There'd been plenty of rain on Tuesday and the river was up, as expected. Higher than anticipated but plainly dropping. The colour was excellent and my confidence was sky high.
With nobody else on the bank I dropped into a proven floodwater spot and took my time setting up. I put out the same two Tuff 1s that I'd wound in at the end of my last session, close in and slightly upstream. The second rod was rebaited with a 'snake', a bag added , and as soon as the rig hit the water the other rod tip started stabbing downwards and the front rod rest toppling over. I got the second rod in the rests and the baitrunner on just before the first rod hit the deck!
It had taken all of five minutes to put a fish on the bank. A fish that had fought a good 50% above its weight too. This time I rebaited and added a bag of pellets before recasting. It was a whole quarter of an hour before the downstream rod lurched over - this time the bankstick collapsed before the baitrunner whirred. Somehow I failed to connect. Not to worry. With the prevailing conditions I was sure of a mega-haul of barbel.
The day had started wet, turning fine and sunny in the afternoon. After dark the heavy showers arrived, accompanied by a strong, gusty wind. The air temperature was only 12 as I arrived. The drop in air temperature being one possible reason why the bats were absent at dusk as they had been on my last session - a sure indicator that winter is approaching.
When I noticed how quickly the river was dropping, over a foot in three hours, my confidence ebbed away, especially as there were a lot of freshly fallen leaves fouling the rigs. By ten o'clock I had packed up. The cows had had enough of the weather too and had taken shelter behind a hedge. The roads on the drive home were awash in places, the car's thermometer reading a meagre 8 degrees - the first time it's dropped to single figures this season - maybe the bats have it right when they hibernate...