Thursday 18 June 2015

June 16th 2015 on the River Wye, Courtfield, Lower Lydbrook

One of the River Wye's smaller residents -
Great to know that the big barbel of tomorrow
are thriving in this fantastic river
June 16th, opening day of the river season! A day every keen river angler looks forward to and although for many, with expectations set high, it can often be a disappointment, for some it can be a great day. I have been lucky enough to go fishing on this special day a number of times but I have never had what I would call a "good" June 16th. This year I hoped to change that and it was back in January that I booked a place each for me and my dad to fish my favourite stretch of my favourite river on opening day! The Courtfield beat at Lower Lydbrook on the River Wye. We arrived late morning and I was pretty excited despite the less than ideal conditions we were presented with. Bright, clear skies and a very low and clear river are not exactly what you want when targeting a river full of barbel and chub, but that's what we were faced with and so we would have to try our best and cross our fingers for a little luck. Fortunately, I'm pleased to say, luck is something I usually enjoy plenty of and as our baited rigs splashed in to the river I sat back quietly confident that today was going to be my first "good" June 16th. After only half an hour dads rod hooped over and the reel screamed in a way that could only mean a barbel had slipped up and picked up the hair rigged halibut pellet that they just can't seem to resist. A good scrap resulted in barbel number one, a great start and weighing in at 7lb 15oz. My turn next for a fish, a chub of about 3lb. Another followed soon after, bigger this time at 4lb 1oz. Dad was soon bent in to another barbel, another good fish at 8lb 9oz. My first barbel was next and I was really chuffed with it, not because it was a big fish but because it was a small one, the smallest barbel I've ever caught in fact. Weighing no more than 1lb 8oz it was proof that the Wye barbel are thriving, ensuring good fishing for hopefully years to come. The hours ticked away and we continued to catch well. Dad landed the biggest barbel, a beauty that weighed 9lb 1oz, I wasn't far behind with a 8lb 12oz fish. We both caught decent chub, with fish to over 4lb. So there we go, my first ever "good" June 16th! Courtfield rarely disappoints and it's for this reason that I have another six trips booked between now and October. For information visit

A 4lb chub - Average size now for this part
of the River Wye


  1. I have booked courtfield for September, having not fished for barbel, what would you recommend regarding bait and rigs for this venue.
    many thanks Stuart Atling

    1. Hi Stuart
      I always fish pellet or boilie on running lead rigs. Size 8 hooks tied to 12lb fluorocarbon hooklengths, 3oz weights and 10lb reel line will do the trick. Courtfield is a great beat, the barbel now average 6lb/7lb and you can often catch a dozen or more on a good day. Ask Don, the owner/bailiff on the day for additional advice. Enjoy your day!

  2. Thanks very much for the info.