Thursday, 8 September 2011

Wind Of Change

When I got to the river bank,I was greeted by the rich smells of blackberry and balsam,a very heady,fragrant combination,the bushes were loaded with heavy crops of berries,birds and insect life happily gorging themselves on natures hamper.As an angler Autumn is one of my favourite seasons to go fishing,a time where the fish are more willing to feed and get their heads down,knowing that the harder winter times will eventually be on the way.

It was a sunny day and the river was still very low compared to how it had been in years gone by,that coupled with sunshine across the water,I cannot say that I was overly confident and I was rather glad that I would be fishing into darkness.I decided to place my eggs in one basket and put both rods out on boilie,upstream rod on shellfish and the downstream rod on a new home made base mix containing anchovy and robin red,which I have decided to name "red anchovy".

Given the conditions I didn't expect much during the daytime and knowing the size of the fish in this river and some of the snags nearby,I was not going to be tempted into fining down my tackle in search of a bite,thus risking fish welfare,I was more than happy and willing to play a waiting game.

A waiting game it certainly was,with only a few light taps and plucks by late afternoon.Daylight faded away and evening drew in earlier,as it does in September,the night was met by a chorus of owl hunting calls,the rustle of mink as they plotted their way along the far bank path and the sound of mice nearby,chattering like a rogues meeting.

This is where something odd occurred,I had a nice cheese and relish baguette sat on top of my rucksack,a prime target for any rodent,but this remained untouched,not a jot of interest from the rascals,instead they decided to have a light snack on the rubber buttons of my digital fishing scales,cutting small slivers of rubber off of two of the buttons,I was puzzled and rather bemused to say the least.

It was not till late night that I had my first serious bite,rod tip lunging round,the fish plodded off in a run downstream and in the direction of some very dense wood,side strain applied and it was gradually coaxed back in my direction,after a short battle,a Barbel of 12lb was recuperating in the landing net.I was very happy,as the fish had fallen to the red anchovy mix and that made for some added satisfaction.

By now the late night sky had changed some what and unsettled clouds were beginning to appear,a wind was taking gradual breathes,lightly caressing the hawthorns and brambles with each passing,the odd speck of rain pattered the umbrella,but did not gather any pace.I looked over both rods wondering if there would be more action,ever expectant but without greed,time comes to pass and a place to rest ones mind with the odd fish as reward is something of a bonus.The upstream rod's baitrunner let out a fast paced run and a very exciting fight ensued with a fish that headed off into the middle of the river,but didn't hug the bottom,instead making long runs in its repeated attempts to make it to the cover of the far bank.Eventually the culprit was in the landing net,a very pretty and heavily scaled Mirror Carp of 11lb+.A fish falling to both baits,"perfect" I thought to myself.

It was very early morning when I had my last run,unfortunately losing the fish to a hook pull,by now the wind had become stronger,gusting with something akin to anger,the clouds were puffing up and the heavens opened,giving the river something it desired and not just a small amount,sheets upon sheets of rain hammered down onto the river,I waited for the rain to stop before slowly packing up,when the rain finally abated the river looked rejuvenated and small fish were topping in appreciation of the welcome deluge.

I made my way home,back to the reality that is the real world,but back to it with a contented smile on my face.


  1. lovely barbel and stunning carp mate. Shame about your tasty rubber buttons though

  2. Mark
    I love the term "risking fish welfare", it seems I've been doing it for some time without knowing it! Wonderful post, you made me feel as if I was there with you.

  3. Wonderful stuff Mark. Beautiful fish.

    My local stream was well up yesterday after all the rain we've been having - very encouraging.

    I did see mink, herons, cormorants and kingfishers though so it's a wonder there are any fish left! Although where there are predators there must be prey I suppose.


  4. Its strange just how rare a double figure Barbel is these days, And then while catching up on all the blogs i folow i find this one and its the second "And Biggest" Double, Very well done on the capture Mark its a real feather in your cap,
    All the best,

  5. Thanks Steve,

    I'm pretty chuffed with both fish,but gosh those rubber buttons I couldn't believe it when I found them nibbled,Cheese vs rubber,I never expected rubber to win hands down.


    Thanks I am grateful you enjoy the blog so much.I like to try if fishing near any snags to fish away and draw the fish out as this is safer,same for not fishing too fine as you can get into trouble pretty fast should a fish dive for any nearby snag areas.I have been reading your blog since finding it and I must say I am quite envious at some of the waters you fish.


    thank you,they were both lovely fish to have grace the landing net.
    I agree about the predators,I too have had Cormorants erupt from under
    the surface during daylight hours and Mink traveling up and down the river banks day and night,I usually find if they are particularly busy during the night,it can take some time before the fish feel secure enough to feed.


    why thank you very much kind sir,it is my largest Barbel of the season so far and taking it on a new home made recipe really added a lot to the satisfaction in capturing it.

    Kind regards

  6. What a great golden-colored barbel...and wonderful fotos!
    Greets from Vienna!

  7. Hello there sixpack,

    thanks and congratulations to you too
    on that lovely Barbel you have just caught in your latest blog post,well done chap.

    kind regards

  8. What funny little rodents! I would have gone for the baguette & cheese! Lovely post, and especially that mirror carp!

  9. Thanks Erin,I quite agree with you,Baguette every day for me if I were a rodent.

    Cheers for dropping by.

    Kind regards