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River Fishing Private Days

Your Private River Fishing with John Bailey


Your private fishing with John Bailey is always a special fishing experience with an acknowledged master of the river.


John is famous for his exploits on two rivers in the UK, one to the west and one to the east. It’s a fact that John was one of the pioneers on the River Wye back in the 1980s, searching for barbel there before the angling world even had a clue that they were present.


John struck gold, after four years of trying, in the late 80’s and by the early 90s, his barbel fishing courses at the Red Lion Hotel became nationally famous. Internationally almost: we have had many guests from France, Germany and Scandinavia.


The Wye is a particularly beautiful river but, of course, it’s the techniques that John uses that make the courses so compelling. You might be touch legering, rolling baits, using a float, free-lining, wading, sight fishing...doing anything rather than sitting on a basket, watching a nodding rod tip.


John employs the same nomadic techniques on his beloved River Wensum in Norfolk where, in every season, you can also join a shared course. It was on the Wensum that John made his name in the early 70s with strings of massive roach captures. That is when he began his writing career to magazines such as Coarse Fisherman. If anyone can put you on the big roach, chub, barbel and perch of Norfolk’s Wensum, John is that man. He is on the river most days of the week and is in constant touch with the shifting fish populations. And once again, John has access to miles of private bankside. Here you can fish weir pools, mill pools and deserted meadows that often haven’t been fished for decades.


You will experience fishing action and excitement, laughter, an adventure to remember forever. You may wish to specialist fish and take advantage of John’s expertise and current up to date knowledge. Stupendous pike. Beautiful roach. Massive chub. Waters that are idyllic, private, away from the madding crowds. We cannot guarantee particular catches but John seems to make fishing magic happen with great regularity. John loves innovation and exploration too so just ask for exactly what you want and we will do our best. Much learning, much fun!


In Herefordshire enjoy the unforgettable fight of a heroic barbel in fast water, visit serene pools, fish under dramatic cliffs...so much variety in one to two days you will feel as though you have had a week’s holiday away.


Why would you fish with John Bailey?


John is a great fishing companion, inspiring, great fun, extremely knowledgeable and so keen for people to love their days fishing. He knows the rivers and lakes intimately so you have the very best chance of success John enjoys your success more than his own!


We arrange a private call for you with him and you get all the pre-trip advice and information you need to prepare.


Whether you are an advanced fisherman, a total beginner, somewhere in between, or buying a present for a loved one, we will create and look after your dream.


You can enjoy days on your own with John, with one or two or more friends or family or arrange small corporate get-togethers to benefit your business.

Booking Form

“I enjoyed the beautiful setting and learning a new fishing technique from a real enthusiast” Paul Chubbuck, Cambridge


“I think John wanted me to catch a barbel more than I did !! Knowledge was brilliant. A real eye opener” Ian Flanders, London


every thing was spot on. John put me on a beautiful secluded water where there was every chance of a really huge fish, which is what I asked of him. As I always say “every dog has his day”, & next time it may be my day!.Andy Sage

“The tremendous fishing on the Wye was near to perfect from my point of view…John was extraordinarily patient and persevered with me, with the result that I succeeded. I learnt so much about barbel techniques that I know will enable me to fish more confidently in the future. I also want to thank you for enabling me to fish such tremendous swims where the fishing and surroundings were exceptional…I also valued your emphasis on how to care for fish which is so important for the future...looking forward to joining you again next year” Terry Scragg, Arundel

“I enjoyed the day enormously, and it also made me focus on various aspects of my fishing which I am sure will pay off in the future. Second time (for me -- third for JP) meant that we got going quicker and used JB more effectively. We ended up staying on one stretch of the River which meant that we maximised the time available to us. Hotel continues to be just the ticket. The last few weeks of the Season might be the time to return, so we will see...” Simon Clark, Little Berkhamsted

What our clients say

How do you arrange your fishing?


Just email us with a selection of your preferred county, species and dates and the number in your party to confirm availability and once dates are confirmed then we need a booking form and 50% or full payment to confirm your place.


We will send you a confirmation, fishing information and directions by email on receipt of your booking. If this is a present please let us know who it is for and what the occasion is and we will post a gift card to them if you wish.


You need to book your fishing well ahead to get your preferred dates, as John’s diary fills fast.

You can fish alone or gather a small group together. Alternatively, you are welcome to bring a non-fishing partner –these locations offer plenty to do beyond the fishing.





What are the best dates?


Choose summer to enjoy spectacular river fishing for bream, tench, barbel, chub in Norfolk and barbel fishing on the River Wye in Herefordshire

 Choose autumn and winter for pike, roach and barbel river fishing in Norfolk 


Can we arrange accommodation for you?


We can arrange this from a handpicked selection of excellent hotels conveniently placed for the fishing and also offering you a real feel for the area. All offer excellent food and cosy bars. The sooner you book the more likely you are to get your preferred date.


Other options


Estate Lake Fishing

Carp Fishing

Pike Fishing

Tench Fishing

Call 01452 813241 or 07866 470238 if you have any questions or to reserve your dates

  • You can choose your own dates
  • You have John’s undivided attention and are free to do as you choose
  • Your own outcomes and interests totally focused on
  • You will have access to totally private lakes and stretches of river
  • You will enjoy absorbing, unexpected fishing on some of the most stunningly beautiful waters you're ever likely to come across
  • You will gain insights, skills and new approaches and have the time of your life as you do so

Unbelievable, John, thanks for a superb experience. It was one of the best days of my life - a sublime setting and my heart was in my mouth with the fishing all day - I learned so much too. I'm coming back with a couple of friends next year

David Bowles, Shepherd's Bush

Book Now.

Just call 07866 470238 or email (joy2AT/curly a angling-travel then add .com