My Brilliant B&Q – Revisited

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John Bailey

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When I wrote about the grayling in the Lugg adjoining the Leominster B&Q car park, a couple of you wrote back saying that the admirable Theo Pike has written about exactly the same “Ladies” venue. I’m not surprised: there’s something deliciously unexpected in seeing such wild fish in an urban environment, and that’s why the Wandle has received such exposure this century too. A wild brown swimming in trolley-pushing distance of overladen supermarket shelves is a creature to behold.

I did lament in the original piece that I had not taken photos, largely because both my aged Nikons had collapsed on me, and not even I with years of friendship could coax them into life. So, yesterday, I went into Hereford to the London Camera Exchange and did exactly that. The Nikons went for an unbelievable £400, with all the bits, and I went for what they call in the trade, a ‘bridge’ camera, which I believe is half-compact, half-SLR. The model in question is a Canon SX70 or something, costing around £600. The really approachable guys in the shop told me it would do what I want with little fuss, so, after forty seven years of SLR work, I did the deed.

Heart in mouth, with my new purchase, this very morning, I sallied back to B&Q to buy some paint, and find those grayling. Which I couldn’t, but I did find a very pretty brownie some ten to fifteen yards downstream, so I thought that would be a good test for the zoom capabilities of my little Canon.

So, with apologies for not providing pix with the first piece, here’s a beginner’s photo essay of river life in a Herefordshire market town!










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tigger

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Must be over 20yrs back now that a good friend of mine had a couple of boozers in Leominster town centre, to be honest neither he nor any of us liked Leominster, infact I never met a local who had anything good to say about the place. I know there were a lot of smack heads and drug dealers there back then.
Before he got those town centre pubs he had a pub/ restaraunt called the lion in Leintwardine which was right next to the bridge going over the teme (i'm sure it was called the lugg back then?). Now that was a lovely place and the large beer garden backed onto the river so he had the fishing rights. He kept his fishing rods made up permenantly in the cellar and we would always do an hours fishing if we visited and we caught lots of trout and grayling. I remember my friend (the landlord) having two absolutely huge grayling stuffed and put into a fancy glass case which he put up on a shelf in the pub. I remember moaning at him for killing them. I was shocked when he told me he always ate any decent sized ones!
I remember the river was only small but back then it did look pristene, no idea how it looks today. If I lived within a reasnable distance of it I would most definately fish it. If I remember rightly it was mainly game anglers who fished it but I'm sure there is supposed to be some very decent barbel and chub reside in it.

Oops, forgot to mention your pic's, new camera looks to be very good!
 
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theartist

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Those photos bring back memories from when I was trying to fish 100 different rivers, I had a good look at the Lugg at Leominster. We had a walk along there and there were a few fishing including a couple of locals who were seemingly on the only spot that offered depth and flow, behind a car park on bend, I think it was B&Q although I was too busy looking off bridges for fish to notice which shop it was.

This sums up the problems of the Lugg on a whole but that could encapsulate many rivers throughout the country.

Basically I ended up fishing The Lugg on my BAA card and I got a few chub around the 3lb mark and several 12oz - 1lb grayling ( a good fish on most rivers) plus a few small but welcome natural brownies, however after walking several miles on two different stretches the findings were that the only spots that produced fish were the shallow streamy bits.

Much of the Lugg is channeled, bought to the fore from the recent case of the farmer who did his own flood prevention, rightly or wrongly it's doing the river no good. As urban stretches of river go the Lugg at Leominster is a humble one but the problems lie out of town with the channeling of the river. It is an example of how dredging ruins such river courses and needs to be changed.
 
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