After working too hard (by my low standards) and waiting in for parcels and couriers, I finally cracked and dropped everything to head for a low and clear river with a couple of pints of maggots and a tip rod. Although I thought the river was at NSL last time I fished a week of dry weather showed I had been mistaken by about a foot.
What a waste of time the maggots were! I got bites okay, but the one fish I hooked was a minnow. When it came to dusk the bites dried up. At least I could see my newly painted rod rest heads in the low light!
Luckily I had taken my barbel gear too. When I say luckily, no luck was involved whatsoever! I have almost as little patience with quiver tipping as I do with float fishing. Although I plan on doing some serious tip fishing this winter if conditions are favourable. I've told myself that before though...
Just before it got properly dark a barbel of about a pound and a half hung itself on a single 8mm pellet. Then when it was properly dark I wound the other rod in to find I'd been slimed. An eel of about a pound, yet again hooked in the back. As I was stripping snot off my line I heard the other reel zip into life as another barbel made off with the pellet snake I had swapped over to. This fish fell off, but the bait was taken almost straight away on the recast by a barbel about twice the size of the first one.
Quarter to nine and the same rod, after a chub bite that didn't stop (suggesting a hooked chub), produced the smallest barbel of the season so far - maybe one whole pound. This was a bit grim. I chucked the snake further across the river. After five minutes it was away resulting in a leviathan that was easily six pounds!
After losing an end rig I stuck two 15mm Tuna Wraps on the upstream rod, for no other reason than the only spare rig I had made up had a big hook and a long hair. After a long wait the rod tip started dancing. I picked the rod up and there was a fish on, probably a chub as it wasn't going anywhere. Then it felt the pull of the rod and headed downstream at a considerable rate of knots. A brief but spirited fight ensued and I had something worth weighing in the net. As I was wringing the water from the sling the downstream rod took off. This was another schoolie, unhooked in the water like all the others. The one I weighed was a nice solid fish. Too short to go doubles, but one that made the night worthwhile. Half an hour later another little one came along to a single 8mm crab pellet.
Sometime back I posted a picture of the landing net attachment of a zinger for my forceps. Not long after that post it exploded into its constituent parts and, Humpty Dumptylike, refused to be put back together again! The next attempt was a coiled plastic 'spring' which worked well, but stretched - rather defeating the object of the exercise. I might just as well have used string after a few weeks. The MkIII version is made of hollow pole elastic - which is amazingly streeeeetchy! Early days, but having the forceps on the net does save a lot of messing about. The rubber band retainer needs some refinement!
The day had been cloudless and warm. Even with a starry sky it stayed quite mild, and when the cloud cover came in after eleven it warmed up. I wound the rods in at half eleven and spent a while in another swim with one of them. All that resulted were a few fast chub bites.
It's good fun catching a few when you haven't been out for a while, but I really must try to get a session in somewhere that's more of a challenge.
Oh well, the PAC Convention looms on Saturday. Up early, long drive there, set up my stall, spend all day on my feet talking fishing, pack up, long drive home. If you are attending the Convention come and say hello.