September 14, 2012

Wye barbel September update at Wyebank and Courtfield

Fishing isĀ  challenging on Courtfield this September with some very bright days and continuing high flows.

The Legg meadow crib is still covered with water and the level at Lydbrook has been at 6″ for a week now, which is unheard of over the past decade. This summer has put us in new territory for the barbel with flow conditions which have never before been experienced for Wye barbel fishing. When the river is high and coloured and over 4ft the barbel are packed along the banks out of the heavy flows. At the other extreme, as in last year, when the river is at summer level or below with gentle flows the barbel seem to hold in shoals more and stay put. The fact that some fish, which have a distinguishing mark, will be caught several times through the summer in the same place, demonstrates a tendency for territorial behaviour. This year and particularly recently flows remain high and the barbel seem to be all over the place and not in the larger shoals.

Legg Meadow has been fished hard and it is inevitable that fish will be getting hook shy. However don’t jump to conclusions because the Wood stretch has also been equally difficult and that stretch HAS NOT been fished hard, in fact it has hardly been fished at all. The feedback shows that despite some poor catches others have had brilliant success. Most notable has been Kenny Parsons and his clients. Kenny is an accomplished guide who really knows his stuff. He has a good understanding for knowing whereabouts the fish are likely to be and most significantly he refills the swimfeeder every ten minutes. Where others fail he and his clients always catch fish. Yesterday, Thursday 13th., John and Brian had a good afternoon fishing the bottom swim in the wood together. Plenty of feed was probably there success and in a couple of hours during the afternoon they had 5 nice barbel and 8 chub.

The good news is that doubles have been coming out in good numbers with numerous tens and a few elevens caught over the last two weeks.

Wyebank has had low pressure fishing this summer due to the high water making the pools inaccessible. That has changed this month and for the last two weeks Wyebank has come into its own at the lower end in the bottom pool. There was an exceptional catch of 30 smaller barbel going to a few around the 6-7lb mark and the rest down to 1.5lbs, had by Kenny Parsons’ client Richard, yes that man again! Check it out on facebook at Others have had some super fish to 9lbs plus with one to 11lbs 3oz showing that Wyebank bottom pool is a truly exceptional pool for all sizes of barbel in pristine fishing conditions. The top run below the island has had no fishing pressure at all and has to be a choice swim for the wading angler with bait box at waist. I think it must be full of fine fish.

So why is Wyebank so much more consistent than Courtfield at the moment. I think the answer to this is that the bottom pool lies below a well oxygenated riffle and although oxygen levels should be excellent along the river, this pool is probably at a saturated level and draws fish into it for ‘the buzz’. This would explain why the stock of fish in the pool keeps changing.

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September 4, 2012

Wye barbel fishing Autumn outlook for Wyebank and Courtfield.

After an extraordinary summer when the river at Lydbrook never got below 1ft without rising again, autumn has started with some real signs of low water in sight. I think we really need those low summer levels to get the barbel shoals to settle into the special pools and favoured lies. High water concentrates them in the slacks by the banks, while middle levels between 1ft and 3ft seem to encourage the barbel to range around all over the place, which makes for some difficult and testing fishing conditions, the like of which have been general through July and August.

Having said this we have seen plenty of barbel in the eight to high nines and a reasonable number of doubles with tens and elevens. I have’nt heard of any 6lb chub yet although several fives have been reported and the annual 7 pounder of recent years is yet to be reported. Talking of reports quite a lot of fishermen have not been sending in feedback, which IS a rule of Wyebank and Courtfield and vital if we are to keep a good eye on the health of fish stocks and fish movement. So please do not keep your specimen fish catch to yourself, report it!

I am quietly confident that the river will keep falling now and that barbel and chub fishing will peak as the month of September moves on to produce good numbers of double figure specimen barbel and specimen chub. If we get settled conditions through until late October then we could be in for a fantastic Autumn barbel session with the swims of Legg Meadow and the Wood stretch below, favoured and the stretch above the island also producing excellent fish for those who explore a bit. The runs and pools of Wyebank are virtually guaranteed to produce the goods for those who wade and work the water downstream, carrying a large bag of groundbait at the waist.

Courtfield is nearly fully booked for September but Wyebank is not. Last year the Wyebank fishing was outstanding. This year it has been difficult due to the prolonged high water. However double figure barbel to 11.5lbs and numerous large chub to 5lbs plus and great bags of dace have been taken. My advice, as the water drops back towards that magic summer level, is book now because Wyebank will start to perform very soon now and likely will do so throughout the autumn if levels drop right off. Once the bottom pool and the pool below the island come into their own I anticipate that some fantastic barbel catches are pretty inevitable.

i have’nt put anything in the gallery this year but we should be correcting that very soon with some lovely fish to show from spring and summer.