Just a quick update this week. Only one session has taken place and it was on a small river in search of barbel. Unfortunately, the river was fining off after a rather substantial flood a few days before. I was sure that the barbel would have gone on a binge feed as the river rose and now, on the other side of the flood, they wouldn’t feed so readily. That being said if I could find the fish I was sure of a bite. So now comes the tricky part. Finding the fish.
The plan was to travel light and drop into as many swims as I could. I would fish a smelly halibut pellet and paste wrap on the hook. The water was still carrying a lot of sediment though this seemed to b dropping out somewhat. Where possible, in crease swims or where the pace of the river was slower, I fed the swim by hand for a few minutes with 4mm and 6mm halibut pellets before making a cast. And when I did so, attached to the lead was a PVA bag of ground and 4mm halibut pellet.
The picture above shows the PVA stick on the hook end as I was fishing a much slower areas behind an overhanging tree. It’s a set up I have confidence in and have used a lot on rivers carrying extra water. I arrived late afternoon and the first four swims I left fish-less. There was plenty of indications from small roach, dace and chub though. I tried a few swims with more pace, upping the lead weight to two ounces, which just held bottom. In one of the swims I had an aggressive take seconds after putting the rig in. The fish bolted, and taken by surprise, I let the rod be pulled flat. Ping! The hooklength pulled out and the fish was lost. Thankfully no tackle was lost. The fish was on for such a short time I couldn’t tell what it was but I wasn’t best pleased. Bad angling!
The first fish that came to the bank was a chub over three pound. It came from a classic crease swim, where I held the rig on a tight line after casting, allowing the flow to swing it under a raft of debris. I also had a smaller fish of maybe two pound from the same swim caught after feeding the swim for a few minutes after returning the first chub.
Unfortunately, those were the only fish that graced the bank. Having fished over eight swims and fishing well into darkness, the barbel refused to cooperate. It was great fun being stung by nettles, bitten by bugs and being toasted by the hot sun. I say that with a hint of sarcasm, but I do really enjoy it. On the drive home I was already looking forward to my next visit to this beautiful little river.
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Until Next time tight lines,