Several weeks ago I received a message from a chap called John asking if I fancied doing some guiding on the river chasing Barbel on the float. The arrangements were made and today was the day. Having agreed to it I didn't quite realise the amount of pressure involved in trying to set a stall for someone else to catch fish. Leading up to it I also thought I would detest being beside the river and not fishing but once the day started I actually thoroughly enjoyed it, In fact it was quite a different sort of challenge and I relished it.
John helped tremendously being such an easy going guy and pretty skilled in the art of trotting a float in running water.
We started the day in my banker swim, a difficult trot in fast water but I felt confident having pre-baited the evening before. The only problem was the Barbel hadn't read the script.
The second swim was much more to John's liking. A slightly gentler pace but still a powerful flow. He decided to step down from my heavy Barbel gear and use his own set up. Six pound line, five pound hook link, float rod and centre pin reel. A lovely set up until you connect with a big angry Barbel that uses all its muscles and the heavy flow to try to gain its freedom. John battled hard but with limited line on the reel the inevitable was always going to happen. The unseen adversary stripped all the line, straightened the hook and gained its freedom
Swim number three and we were back on the heavy gear. Yet again the Barbel didn't want to play but on reeling in a Pike flashed at the meat and took it. Result, a four pound Pike and as John doesn't fish for old Esox it was a pb to boot!
|John shows how not to hold a Pike!|
If that wasn't strange enough lo and behold the same thing happens again and this time it's bigger again, pb number two at six pounds. As his guide I would love to take the credit for the two pbs but obviously I can't!
We finished the day back in the first swim where a similar story unfolded, another Barbel hooked but sadly the hook pulled, it was just not meant to be. Still thats fishing for you, an enjoyable day where hopefully we both learnt a thing or two.
Having worked hard all morning I fancied an hour or two just kicking back on the bank so the pellets and leads came out and I managed to winkle out a little Barbel just to prove a point to myself.
Not a monster but a welcome fish all the same.
|Back she goes|
Fishing is a superb way of getting closer to nature. Before I had even left my village this morning I had seen a Roe deer. There was also a muntjac on the track down to the river(second one I have seen this fortnight).
On the river there were the usual Moorhens, Swans and Ducks but also there was a Mink, the second I have spotted this week.
The highlight though had to be the Kingfisher. I have seen and taken lots of photos of Kingfishers but never have I had the chance to photograph one from such close quarters and it truly made my day.
At one stage it flew so slowly over my head that I could almost have reached out and grabbed it!