July 15, 2013

Where to fish at Lower Wye Fishing for barbel in current heat wave and low water and high temperatures July 2013

Shade is at a premium, seek it out and increase your chances of some fine barbel.

After nearly two weeks of rising temperatures and dropping flows it is becoming increasingly difficult to find barbel and chub on the feed. My last post

Dissolved oxygen, canoes and barbel – a few thoughts

discussed the basic needs of fish for dissolved oxygen to stimulate feeding, now I need to identify the most likely places to find fish. This will be obvious to most readers. Barbel need fast well aerated water and deeper water will be cooler and hold more oxygen. Shade reduces surface heating and also allows pockets of slightly cooler water.

My bet is that Thomas Wood provides some of the best conditions locally to those stretches below Kerne Bridge. After 10am a lot of the Thomas Wood stretch remains in shade throughout the day. The Thomas Wood great crib provides some increased flow, although not much, but there is deeper water and some turbulence and mid to late afternoon onwards has got to be worth a go. Also the lower Thomas Wood crib, the Spike. Here there are cribs either side of the river creating a good mid river channel with a good depth.

thomas wood crib shade

Thomas wood crib is 200 yards below the top end of the fishery  (Courtfield Estate sign) and the Spike is about 600 yards further on towards the bottom end of the wood. There is plenty of shade in between with steady runs out from the sandstone rock slabs.

lower crib thomas wood

The "spike" lower crib Thomas Wood

shade downstream of lower crib thomas wood

shade downstream of lower crib thomas wood

Take ropes and bank spikes if you fancy some of the underbank rock ledges.

The top end of Home fishery has the classic shut stream run and swan pool crib all with good oxygenated water. The bottom end likewise has some fast water where barbel and chub will be found. But FOR SHADE go to Thomas Wood

Where to fish Thomas Wood

July 12, 2013

Dissolved oxygen, canoes and barbel – a few thoughts

The catches of barbel from Wyebank last week and early this week were notable and coincided with rapidly rising water temperatures and high turbulence flowing over the riffle into the bottom pool where barbel congregate. Within the space of this scorching hot and bright week these good flows of well oxygenated water have dropped rapidly and the barbel have become very hard to catch. I have noticed from feedback that the most spectacular catches were made on weekends coinciding with the high numbers of canoes. One cannot underestimate the number of canoes, which some Saturdays have been enormous.

I wonder whether there is a correlation between barbel catches and canoe paddling. Notably fishermen have commented that the canoes have made little difference to fishing. If there is a correlation what then may be the cause? The act of paddling is breaking up the water and helping oxygen to dissolve rather than escape more rapidly to the air, thus giving a significant boost to barbel welfare. The fact that barbel congregate in these faster flowing places is well attested and it is reasonably clear by inference that they seek out better oxygenated water, where they will feed more readily. So canoes may be a benefit to coarse fish species in the riverWye, particularly as the signs are that barbelmay have  now adapted to the presence of canoes in the river environment of the Wye.