Given the flimsiest of excuses, I wanted to try out my new rod rest heads, I stopped work and managed to get to the river by seven fifteen. The rests are nice and wide to make dropping the rod in them a cinch, and are deep enough to prevent it then getting blown or dragged out. Should be good for pike fishing too.
As I walked to the river the rain stopped - for a pleasant change. I'd taken three rods with me, the third one being a lighter rod than I normally use and rigged up with mono. I want to see what the set-up feels like with a barbel on the end. So far I have failed to get a bite on this outfit on the few occasions I have used it. It comes in handy as a spare though, and this time it came out of the quiver straight away as I had forgotten to change a frayed end rig. It was quicker to grab the spare rod than tie up another hooklength.
That rod was cast upstream, the river was back down to NSL and clear, and the other one downstream and across. The second rod had only been fishing for ten minutes when, as I was sorting out the frayed rig, I heard the baitrunner squeal into life. The rod was arched over in typical barbel-take fashion. Gazelle like I leapt upon it to do battle with a leviathan. However the fish on the other end of the line soon revealed it's true colours. A chub of about four pounds that I unhooked in the water.
It was a slow night. Even after dark indications were few. Plenty of what I imagine were sea trout were leaping around like the members of the idiotic trutta family that they are. One or two sounded quite large. Only two barbel came out to play. A small one, and another between seven and eight pounds. Both fish coming when I had retired the mono rod for the night.
With the overcast sky it stayed quite warm and the damp held off. So it wasn't a chore being there. The rod rest heads did the job and were easy to locate the rod in during daylight. They'll be getting painted white, like my old ones, before the next night session though. It's surprising how well white (or shiny) things show up after dark, even when not illuminated.
Whenever a rig gets battered I throw it in the bottom of my bait bag. I had a clear out and below you can see the results of a couple of Ribble sessions. When a rig snags up it's either the lead or feeder that's wedged behind a rock, or the hook itself caught up in or on something. Leads come free of the paper clip quite easily, but 30lb Power Pro really does help open out the hooks. The bottom rig shows what the snags can do to 20lb braided hooklinks - the others are a little stronger and tougher!
With an Indian summer having arrived yesterday the river will remain low and clear for a few days by the looks of the forecast. I'll either have to change my tactics or fish for something else. If I get the chance to fish at all that is. There are rods to fettle for a Monday despatch, stuff to sort out for the PAC convention, and more rods to make a start on since a delivery of rings arrived. I'm sure I'll find a window of opportunity to escape through though...