The problem I find with a swollen river is fish location. Are they in the flow making the most of the bountiful larder being swept down to them? Are they sheltering out of the flow avoiding all the rubbish and debris that is washed downstream? Are they under the willows foraging in areas that have previously been under water? Probably all three, the river is wider than normal so there is more area to search, a daunting task.
The first swim I tried had been successful for me in the past in similar conditions but today it seem dead. I was fishing pellet wrapped in paste which I am confident in catching on and although I saw a Barbel roll it was under the far bank willows. An impossible area to fish due to the amount of debris coming downstream.
The next two swims produced the same result, nothing, both good swims in normal conditions but not right for today.
In the final swim I changed tack slightly. Pellet on one rod and luncheon meat on the other. I had grabbed a small tin on my way out this morning purely as an afterthought and this was the bait that went first. A couple of taps and then the rod bent right over. The fish felt good but not Barbel like so I suspected it was a Chub. It was actually an Eel.
With renewed enthusiasm another lump of meat was cast to the same spot.
Less than an hour later the rod hooped over again and the free spool screamed, an obvious Barbel bite. The fish felt strong in the fight but it's power faded rapidly telling me this was no monster. I netted a small Barbel and as I unhooked it I noticed a bite on my other rod. I put the Barbel in the net in the water to recuperate and reeled in a Bream.
|Not a typical brace shot! Bream and 4lb 11oz Barbel|