  Some years we don't catch any Dace in competitions and the Cup is not awarded.

I envy Alex Greenhow's ability to cast a pellet feeder with great precision to land with a fish attracting plop near to the trees on the island. I'm more likely to kill a nesting canada goose when I try. Casting into the area wheere the fish gather ensures that if they are feeding  there is a good chance of catching a few.

An amusing tale springs to mind over another prize which is on the books - that's the Gudgeon Prize. This was awarded by Dick Scan who was a president of the Society back in the late 60s early 70s. I think he must have fished in his earlier years but I never witnessed that happening. When the barbel moved into the stretches that the Walton fished most of the anglers took to legering with a swim feeder and Dick knew nothing about such a new form of fishing so he said he would present a prize that he stood a chance of winning - The Gudgeon Prize for the angler catching the most gudgeon in one competition.

In those days it was said that the Teme was paved with gudgeon there were so many of them and if you cast a maggot or a small worm in anywhere you would catch one. ....................  The prize was never presented because the Barbel ate all the Gudgeon!!!!

29 March 2023  Tenbury maintenance

Some of the planks on the footbridge over the ditch between the two fields at Tenbury (by Peg 8) are begining to rot so Steve Johnson and I cleared the mud and weeds off them. Steve then checked that all the scaffolding bolts could be loosened and we ascertained that the wooden framework forming the deck was made in several sections. This is very helpful as we do not need anything more than man power to remove and replace it.

The bridge is formed basically of three scaffolding poles laid across the ditch, then the decking sections placed on top with the ends of the planks resting on the outer poles. Scaffolding poles are then fixed over the top of the planks to prevent them moving.

Bad weather drove us back  but as soon as it dries a bit we will lift off the decking to confirm how many planks are saveable and how many to be replaced then rebuild it,

We had to remove the wire netting which covered the planks so it is a bit of a skid pan. This should all be fixed before the start of the season but if you want to cross the ditch before then it is safer to cross it where it has been culverted about 50 yards up towards the car park.

I'll make an entry in this column when it is finished.

12 March 2023 Wickens    Competition

Ian and another member, Mark Turner, fished and found that the warmer conditions had tempered the effect of the snow-melt and both caught fish. Mark had three roach and three small carp while Ian caught one small roach and the golden carp at three and three quarter pounds. As Ian said - what a difference a day makes.

Ian has been talking to Kevin Wickens who says that the concrete has now set so we can return to using the middle driveway as we have done previously and no longer need to do the circuitous route through the barn. That is a relief to me as I had recurring nightmares of knocking out one of the pillars and bringing the roof down on my head.

11 March 2023 Wickens Pool    Competition

A few days of snow and then 24 hours of snow turning to drizzle meant that the pool was filled with snow-melt - absolutely ideal conditions for catching nothing at all. Four masochists turned up to hang their heads against a lump of fate. Shirley and Dave fished float with maggots, Ian fished with bread on a lead and put in a patch of chopped worm to fish a float for an hour, Richard fished bread on a lead and I fished a worm on a float.

No one had a bite.

It was the result we anticipated but disappointing for all that. It will make the net bursting catches when we are next at Wickens on 1st April all the more enjoyable!

2 March 2023  Sitting at home

Here we are on the 2nd of March and I have completely ignored the website for months. Vincent Bryan and I put up some IWAS signs at Ham Bridge a few days ago but apart from that I have ignored the IWAS and fished nearer to home. All that must now change as I put in a new fixture list and get ready for the first competition at Wickens on the 11th of this month.

The farmers at Wickens have been busy concreting parts of the farm yard. I think the area round the buildings on the river side of the road has been completed but on the other side of the road (where we go to get to the pool) it is very much a work in progress. We have been diverted through the barn to arrive at our parking area taking care not to knock out the girders which support the roof as we go!

Enter through the nearest driveway to Martley and drive partway up the right side of the building before entering and moving up the centre of the building. Where your progress is halted by bales of straw turn left between the girders and turn right along the track that we are familiar with.

Richard tells me that he and Ian caught several carp a couple of weeks ago so I'm hoping for great things in a couple of Saturdays time.

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