River Severn Round Up- End of Season

A most disappointing end to this season with the weather playing a major part in frustrating the efforts of Severn anglers to venture out. Heavy frosts, prolonged heavy rain in the Welsh Mountains together with several large falls of snow and subsequent snow melt meant the River was up and down as was the water temperature.

Never-the-less our intrepid bailiff Phil O’Callaghan made the effort every day to visit the river to report on levels and temperature, most useful when planning a session in changeable or inclement weather. Water temperatures ranged from 1.4°c to 11.3°c. Whilst the height of the River did not break any records it seemed to be constantly in flood.

Atcham after the flood Feb 2018

Wroxeter Receeding Flood Water

Phil who seems able to find fish in all, but the most appalling conditions tells me he had a very poor end to the season. That said he ventured out to Atcham in one of the many snow storms as the photograph attests too, more surprising than the picture he did catch!

Phil Atcham winter 2018

Is this the Abominable Snowman ?

 

I planned to write a Winter Piking feature on the Severn for this edition and had arranged with Steve Holland to meet up where I could carry his tackle, make the tea and take photographs of the monsters he banked. Sadly, the weather was so unpredictable we could not find a suitable window. I will certainly do it this winter so if anyone is interested in joining us please PM me I am happy to arrange a day.

As the colder weather moved in towards the end of October and into November Members attention turned to winter Chub, the catch returns showed an increase in activity and modest returns, however, I am not sure they tell the whole story. Its very important we complete arrival slips and catch returns. It is in all members interest to get into the habit of completing them.

Whilst on the subject of Chub I am delighted that one of Lymm’s prolific River anglers Roger Carswell has contributed to this edition. Rogers Barbel captures run into three figures every year and am told he can be found on the Severn most days in the season whatever the weather.

Here is Rogers Winters Tale.

1. Chub article

Rogers Winter Chub

 

Winter presents anglers with many challenges, the river is often up and coloured and there is also the threat of snowmelt and salt, which is the kiss of death. Whilst the winter river may not be as inviting as it is in the warm summer months, there are still many opportunities for good sport. This last winter the River Severn was very unsettled, temperature and level wise, so persistence and picking the right time to fish, were very important. To illustrate that it’s still very much possible to catch fish under adverse conditions, I’d like to recount an early March day on the riverbank when many people’s first choice would definitely not have involved going fishing.

Arriving on the bank at around 2pm because the overnight temperature was belowfreezing, and I didn’t see much point in starting early. The river was about six inches above summer level and my thermometer revealed a water temperature of 2.6°C, which is pretty nippy, but as all River Rats know, the ever-reliable chub can still provide some decent sport in the coldest weather. Bread can be a devastating bait when the river’s like this, so I’d rough liquidised a loaf and had another thick-sliced loaf to provide me with hook bait. My rod carried a 4oz quiver-tip and the reel was loaded with 5lbs breaking strain line. The plan was to feed the swim with liquidised bread via a 2oz open ended feeder, but instead of always casting to the same spot, I would cast randomly to search for the chub, and so as not to put too much feed in one place. At the business end I fished punched bread mounted on a hair off a size 10 hook – I placed a shot an inch back from the hook so that the bread was popped up just off the bottom. To cut a long story short, the first fish was hooked after twenty minutes and bites came steadily until I packed up when nightfall arrived. A total of eight chub found their way into my landing net, which meant that one happy angler left the bank with a smile on his face!

PS I ‘d just like to explain my hook bait and hair-rig in a little more detail.On the end of the hair, I fixed a Preston Innovations quick-stop – this is a hollow, bayonet shaped piece of plastic which is pushed through the bread using a special needle, it then turns through 90° and acts as a stop. I mounted five or six 8mm diameter punched pieces of bread on the hair. The first piece of bread that I punch is from a slice of bread that has been micro-waved and rolled, the remaining pieces are punched from a slice of fresh bread. The quick stop is then pushed through the pieces of bread whilst they are still in the punch. The micro-waved piece of bread is tougher and helps to keep the other, softer pieces of bread in place as they swell up in the water.

2. Chub article

Rogers Punched Bread Rig

Many thanks to Roger for his contribution.

As I write this we are a month into the closed Season so only a couple to go, looking  forward to a new season here’s a couple of dates for your Diary. Sunday the 27th May is a Severn Work Party, attending a Work party is an ideal opportunity to meet likeminded anglers in addition to learning about our waters, details will be posted on the Forum nearer the date.

Saturday 1st September is the Annual Barbel day at Atcham, this is always the first fishing event into my diary each year. The Basis of the day is to introduce novice or first time Barbel anglers to this incredible species, also an opportunity for old friends and acquaintances to catch up and an ideal opportunity to introduce youngsters to the sport, not forgetting of course catching a few Barbel, last year Lawrence Breakspear from the Barbel Society entertained us with his methods for catching bigger Barbel. All are welcome, all you need is a Lymm membership card together with a EA licence, if you don’t have the appropriate tackle we will lend you some. Applications are via the forum.

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2015 Barbel Day Alfie Booth being coached and into a big fish.

 

I plan to report on the first couple of weeks of the new season, early in July, so will welcome contributions on your start to the new Season.

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Something to look forward to after a bad winter, Steve Taylor with a Fine Speciman from Montford Bridge in 2016

 

Thanks again to Phil and Roger.

Tight Lines

Christie April 2018

River Severn Round Up – Winter 2017

By Chris Hart

There is no better place to start this regular feature in the newsletter of what’s happening on the Clubs extensive River Severn waters than a review of what we have.

The Club’s furthest upstream beat is Abermule, whilst considered to be a game water other species are present, particularly Grayling which may be caught on the fly or trotting maggots. This season has seen an increase in interest. Some interesting posts on the Forum.

We now enter an area where the Severn, Vyrnwy and the Welsh / English border all crisscross each other. At Llandrinio the Club has a couple of miles of river holding Barbel, Chub, Pike, Perch & Roach with a Stretch of the Vyrnwy close by, with a similar fish population. Not overfished, often a lone angler will have unlimited access to swims, ideal for a baiting up and roving approach. This is one of the lesser understood venues where time spent walking and observing will be well rewarded.

Moving downstream to just above Shrewsbury, this is where the real excitement begins for general course fishing and specimen hunters alike. Lymm has two venues in the vicinity the first Montford Bridge, acquired in mid-2016 is turning out to be a real gem, some experienced anglers are beginning to unlock its secrets having produced double figure Barbel together with specimen Chub. Secure parking and a short walk to the River, what more can one ask for.

Rossell is everyone’s favourite venue, beautiful surroundings, wildlife in abundance and so peaceful, that said, it won’t give up its secrets or fish easily, so time spent in quiet observation will be well rewarded, indeed the Clubs river records for Barbel and Chub fell to the clubs Bailiff Phil O’Callaghan, a Barbel of 12lb 5oz together with a Chub of 6lb 9oz tops the current record.

Below Shrewsbury we come to the jewel in Lymm’s River portfolio, which in effect is three adjacent but separate venues each with its own secure parking and covering about a mile and a half of continuous river bank.

The upstream venue is Atcham (Above the river Tern). Secure parking, easy level walking with banks that are not heavily wooded but can be overgrown, so a little pioneering may be required, it is not overfished, Phil O’Callaghan usually organises a work party just before the start of the season, an ideal way to explore this stretch and cut some pegs. Dai Gribble used this venue for an article for Angling Times also to film Korum products in use.

The Middle stretch in this trio is Atcham (Below the Tern). More bankside cover on this section, however, there are pegs cut including some doubles (rules apply) easy secure parking again with level grazed fields makes easy walking with a choice of two meadows. This is the venue for the Clubs annual Barbel day or “Fish In”, an introduction for newcomers or inexperienced anglers to Barbel fishing, under the guidance of experienced anglers with a taster for fishing after dark, or an ideal opportunity to meet likeminded anglers or catch up with old friends. In 2017 we had a guest speaker from the Barbel society, rounding the day off with an aptly named Fish & Chip Supper.

The final length is Atcham (Wroxeter) colloquially known as “Poachers”, I’m reliably informed prior to Lymm acquiring the Riparian rights some members allegedly made guest appearances! The bankside is the same as the adjacent fields, secure parking, one slight downside there is a steep hill to navigate to the riverside, however, it can be reached from the adjoining stretch.

Now to the important bit. This whole stretch is known for large shoals of specimen Barbel running to double figures, Chub abound with Pike, Roach and Perch together with Carp. A 10lb Barbel was caught here by one of the Junior anglers on the annual Barbel day in 2015.

Finally, with this amount of Riverbank we have strong Team of Bailiffs on hand to help and assist Club members in addition to preventing poachers and ensuring the club rules are adhered to. The team for the Severn & Vyrnwy catchment area are Phil O’Callaghan, Steve, Russ, John and Dale. Most live in or around the Shrewsbury area and having fished the area for many years have a wealth of experience with intimate knowledge of the club’s waters, they are approachable and always willing to help.

© Christie December 2017

 

Dave Steen with a 10lb 6oz Barbel from Atcham (below the Tern) Caught on a lump of Spam, soaked in Spicy Sizzling Sausage. Dave’s Favourite flavour. (I think the fish quite like it as too!)

 

NL1 002 Paul Edwards .

Paul Edwards is a great all-round angler who applied his extensive knowledge to unlocking the secrets of the Clubs recently acquired stretch of the Severn at Montford Bridge. Here is Paul with a fine Specimen Barbel from this venue weighing in at 7lb 10oz captured on a 15mm Source Boilie.

 

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Pauls Planning and diligence paid off with his first Double Barbel from this stretch. The fish is very distinctive because it is blind in one eye. It weighted 10Lb 12oz again caught on 15mm Source Boilie.

 

Steve is a well-known character and Bailiff with Club members; indeed, he was the first person I encountered whilst fishing a Lymm Water (Rossell) on my very first day as a member. Once the formalities were dealt with, Steve shared his extensive knowledge and experience of the water with me. Here he is with a 6lb 10oz early July evening Atcham Barbel, caught on a double Source Boilies, fished with a feeder loaded with Source Ground bait together with crushed Boilies.

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Young Alfie Booth with a Barbel caught at the annual 2014 Barbel day at Atcham. Alfie is able to fish accompanied by his Dad under club rule 17 without extra charge, designed by Lymm Angling Club to encourage youngsters into the sport.