June 26, 2011

The latest fishing news from Wyebank and Courtfield

The coarse season kicked off with low and cool water, with 2 to 4 inches on the gauge through to the end of the first weekend followed by a rise and colour to 1ft 6 inches after summer solstice, which fell away by Saturday evening the 25th June to 4 inches and came up again fast Saturday night to 3ft plus and rose to 3ft 6 inches by lunchtime today, the biggest rise since last winter.

All of this made for some interesting fishing. The Courtfield has been fished lightly compared with the past four seasons and rod catches reflect this with some good bags of chub and some barbel being caught. Mark and John Evan had the following to say.

“My son booked this beat for us so that I could try and catch my first Barbel, mission accomplished the weight 6lbs, I was over the moon. It didn’t last long as my son caught one that went 8lbs 4oz. Sod’s law that your son catches one bigger than you.
The day was really good because on top of the Barbel, between us we had 24 Chub up to 4lb 12oz. Caught on pellet with feeder and straight lead and also on the waggler fishing pellet. I would say this fishery is well worth a visit considering it was our first and will be looking to come again.”

It was Wyebank however which took the cup for the best report and the catches by Mark Lane and Tim Smith were probably amongst the best from the river.

“Our second visit to Don’s beautifully presented and sensitively managed traditional mixed fishery. We knew that early season barbel can be slow on the river. Very pleased to report 26 barbel to 9lb, 16 chub 2 over 5lb over 3 days. The canoe menace reached its peak on Sunday, whilst most were polite and having a good time some were drunken yobs who did not understand the meaning of private property and it quikly became tiresome asking them to pack up there picnics and depart so we could fish. Fortunately this menace is short lived and by 4pm the river returns to normality. The fishery is absolutely stunning and it is a joy to catch scale perfect fish in such quantity using traditional methods. Thank you Don for a truely memorable few days.”

Rudi’s report from Friday also demonstrates just how well Wyebank has fished this first week. Special note should be taken of Rudi’s observations of salmon. If only the water had stayed down after Saturday we might have benefited from some salmon catches comparable with years gone by but as it stands now all fish are probably ‘flying’ upriver somewhere. Incidentally¬† salmon were seen surfacing like dolphins today, apparently below Hay bridge.

“River up perhaps 1 foot but clear. Fished middle croy 10am to mid-day, 1 9lb plus barbel and 2 around 7/8lb on large halibut pellet.
Fished pool behind submerged bottom croy until 16.00hrs and caught 4 more barbel all over 7lbs and lost large one that went downstream to end of spool line when hook snapped at bend, (a size 8 carp hook by reputable manufacturer) All on large halibut pellet with loose fed small pellets.
An 11lb plus barbel was taken by a W&U angler from this swim on Wednesday.
Salmon seen frequently surfacing between croys, tried heavy flying c with no result.
For those who have fished here recently and been entertained by the loneley duckling, its still alone but alive and growing fast.”

June 18, 2011

Day tickets Courtfield

Please note that day tickets must be bought in advance from the WUF and not on the bank.

Mr Charlton and Mr Hughes were fishing the beat Friday evening the 17th June and having come all the way from Newport I was able to offer them tickets, as only two WUF tickets had been issued for that day. They decided to pay and accordingly I will forward 20 percent to the WUF. I hope to hear from them soon with a catch report and a picture maybe.

However fishermen must realise that if the full compliment of 4 tickets have been issued for any one day, no one else will be allowed on the water even if no one is actually fishing at that time.

Once again I take this opportunity to stress that we are committed to providing quality fishing by maximising returns and minimising fishing pressure, in order to protect stocks and their health and provide the best fishing experience.

June 16, 2011

Courtfield Coarse Fishing Swims

I have strimmed out the following swims along Legg Meadow for the new season.

Going down river from gate.

1.Legg Meadow top end two pegs immediately across field from gate at ST Pumping Station – This is the most popular swim but then it is the closest to the car parking. Barbel, chub, pike

2.Alder with WUF sign one peg. Barbel, chub, pike.

3. Twin alders one peg. One of the best bags of specimen barbel and chub came from here with chub to over 6lbs and barbel to 14lbs.

4. New swim one peg.

5.Alder Bay two pegs. Can be very good for chub

Going upriver from Beech tree WUF sign and layby.

6. Bottom end Legg meadow two pegs

The swims in the wood from Legg meadow crib and wood crib are salmon pools and can be fished from the cribs

The swims below the metal steps to the right 1 to 2 pegs and downstream below willow bush 1 peg and to the end as far as you can get stopping approx 100 yards above the island are all fishable.

June 14, 2011

Coarse Rod day tickets

There are plenty of coarse fishing tickets still available on the famed Courtfield beat.

No day tickets are available on the bank and can only be purchased through the WUF.

No part of the Courtfield beat is any longer Forest of Dean Angling Club Water and the water is restricted to 4 tickets on any one day.

June 8, 2011

Low Water Contradictions.

Yesterday I was horrified by a one foot drop of water below summer level over a period of 36 hours. Today I am resigned to the reality that we are looking at conditions similar to 75/76 and yet with a load more abstractors. Our nearest point of major abstraction is the Severn Trent pumping station which compensates flows accordingly from the Elan Valley. this means that upriver beats reap a dividend which we don’t. In practice it appears there is more water in the middle river as a result of the Lydbrook pumping station. As for the farmers, they all have permission to abstract until flows reach the appallingly low flow of around 133 million gallons per day at Redbrook, downstream from Monmouth. I can’t remember the exact figures I was given by the EA, but today there is around 197 million gallons flowing past Redbrook and so the river will have to drop by approximately 33 percent of its present flow in order for these pumps to be turned off. That in itself is a very worrying concept.

When I looked down on the wharf pool yesterday it was clearly unfishable due to the flow being cut off by the dropped river and the ranunculus, which was now all trailing on the surface. I went to bed depressed. Today I have cut the weed to reopen the pools and was astonished by what I found. The main fly channel is averaging 3ft with holes to 4ft 6″. The overhanging and trailing willows along the far bank are providing adequate cover with upto 2ft of good flowing water over gorgeous clean gravels, while the bottom pool is perfectly clear of weed and clean to a depth of over 5ft covering a flat rock slab floor in places and gravel and small rocks in others. The whole stretch of Wyebank is good clear well oxygenated water still providing a more than adequate habitat for the salmon.

My greatest surprise was to find two big salmon redds from last winter’s spawning and several smaller ones and sitting in the smaller ones I saw the biggest sea lampreys, with one as long as my leg and all of them as long as my arm. In other words they were upto their maximum given length of 90cm. In all I saw at least half a dozen sea lamprey spawning sites. I have seen the clear stones before, evidence of lamprey activity, but never have I experienced standing so close to these extraordinary creatures that I could put my foot under them and lift them up. Quite remarkable.

June 5, 2011

Nearly a double

After Anthony Sheehan’s grilse this morning (previous post) on Wyebank I have just this evening lost a fish of about 8 lbs on the fly and had a magnificent shad of about 4lbs which I thought was a grilse to start with. Anthony also had a shad between 3lb plus. Lots of beautifully conditioned shad around this year which need letting off if possible as they throw the hook pretty easily and are a protected species. It is unlawful to fish for them but impossible not to get into them whilst salmon fishing.

The water bulged about 10 – 15yds downstream of me and the next thing I knew a fish was running up past me with a loop in the line and took me down to near the backing before I got organised. When the line tightened the fish went airborne and came off.

All great fun on an old 10ft Hardy Wye.

Don Maacer-Wright

June 5, 2011

Breaking News Grilse have arrived at Wyebank

Anthony Sheehan landed a sea liced grilse around 3.5 to 4lbs this morning, Sunday 5th June, and had two 10 yard pulls which failed to hook, fishing a  shrimp fly derivative on a small treble and dropper, fished on a super fast sink tip line through the Wyebank run above the crib.

This is great news because it is fantastic that grilse have arrived so early and may herald a return to the days when Wyebank at Lydbrook held significant quantities of these wonderful little salmon. This fish clearly belongs to the fish reported at Cadora as coming in on the tide yesterday morning between 10 and 2pm and shows how well they run.

Wyebank is back at summer level after its rise of a foot the other day and is looking great.

Canoes on Saturdays are a real problem.