Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

Beginning of the Year Update

2010 HNY

Welcome to 2010, let’s hope it’s a good one!

Lots to look forward to on all fronts but the most important thing is to wish good health and happiness to all my friends and family and everyone who looks in on here. This past year has brought home the importance of that last sentence, the old Crabtree generation isn’t getting any younger although we still put up a good fight!

Do you believe in little green men?

We know ya’ come a long way
We hope that your ship is o.k.
We hope you’re gonna’ stick around
Maybe to save the day.

How about ET, Close Encounters and aliens from Outta space? Well me neither, that was until New Years Eve or to be precise five minutes into New Years Day!

 ufo I appreciate that a reasonable amount of alcohol had passed my lips by the time I looked outside at what I thought was part of a fireworks display at the big house down the lane, but I have to tell you, I was sober enough to make out what that was up in the sky. Now living up here in the Border hills you get used to all manner of unusual sights, that’s all part of the fun of living here, I love the quirkyness! But this wasn’t the bull giving me a fearsome look on the way to the tackle shed, or the ubiquitous flocks of sheep jamming up the lane for what seems an eternity, conjuring up my worst M25 nightmares, or even the badger that constantly wants to waddle up the hill as I’m driving along behind at one mph, desperate to get home to the loo!


 Oh no, this was supernatural alright, definitely alien visitors  in three ships glowing much brighter than any obvious aircraft on their way home perhaps to a destination in the Berwyn Mountains, where they have been seen before!

Look HERE.

Anyway I thought no more about it, logging it away in the back of my mind for a future discussion when I meet up with Fred Crouch again, he is a great non believer you see, I’ll be interested to get his opinion on this one. But low and behold it seems I’m not the only one, over on Fishing Magic I noticed that UFO’s were also spotted over Birmingham just before I saw them, seems like a definite case for Mulder and Sculley.

I’m not really a lunar-tic, but those flying objects certainly did not come out of the box of Standard fireworks we used to have as kids, they might well have been Chinese Lanterns but in that case they were huge, definitely a danger to normal flying machines! The jury is still out and thats why we are so fascinated with the things we don’t truly understand!

Talking about the Berwyn Mountains, back in the late summer I found myself driving across them on my way to Snowdonia and boy did it scare me! I’ve had no real problem with vertigo in the past but the road in question had an almighty drop on the left hand side and there was no sign of a barrier. Nothing between me and a five hundred feet drop.


 Mind you that road is nothing in comparison to    the road of death in Bolivia. By sheer co-incidence the Top Gear team recorded a Bolivian Special which went out over the Christmas holiday. I’m not the greatest fan of Jeremy Clarkson but have to say this was one of the very best programmes they have ever made. If there was no camera trickery then I take my hat off to them, you would need to be seriously loony to want to drive on that road, let alone at the wheels of the dodgy 4×4’s they were using! If you missed it check it out just HERE.

I know I mentioned it last time but I have to say again how much I enjoy Gavin and Stacey, I’d go as far as to say it’s the best programme of its type since Only Fools and Horses and we all know how good that was. The mix of humour and pathos, the strong group of characters, the way the scenes are structured, all reminiscent of Del Boy, Rodney and co. Great stuff, hope they reconsider and make some more because I don’t believe it has really run its course.

So what does 2010 have in store for us?

Leaving the fishing to one side for a moment, this year promises to be one of the more memorable ones.

h of p

I’m already in trouble with my youngest daughter for mentioning politics on here and I’ve promised her that I will behave, but heck there’s a General Election on the horizon and I’m sure we will all be getting hot under the collar when it hits the screens or worse, if prospective MP’s come knocking…………………….mind you I’m sure I’d find something to say to Lempit!

logo 1The World Cup will be coming to us direct from South Africa and once again English hopes and expectations will be raised to ridiculous levels , it’s already started, and later there will be all the usual recriminations when we fall before the final hurdle. Call me a party pooper, I would say I’m just being realistic, and anyway I don’t really do football anymore and expect to be fishing while all the hoo ha is going on!

On the music front I mentioned last time out that this year it will be the 02 Rolling-Stonescalling and I’ll be there Livin’ on a Prayer with the New Jersey Rocker’s. I’ve just seen that the Rolling Stones are likely to be touring again, if that’s the case then count me in! I know its the same old song and Ronnie Wood has all sorts of woes but Mick and Keef still do it for me and as someone once said, “While the Stones are still on stage I can be forever young”, and he was quite right!

Towards the end of the year it will be Ashes fever all over again although this time the Aussies will be on home soil. I would love to think our cricketers will be good enough to go out there and retain the little urn but it’s a big ask, and if they do, it would be some achievement. But that’s a long way off and I don’t want my time to pass that quickly especially as this year sees me hitting the big 60!60      I know you’ll find that hard to believe!                                    

It really is just another number but I’m sure I’ll be celebrating the occasion with family and friends and these days sixty is just the new forty. At least thats what I tell myself! Anyway the old boys in the pics below don’t look so bad and they have already said goodbye to their fifties.

Bruce at 60                                                               

Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart


Enough of all that, lets talk Barbel and Barbel Fishing!

I’ve a feeling this is going to be one seriously busy year.

I’m looking forward to spending many summer hours on the bank with Kennet13.8Graham Elliott and the many keen friends and anglers who will be enjoying days and evenings with us on the beautiful Wye, the enigmatic Severn and the lovely Teme.


I’m also committed to days with Barbel Society Auction winners and I am beginning to get busy with my own guiding bookings. If you are considering any of the guided trips on offer get in touch now because the time flies by and there are only so many days available!


The Hertfordshire Region of the Barbel Society will be holding its first bcc_badge_smlmeeting in the very near future, the venue is extremely easy to locate near Enfield on the Gt. Cambridge Road. My cousin Brian is organising things and Fred Crouch and myself will be reminiscing on our times spent fishing for barbel on the River Lea. It promises to be a great evening so keep a look out on here and other websites for the date. On a personal note it would be brilliant if the lads from the old Barbel Catcher’s London Region turned up, most of you are local and it would be nice to catch up once again.

bs_logoThe biggest and best Barbel Show takes place on Sunday May 9th at the Hinckley Island Hotel. The show, this year titled Running Water 2010 is free for the very first time to Barbel Society members. You can join the Society now and come along and join us in May, last years line up was superb and this year promises to be even better. Check out HERE.


I’m going to bring this blog to a close now before it turns into a monoblog, don’t forget you can contact me through the site at any time with any barbel fishing related matters. Better still join the Barbel Society right now and then you can meet up with hundreds more like minded barbel fishers and discuss all manner of subjects with them and me on the members forum.

Lets hope the weather really does change soon and then the next update will be all about fishing instead of me rambling on just about everything else!


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