The last week hasn't presented me with much time to head out to the river bank, owing to my girlfriends birthday bash over the last 3 days and being rammed with work, although the first part only happens once a year and I'm not complaining either with the work, many are not as fortunate.
With the spare time that I did find I went out in search of Barbel and Chub by deploying my rolling meat tactic that almost always favours me more than not, about 80% of all my Barbel over the last two seasons have fell to the tactic on all the rivers I fished in that time excluding the Royalty, rolling meat for me has been an education in itself as I haven't had anyone teach me and I believe I have almost got it almost down to a perfection but I think there is still room for a bit of improvement.
On my walk up river to a spot I usually go just to set up I spotted a shoal of Barbel immediately spawning away on the vast gravel beds, the second shoal I've seen spawning in a week, but these I think were different bunch due to the size difference, the largest around 7lb down to the smallest around the 2lb mark, I stuck around a while to watch them create the next generation, then it was time to locate the fish that have already spawned, which must be hungry given the amount of energy expelled due to their efforts to re-populate.
I was only going to fish a handful of swims and staying in a localized area with only two hours spare, it wasn't too long to wait when I got my first bump but it didn't materialize into a take so after a few more rolls with no enquiries I headed back down and entered the jungle which used to be a riverbank, reminds me of a scene from Predator with Schwarzenegger and the dense jungle when they open fire on the alien on their first encounter in the film, after beating my way through to the swim I finally found the edge of the river and after 5 minutes of being stung by nettles I got a cast in and left it to roll by itself around a small slack in the edge, it sat in the crease for about 2 minutes when I got quick pluck and then rod pull, I was in and straight away I knew it was a Chub and not long after a Chub about 2.8lb was landed and sent straight back.
The rain started to come down albeit finely but it seemed to be getting steadier and more persistent, which was to herald my departure but just before that happened I rolled through a deepish swim along a run of weed and at the head of some ribbon weed and then I got violent take which tore the tip of rod around and as quick as it hit the bait the fish was gone, was it a pick up and drop or did it roll on it, testing the validity of the bait. Who knows! it had to be a Barbel though nothing else in this river possesses that power. But that was it for me and I was off home, just one Chub caught in that short session, the Barbel are playing hard to get so far, it will improve though once they get copulating out of their minds.
Plenty of streamer weed for cover, makes rolling a little more challenging.