Montford Bridge, half a mile up stream from the pub.

As I continue my quest for river Barbel continues, I ventured down to the river Severn at Montford bridge with my good friend Graham Tasker, this stretch of river is not known for a massive head of Barbel, but is known for quality Barbel of 8-9lb and upwards, which when you hook one in this section of the river you really know about it. This stretch belongs to the Wingfield Arms pub which has ¾ of a mile of river, with good access and different pegs with different features. The river is normally low and clear, but fishes best with colour and a little depth so best maybe to go after some rain.

We arrived to a warm and informative welcome from the owner of the pub, and went on a walk to find a double peg which looked fishy, we walked down under the A5 bridge and found a few swims with good deep runs and over hanging trees on the far bank, and eventually settled on a double peg two swims upstream from the A5 bridge, got the gear and set up for the day and night, the far bank had plenty of overhanging trees and looked very fishy indeed, we toiled with tactics and decided on two Barbel rods and two bit rods, while we waited for dark.

We fished throughout the day with plenty of different tactics and hooks and weights, the bit rods where a mistake as even with a size 14 hook with 6 maggots on it we got plagued by minnows even trotting a waggler resulted in the little buggers attacking everything that hit the water. So we decided to concentrate on the Barbel rods as there had been indication on both rods during the first hour.

I placed my Barbel rod downstream just inside the first crease, and on the second cast in I set the rod down and made sure my bait runner and clutch where set right and would you believe hooped over and the bait runner screamed off downstream, and after a good fight I landed a 9lb Barbel that was fin perfect and in great condition. Unfortunately that was the only fish we had in the day and we settled down for the night.

We fished through the night and I managed to hook myself two eels, one that was described by Graham as an Anaconda, when I bullied it against the bank the hook came out and I thought to myself oh dear never mind!!! As I stared at the night light it did what I had been willing it to do and hooped over bait runner screamed off and I landed a lovely looking 10lb Barbel.

We had no luck on the other rods no matter what we tried the only fish take where on my rod downstream inside the first crease. But like every river session it was a massive steep learning curve and that seems to be the same on every trip I take, the best thing about river fishing for Barbel in my opinion is you always take something away with you even if you don’t get a bite or a fish, each trip helps to tune your skills and river knowledge and water craft.

I my Barbel rod fished with a 50g open feeder, with sonubaits spicy sausage method mix ground bait, 4-6mm pellets, size 10 hook with hair rigged 10mm punched meat. As this was the only method that resulted in a fish, I will not list everything else we tried as there was a lot!! The trip itself in both my and Grahams opinion, was a success we had a laugh a minute and caught a few fish, we will be back again soon and big thanks to the owners of the Pub for their hospitality and advice.

river severn at montford bridge aug 2013