The prettiest barbel

  • Thread starter Ron Troversial Clay
  • Start date

Ron Troversial Clay

I've said it before and I will say it again, the best looking barbel in England are the Trent fish.

The colours of these fish are truly stunning. The barbel in other rivers are dull and drab in comparison.

Perhaps it's due to the fact that Trent fish are as near as possible to true wild fish. The drabbest barbel I have ever caught were Hants Avon and Severn fish, mainly I think because they do not belong there.

The Ouse fish look good too.

Easterly flowing rivers?


New member
Not biting Ron, other than to say you'll go a long way to see a better fish than an Avon barbel in good nick.

I'll maybe try and find some pics and make up an Avon Barbel album.

Ron Troversial Clay

My Hants Avon & Dorset Stour fish were all taken in the 60s. Maybe they have improved in condition. During the 60s, even Walker wrote about the poor condition of Avon barbel, especially those of the Royalty. Peter Stone reckoned you could land a Royalty double on a 2lb bottom, such was their fighting qualities then.

The hardest fighting barbel from my experience are those in the Yorkshire Swale. However the Swale fish were not very pretty.

The Yorks Ouse fish were much better coloured and bigger too.

Big Rik

I think the Trent fish are pale and palid in comparisson to other rivers.

The hardest fighting barbel are definitely on the Dove.
(yes I know it's a Trent tributary)

Come back down the Avon and Stour Ron, but wait until you retire, because it'll take you a few trips to be able to catch one.

Ron Troversial Clay

Even if I retire, why should I travel 250 miles to catch a barbel that doesn't fight when I can travel 35 miles to catch a barbel that does?

Actually less - 2 miles.

Some doubles have come out of the Don recently. (Another Easterly flowing river).

The Dove barbel are pukka fish, I agree. Part of the Trent catchment where they are indigenous.

Tim Ridge

Well-known member
Sorry ron I have to diagree with you on this one and agree with rik. The trent fish do tend to be pale. I've only caught a handfull of hants avon barbel in the late eighties from the sandy balls stretch but they were a lovely golden hue and far prettier fish than those which I catch nowadays from the trent.
The absolute best looking barbel that I have caught have been from the mid-upper nidd.
Yorks Derwent barbel tend to be similar in colour to the trent fish with Warfe and Swale fish having a slightly darker appearance. Ouse and lower nidd fish seem to vary a lot in colouration.

Ron Troversial Clay

Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder.

But I have had Trent barbel with bright wine red fins, silvery flanks ashading to green, alost like a rudd.

Can't get much much prettier than that to my eyes.

Nigel Connor(ACA ,SAA)

Miss Barbel World!!Lets hope no non-fisherman get a look at his thread. They'd definately think were barking mad!

Agree with Ron on the fighting qulaities of the Swale fish - beasts!I thinks its because they always have a snag nearby they go hell for leather to get there.

Disagre on the appearence of Avonb fish - like Tim & JP they are splendid although its some time since I had one.

Ron C

New member
Ronald C

Never fished the R. Trent, so can?t comment, as you say I?m sure those Trent Barbel are truly stunning in colour.

Pray tell I, why is it so many northern folk come down to fish the Hants Avon, Dorset Stour, Kennet and the Gt Ouse for the dull drab barbel in the stunning south?
Ron C.

Fred Bonney

Trying to show a pretty feisty one!

I haven't a clue!!!/forum/smilies/embarassed_smiley.gif

I think, I've at least got it in my album.

Paul (Brummie) Williams

ron.....sounds like your Trent fish were hybrids! /forum/smilies/eye_rolling_smiley.gif

Jeff Spiller

Ron it's your eye's, you can't tell me that a Trent Barbel is better than an Avon Barbel and keep a straight face !

Fred it must have been a hell of a fight, you look knackered, Barbel look's quite fresh though /forum/smilies/big_smile_smiley.gif


its the same fish 4 years on ....lok at the dates of the thread.....