Friday, 11 February 2011

Third Time Lucky

Well,as any angler will tell you,there is not so long left of this river season,barely 4 weeks and the weather at the moment at least is looking rather good,nice bouts of unsettled windy,wet and mild conditions.

Hastily knocking together some scolded pellet mixed with a light textured cloudbait and Grabbing some spam from the freezer that I had enhanced a few days prior with Marukyu Crayfish sauce,I headed off to chance my luck down the river.

It was wet and the rain heavy at times,yet the river was still very low with a hint of colour,the skeletons of dead reeds and their root's could be seen easily in the margins.

I checked the near bank looking for some deeper holes,only to spot a Mink running off down the bank,big as a cat and a lot less cuddly,not happy with the spot I decided to move,something telling me to look further afield,I really don't know what it was,but I felt I should try a different area,eventually I came across a spot that I liked the look of with a nice crease and some deeper holes to my left and a small raft of dead reeds and nice looking gully to my right.

I flicked both rods out and Settled down to watching a Woodpecker in the tree opposite me beating his head against it like some madman possessed,rather you than me I thought to myself,my feeder and maggot rod tapped subtly,a very light mouthing type bite,next thing I knew the tip flipped round,I struck and was met by thin air,on retreiving the feeder I could see why,the hook had flipped over the hooklink "damn" I muttered.

Cage feeder refilled and cast back out,a steak slice opened and a cup of coffee to accompany it,such simple things in life can make you so content,being on the riverbank,sat eating a pie whilst waiting for a bite or two is like some kind of zen for me,the scene was completed when two Kingfishers gave me a low level flyby,not long after my maggot rod began to tap slightly and then tipped round again,I hesitated for a split second and was left clinging to thin air again,on winding in,I found a very large silver scale impaled on my hook,I thought to myself that my chances were ruined,as you rarely get a second bite of the apple with big Chub and I had just had two and I felt this souvenir scale was my last chance.

My Spam rod had been quiet apart from Crayfish snipping it about and generally being a nuiscance,replacing the chewed up piece with a fresh cubed victim,I cast it back out just into the edge of the flow.

Late afternoon was drawing in when my Maggot feeder slapped round,I struck and felt a thud followed by a surging lunge,the resistance felt good as the fish sprinted for the cover of nearby dead reeds,keeping the line tight I played the fish tentatively,eventually a broad backed,grey shadow emerged,the size 16 hook just holding on to the edge of it's lip,it was a real chunky looking Chub and my heart was in my mouth as I slid the net under it,peering over the net I could see this fish had a really nice girth to it,the scales did not disagree as they told me it's weight,6LB 11oz's a real beauty.

Evening drew in and the rain had eased off a little,I checked my watch,an hour left and then I would have to make my way home.Time ticked away,I decided to treat myself to some hobnob's and a cup of coffee whilst listening to the owls calling out into the darkness.

As I poured my coffee,the spam rod jerked forward very hard and in a flash curved round,I struck and was met by a large powerful run,followed by another,the fish was trying to make its way upstream where there was more reeds and snags,I applied as much pressure as I could, given that I was only on a 4LB Reflo hooklink,momentarily the fish replied,I gained some line and the fish then kited back across,as it did so I felt the line ping and then free itself from an underwater snag,my mouth was as dry as leather as the fish finally met the net.

A lovely Barbel of 11LB was my reward and first one of 2011,I was overjoyed,this rounded off what was a very memorable trip and packing up in the rain has never been more enjoyable.

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