Just a few days until the Season starts!!

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Club members out there will be making sure their fishing kit is ready for the new season which starts on the 16th June. With this in mind I asked member and Committee man John Cheyne to let us know his thoughts on the upcoming season. John is lucky enough to be surrounded constantly by angling in one form or another as he works for the Angling Trust.

I’ll leave it to John to give you his 7 top tips.

1) Stay mobile. Rivers change every year as trees fall, floods move snags and gravel bars alter, so your hot swim from previous years might not be the best place to fish this year. Try to travel as light as possible in your first few outings, so that you can move easily and find where the new hotspots are. The club work parties have done a brilliant job during the close season, so you will also find there are new swims you will never have fished, so give them a go. Fishing a new area is always exciting, so try walking a little further from the car this year and finding a few new hotspots.

2) Find some shade. The first couple of months of the season can be a time of very hot weather and very bright sunshine. That’s not generally very good for fish or anglers. So you either need to fish early and late or find some shade, both for you and the fish. It’s a pain to carry, but make sure you have some water with you too, it’s easy to get dehydrated sitting out on the bank all day.

John’s best chub from Ross AC waters last season was this 5lb 12oz fish that took a lure.

3) Try something a bit different now and again. The barbel and chub in the river will get to see a LOT of halibut pellets and feeders over the course of a few seasons and while standard tactics will put fish on the bank, sometimes ringing the changes can make a decent day into a spectacular one. I had quite a bit of success last year fishing stepped up “Commercial” tactics using a heavy method feeder and micro pellet combination to attract the fish and either a small boilie or a section of pepperami hair rigged on the hook. Try experimenting with different tactics and see what works for you, even if some things are a failure, you’ll learn a lot along the way.

4) Keep checking that your hook is sharp. One down-side to the rocks and gravel in the Wye is that they are very good at blunting hook points and there are few things more frustrating than having a really good bite that doesn’t turn into a hooked fish. I carry lots of spare hook lengths ready made up, so that it’s not too much of a chore to switch to a new super sharp hook when you need to.

It’s not just barbel and chub. There are some cracking perch on the Ross Club waters.

5) Ignore the barbel at least once this year ! It’s easy to get too focussed on one species, but the Wye around Ross has some fantastic fishing for other species too, if you take the time to find where they hang out. There are some huge carp about, some belting perch and the dace fishing can be fantastic. There’s even the odd big wild trout. Of course there are clonking chub too and you’ll catch them while targeting barbel but they will take lures too and also respond brilliantly to float fishing tactics . In the Winter you have the chance to catch a truly monstrous wild river pike and we have seen grayling come out in the past year too. So do yourself a favour and leave the feeder rods and pellets at home at least once this season.

6) Realise how lucky you are. Every one of us who get to fish the magnificent River Wye is blessed. Not only does it provide some of the best fishing in the country, but it’s also one of the most beautiful places on earth. So even when the rod tip seems to be taking a long time to go round, or you get snagged for the third time, or you lose that big fish, just take a deep breath of Wye Valley air and say a little prayer of thanks that you get to experience the highs and lows in such amazing surroundings.

Club Membership Secretary Nick Simmonds and John with a lovely barbel prior to the first Covid lockdown.

7) Support the Angling Trust’s “Anglers Against Pollution” Campaign. As you will be aware, the river is under increasing pressure both from agricultural pollution and sewage pollution. Trevor Hyde has been doing fantastic work as part of the Wye Salmon Association project to monitor phosphate levels in the river and the Club has been working with Angling Trust’s Sister organisation Fish Legal for some time, demanding action from Natural Resources Wales. Angling Trust themselves are spearheading the national campaign to demand that the Government puts more resources into actually enforcing the laws we have in this country to protect our rivers, lakes and oceans from the blight that is pollution. So get on board, join the Trust and get involved…more details below.

Join the Angling Trust.

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