A lot of my barbel fishing takes place on the River Wye, a river that I helped pioneer with Roger Miller and Pete Smith way back in the 1980s, long before the river had achieved its legendary status. However, I also offer barbel fishing on the Wensum with the possibility of some mind-boggling fish there.

The Wye is very much for numbers these days with doubles few and far between. It is exactly the reverse on the Wensum, where you are more likely to catch a fish of fifteen than one of five. Mind you, it certainly ain’t easy.


On most of my courses, a majority of anglers ask to try for barbel on the float. Trotting for barbel isn’t easy but it is very possible and I love teaching the method.

Centrepin mastery

Barbel, trotting and centrepins just have to go together. It’s a thrilling day on the barbel river with the pin in hand. Loads to learn from casting, float control and, of course, playing the fish.


Yes, on the Wensum particularly, it’s possible to see your fish, stalk it, and sometimes, even catch it! The ultimate.

Bouncing baits and freelining

Sometimes, we use boilies and pellets, more often worms, meat and even big naturals like slugs or dead minnows.

End rigs

Barbel become increasingly twitchy as the years roll by. Modern techniques are all examined.

Touch legering

A technique that is associated with the work Pete Smith and I did on the Wye thirty years ago. It’s an approach that works hugely well on many other rivers today.