October 1, 2012

Latest autumn Wye barbel and chub news from Wyebank and Courtfield

Since the 15th September we have seen both good and not so good conditions. River levels looked like they would drop away sufficiently to encourage barbel into the shoals which produce some great catches on Courtfield. However when the river eventually got down to 4″ it only lasted a day before the river rose to a middle sized flood over the weekend of the 22nd/23rd and beyond. Wyebank fished the best until the middle of the month and then became pretty difficult with a frost followed by the high water.

The WUF feedback shows that Wyebank and Courtfield performed very well for the larger fish throughout this period, once again demonstrating that Courtfield is one of, if not the best place, for double figure barbel. The results are as follows.


Courtfield 11lb 7oz, 10lb 14oz, 10lb 8oz, 10lb 4oz, 10lb 4oz.

Wyebank 10lb 7oz, 10lb

Middle Hill 10lb 12oz, 10lb

Peryhill 10lb

Aramstone 10lb


Courtfield 5lb 10oz, 5lb 3oz, 5lb 3oz

Wyebank 6lb

Aramstone 5lb

Wyastone 5lb 6oz

Foy 5lb

September 14, 2012

Wye barbel September update at Wyebank and Courtfield

Fishing is  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 http://www.facebook.com/LowerWyeFishing 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.

July 31, 2012

Salmon and barbel update 31st July 2012 Wyebank and Courtfield

The river has been at a perfect level between 1ft4″ and now 6″ over the past week. We have seen significant numbers of salmon and grilse on both Wyebank and Courtfield and already salmon on Courtfield are settling down and difficult to catch. Rudi had two salmon last Thursday on Wyebank including a grilse of 5lb and a slightly larger fish of 6-7lb which may have been a 2SW small summer fish and I had two on Wyebank the day before of 8lb and 14lb.

The barbel fishing has become slower with the drop in water and still difficult fishing conditions but is now settling in towards a rhythm of fish early morning and again good sport after 5pm. Double figure fish have become elusive, the odd ones are being caught, but it is fish in the 9-10lb bracket which are being caught in good numbers. A very large double was lost through a line break at no 5 swim a few days ago, from the star spot towards the opposite bank in front of the hole in the willow bush.

Chub catches continue to be a good support for a days fishing enjoyment with plenty of lovely chub in the 4-5lb class. If the barbel fishing is slow the rewards for some dedicated chub fishing can be fantastic. The 6 pounders are there in Courtfield and a 7 pounder is annually on the cards. There is no reason why there might not be an 8 pounder lurking somewhere. These are top ranking specimen fish.

Everywhere is now fishable at last. The boat pool and swims below are very underfished and hold fantastic promise. One local fisherman regularly had barbel to 12 and 13lbs along here. My advice for August is to make the best of the fishery and do not just plump for the same swims which are most fished, sometimes  out of convenience. Take a copy of the where to fish guide with you.

What the forecast unsettled month of August will do to the river only time will tell. At the moment my guess is that we may not see the below summer levels that we have been so used to the last few years. This will make the fishing more challenging especially on Wyebank. However the quality fish are there with doubles to be caught just as on Courtfield, so persevere and when the water is low enough give all the pools a good working over. Keep the groud bait going in – remember the Wye is teeming with small fry which empty those swim feeders pretty quick.

July 23, 2012

The River Wye is down at last and fantastic barbel catches.

As at this morning Monday 23rd July the river Wye at Wyebank and Courtfield is at 2ft and should be 1ft 6″ tomorrow. It is starting to clear at last. We have had five continuous weeks of high and coloured water. The salmon fishing has been at a standstill. However significant numbers of salmon have been seen passing through with one very good run of fish seen at the end of the first week week of July.

Barbel catches have continued steadily despite the fluctuating river levels with some superb catches. Last week Andrew Sands fishing under Kenny Parson’s guidance caught 16 barbel on Tuesday and 14 on Wednesday, best fish bang on 10lbs, while his friend Paul had lots of barbel to 9.5lbs. They both also caught lots of chub to 4lbs plus. The catches have been mainly from the top swims of Leggs Meadow, where at times the banks have been very slippery and treacherous. However the swims are now all accessible and the banks dry and firm at last.

There are plenty of vacancies for bookings on both Courtfield and Wyebank in August and now is the time to make that booking for what promises to be some spectacular barbel fishing once the river is down to summer level, which should be in a week or so from now. A superb barbel of 11lbs 12oz was caught from Wyebank and fish over 10lbs from Wyebank and Courtfield, with 10lbs 12oz the largest so far from Courtfield. Get on the water early is my advice, certainly before 6 am if you can and also fish to beyond dusk.

Salmon fishing could take off again any day so watch the reports and go to the Lower Wye Fishing facebook page for daily updates.

nb. Please note i shall be away throughout August but Rudi will be around when he can.

July 4, 2012

Excellent barbel results from Wyebank and Courtfield in first two weeks of the 2012 season

The barbel and chub fishing has been slow to excellent. I should say that the up and down water conditions have created variety and some difficulties, but on the whole a very good first fortnight. Judging by the WUF feedback, both Courtfield and Wyebank have led the way with larger specimens of barbel.

263 barbel have been accounted for between the 16th and 30th June from 48 fishermen giving an average catch  of 6 barbel per fisherman.

Specimens have included 8 barbel over 10lbs. Best fish 11.75lbs from Wyebank and 10.75lbs from Courtfield. (2011 season’s best fish were 13.5lbs from Wyebank, 12.5lbs from Courtfield.) At least 10 fish between 9lbs and 9lbs 14oz were also caught in June. 26 barbel or approximately 7.75% of the total catch have been over 9lbs.

At least 150 Chub to 4lb have been caught in good numbers also. A small number of good eels have been caught, which is good news.

June 21, 2012

Wye barbel update Courtfield

Some good bags and some big fish have been caught this week, details will be posted tomorrow. Today we have had a rest day on the river as the party of 5 rods could’nt make it due to work and illness.

This first week has seen some very high water conditions and very coloured water. At least half a dozen barbel over 10 lbs have been reported as lost through breakages. Fishing with a lot of weight and in very heavy water for specimen barbel, particularly in those areas noted for snags and big fish, it is a must to use 15lb or heavier breaking strain at the hook. The heavier line is after all camouflaged by the heavily coloured water. It is unfortunate that there are now double figure fish possibly with hooks in their mouths. If we are to conserve a healthy stock of these magnificent Wye barbel it is vital we fish in a way which best suits the conditions.

June 20, 2012

Lower Wye Fishing on Facebook

There is a facebook page with regular updates on river heights, catches and prospects etc., for all coarse and game fishing.


June 18, 2012

Barbel catches start to pick up on Wyebank and Courtfield river Wye

With the Wye dropping here by an inch an hour the barbel have been showing more today.with 11 fish to 9.25 lbs by 1630 and a few nice chub.

There is still a fair bit of water coming in from the Lugg ststem keeping the river over the 7ft mark down through Ross but it had dropped from 7ft 4″ this morning at Lydbrook to 6ft 10″ by late afternoon. I expect it to be 5ft and below sometime tomorrow and perfect dropping level for barbel through Legg Meadow, Courtfield and at the Steps, Wyebank plus the bankside runs for trotting Wyebank.

June 17, 2012

Wyebank and Courtfield first weekend of the 2012 coarse season

Nothing dramatic to report.

Wyebank generally to high to fish excepting the steps.

Courtfield has seen a few barbel caught as at 1630 hrs Sunday. A  couple of eights to Simon Strode over the two days and a six to Jon Kraushaar’s friend Duncan. The river was at 7ft 8″ this morning having dropped a little and 9ft this evening and very thick. So far from ideal conditions. I am expecting the peak of the flood to have gone through by tomorrow lunchtime followed by a slowly falling river over Tuesday and Wednesday, with a slower fall than last week’s 13ft 6″ flood.

Only the swims along Leggs Meadow will be fishable until mid week and with falling water and groundbaiting barbel catches should build as the week goes on.