Sunday, 16 June 2013

If at first you dont succeed... MOVE!

So the new coarse season was upon me & Marie had taken the camper to Download festival... so I would be back to slumming it in the bivvy. Once most of my stuff was accumulated in a big pile in the middle of the kitchen I still wasn't certain that I knew where I was going to see in midnight. A quick text to John revealed that he was fishing the pads, so I thought I'd be sociable and see how this stretch, that I didn't fish once last year, was looking.
Its wasn't far off 8pm by the time I arrived, bringing the tally of blokes fishing the stretch to 5. I set up in the woods, putting a few handfuls of pellets in and getting the rods ready for the off, before popping to the opposite end of the stretch for a natter with John. Once I'd polished off a couple of IPA's, not long before it properly got dark, I returned to the bivvie to get out of the strong gusting wind and have a bite to eat...
Next thing I knew it was 12:20am, I'd only got comfy and dozed off for a hour or more, missing the starting gun, not that I was that bothered. This evening the actual fishing played second fiddle to the joy of just being back on the riverside again. Now well rested I sat and watched the rods for a few hours, it was still windy and none too warm, but the stars sparkling between the patchy cloud suggested a pleasant morning would follow as I huddled in my duckdown coat and heated a tinned chicken curry up on the petrol stove.
Dawn arrived and the wind had dropped to a pleasant breeze which rippled the water, tinged with just a little colour from Fridays rain. I could see a big shoal of bleak in mid river, feeding off one of the numerous hatches that the morning brought but there was no indication of anything bigger in residence. Later, with my fourth cuppa of the day in hand I wound in the rods and took a steady walk up the stretch, finding out if anyone else had a more eventful night. They hadn't, no bites to anyone other than John, who had managed a bream as the reward for his efforts.
  Slowly I packed away and returned home for lunch. Doing some odd jobs before preparing for my second fishing trip of the day... I had decided that I would fish sundown at the weir, aiming for an early season Barb to kick things off. It was 7:15 pm by the time I arrived, once more the winter floods had re contoured my favourite peg, making it a bit more comfortable, but seemingly shallower than in previous years. I had decided to stick to one bait, Spicy Shrimp & Prawn, but to fish single boilies on one rod and doubles on the other.

The rods registered a few dropbacks through the evening, possibly fish but more likely due to the strong and turbulent flow, after sundown however the upstream rod jabbed unmistakably in the twilight & I lifted into a powerful fish. The fight was strong and steady, not charging off anywhere but refusing to yield either. I was pretty confident that it was a decent barbel, a suspicion confirmed once I got a look at it. I could probably have bullied it in quicker, however I had already decided to call it a night once the fish was landed so I was in no hurry and let the fish come to me in its own good time. Maybe my mental scales calibration is out, but I fancied it for a double particularly as it had a substantial girth. The scales on the other hand said substantially otherwise, not quite giving me 9lb as the measure of the beast. Still happy though as the season isn't even a day old yet...

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