H.Avon Severals Fishery

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O.C.F.Disorder

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Maybe, maybe not.. weed isnt a massive issue IMO but snags can be a game ender on lighter gear. As for single hook bait, a single hookbait can definitely work, its just about making that bait as attractive as possible. You could try cutting a boilie in half, putting it on the hair rig with the larger surface areas facing outwards (like a dumbbell) and then covering it in paste. I would recommend trying worms too.

Is the venue under a lot of fishing pressure or not?
 
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O.C.F.Disorder

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The only problem with worms is anything will eat them but I personally think that having lots of fish in your swim can stimulate other species like carp and barbel to feed more confidently
 

whitty

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I can take you to a few places even 5-6lb barbel would almost certainly break you on 8lb line,only weed,but mega dense,on the Avon you could land fish up to doubles in ranunculus reasonably easy,if you could get downstream of them on 6lb line,trouble is when fish are 12lb plus it's very hit and miss landing one,this weed is right across the river,top to bottom in many places,with just runs to fish,or deep holes....
 

thecrow

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weed isnt a massive issue IMO
Weed can be as abrasive as snags because that's what it is a massive snag, light tackle, weed and Barbel do not mix, to do so is imo bad angling

Have you fished the Hants Avon for Barbel on light line? I know of a few swims where it was possible but have no idea what they are like now.
 
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Mark Wintle

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The Hants. Avon is vastly more weedy that it used to be before 2010 when the mechanised weed cutting ceased. Typically the water level is up to 4ft higher (often near the top of the banks on this water) even in summer flows. I'm still trying to convince RDAA to call the fishery by its correct name, The Several Fishery but to no avail. It had the correct name for 800 years!
 

Philip

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From memory I think Ray Walton said he used to roll baits on the Royalty using 10lb line as he found ranunculus broke at 9lb.

...Cant say I have tested it on a spring balance but I thought it was worth mentioning..
 
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No I haven't crow, but unless I am after BIG carp I dont use anything over 10lb. I must admit I have lost big fish to weeds but only ever to the hook popping out, never a line breakage. I caught a nice tench a month back on the river glen on 2lb line and if you have fished the river glen in recent years you will know just how weedy it is... Maybe im misunderstanding how weedy the hants is?
 

whitty

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No I haven't crow, but unless I am after BIG carp I dont use anything over 10lb. I must admit I have lost big fish to weeds but only ever to the hook popping out, never a line breakage. I caught a nice tench a month back on the river glen on 2lb line and if you have fished the river glen in recent years you will know just how weedy it is... Maybe im misunderstanding how weedy the hants is?
You probably are underestimating how weedy it gets,with many places looking like a swaying lawn and 10lb line is the minimum I would opt for,a good strong old fashioned type mono too.

As for ranunculus breaking at 9lb,that's fine,what about the other 10-15ft the barbel has burrowed into and that's if you've been hard on it,if you pussy foot around God help you,the only good thing about the Avon is in the main you can get downstream of a weeded fish,in fact I always work out where I'm going to have to net it and place my landing net there in readiness.
 
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dorsetsteve

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Yeah weedy is an understatement. I generally will find the clear patches, the fish immediately dive for the weed as soon as hooked. This takes some adjustment and as Mark says, the landing zone is often a separate area you need to think about, more than once I’ve been running down the bank rod high as possible so I can get 30ft or so downstream over the bankside foliage to the landing spot.

Severals is pretty heavily pressured, because of the weed the amount of swims is limited and as a result there is often someone in the swim you were planning on. I’m sure if you could fish in the weed they’d feed far more readily but that’s another problem in itself.

In terms of light gear, when targeting pressure Chub alone on the Stour il go for an 18 with a size 6mm pellet and 3lb line. They can without care smash that, even 6lb isn’t a given with the weed growth on either river, even with Chub, I couldn’t fish for these Barbel on less than 10lb.
 

markg

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I fished the severals several times but it was back in the 90's. It was not a prolific stretch for me in fact did better in the day ticket water above the bridges however, had some fish. Back then it was still more or less the gallons of hemp and maggots boys on swim feeders before the pellet and boilie was just coming in.
I often found a pattern on the Avon fishing swim-feeder style, first the small fish, then the chub would muscle them out and then the barbel would move in that is if they were feeding of course.
But by far I found the best way and more pleasant way to fish was free lined cheese. Cheap as chips which by the way I also heard worked on occasions and had both barbel and chub on the cheese.
Put a piece of cheddar (super market packets just as good) about a 1/2-1 inch or bigger on occasions. I would thread a baiting needle through the cheese and then pull the hook back through and twist it and pull back into the cheese just until the hook disappeared. I could cast a long way with this with a well loaded fixed spool right up to the lip but a bit of grass might help on longer casts and depending on the cheese used but the rubbery supermarket cheddar was pretty good in this respect.
I would look for gaps in the weed and cast above them and let the cheese trundle down judging that it would hit the bottom in the gap and keep paying out line until it settled. Some of the thicker fronds where they are swaying are clear beds underneath, casting to the edge of the sway and the cheese would pass through to the bottom but experimenting on the bank will help so try eye and judgement, but heavy-ish weeded water not impossible. Then prop the rod up with a bow in the line and wait and watch. The weed would make the line move but bites were generally obvious. I would pick the rod up and lower it and give plenty of time for the fish to get the cheese in the back of the mouth, strike too early and the cheese would pull from the lips. Practice and judgment got better with both the casting and striking as time went on but more importantly, just understanding what I could do and not do with it. With the weed the cheese would easily pull through it when retrieved, with no weights swim-feeders, shot etc and fish snagging was not much of a problem either although I still had to bully them a bit to keep them getting in the weed but it was only a case of getting them on top and keeping them there, I think I was using 12lb line at the time or was it 8lb, can't remember but bear in mind the thinner the line the less resistance to current and wind.
So with a couple packs of cheese, hooks, rod rest and net quite a lot of water could be covered, I think there is quite a lot of the severals you could try maybe (is it 3 miles of water) if this tickles your fancy.
Plenty of good chub and barbel caught in different places on the Avon, moving swims after 15 20 mins in each, no ground-bait, cheese is smelly and if a fish was there they would latch on but lob a few freebies in as you wish.
Old fashioned way of fishing but I found it very good on the Avon and ended up always fishing like it in the end.
 
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peterjg

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Loads of good advice and ideas already said. I would now start with a bunch of flavoured dead maggots either on the hook or on a maggot clip in conjunction with an open ended feeder. Upstream legering has already been mentioned, it is a great method but do use a fixed and not running feeder - put a float stop above the feeder. You are then playing fish OUT of the weed.

I used to fish the Severals as long ago as the '70s. At the start of the lane was an old B&B called the Copper Kettle (no longer there) and run by a bloke called Jim Vincent. Happy memories.
 
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