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Return to the Wye - 20/10/17

After seeing and catching all the fish in Canada, I couldn’t have found anywhere better to return to the River Wye, my favourite river in the UK.


We arrived on a Friday and I was quickly down to the river with my trotting gear to the field below Bredwardine Bridge.  I just couldn’t wait to get back to a traditional British technique using my aerial reel with 3lb line, catching dace and minnow in the main, but with a few small chub and a couple of wild brownies in the 10-12” range and I loved every minute of it. I guess I am lucky in as much as I have never been ‘hooked’ on catching massive fish, I just love fishing, the wildlife and the surroundings.


I got up the next morning and much to my surprise the river was nearly 2’ up, when we hadn’t seen a drop of rain. Woody in the tackle shop in Hereford had told me that they were discharging water from the upstream reservoirs which was having an adverse effect on the river due to the temperature fluctuations from the influx of cold water.  At least it had come with additional colour this morning. I found a deeper, slower flowing swim and rolled meat through catching three barbel to 9lbs plus a smallish chub before the water cleared and then the fish went off the feed, so it was time to return to Sandy.


She hasn’t been well of late so I didn’t get the chance to fish as usual, so the next opportunity wasn’t until the Monday afternoon when I returned to trotting the shallows.  Sadly, apart from a few minnows, there weren’t any fish taking; I guess the cold water and increased flow had driven them further downstream. I wandered down the river and tried in slower deeper water, still trotting where I caught a succession of minnow and bleak, interspersed by the occasion dace and chublet.


As the light fell, I switched to heavier tackle fishing just off the main current for the better chub. I managed a couple around the pound mark, plus another of about 3.5lbs before ending the session for dinner.


On the following Thursday, I went to Builth Wells after grayling with son, Lee and friend Keith who is a fly fisherman and hadn’t coarse fished for years. He was keen on seeing grayling and I said I would teach him the rudiments of trotting. I gave him my gear and set myself up with a feeder rod.


He picked the technique up very quickly, and with a trickle of loose feed, had around a dozen fish, over half being grayling with the best nearing 2lbs; a great effort. On the feeder I managed a few smaller fish. What was interesting is that the water there was quite warm and the surface was alive with fish taking off the surface.


Keith even set a date of late November for me to return and take him again as he enjoyed it so much after realising that there is so many interesting facets to trotting, just as in fly fishing – but don’t think I will ever get him spinning or legering!