How long has it been?....over two months I believe and that is way too long. It's not that I haven't been fishing because I have, albeit very little. The rigours of work whilst managing the pain that I still find myself experiencing, that coupled with the completion on mine and the mrs first property, not to mention Baby have all taken their toll on what spare time I used to have.
Seeing as it's been a long time I will get back on to the fishing and this one was a good one, especially as it was on a local river and knowing that I only had half a day an early start was needed to give myself half a chance. Just before 6am the rod was set up and I began marching the banks.
With the sun still very low beyond the trees and the dawn mist creeping off the surface gave it the feel of the beginnings of a magical morning and so true it was. To begin with I scanned a couple of miles of river to no avail, the river was gin clear and the lowest I have seen it for quite a long time but this for the most part didn't help in spotting the Chub and Barbel amongst the gravels and numerous runs of weed. As I got close to grounds I have had recent successes off of I started to look even harder into the water and within probably 200 yards I got my first sighting of a good fish.
Almost level with me as I crept over the briars and ivy I tried my very best to avoid detection. Such was the nature of the "peg" if you could call it that, is that I had no other way to get bankside and just hoped the golden shape didn't slip out of sight. Once in position and on my haunches a plan of attack was made, one that I sure wanted to work. Seeing how long it took me to get back on the bank I really wanted to catch something big, here was my chance.
I started off with my normal, go to approach of rolling and after being shun on the first attempt I was made very quickly to go back to the drawing board. As my bait came within two feet of the Barbel' holding position she shuddered and bolted downstream and out of sight, although bearing in mind the weed growth is dense in this area that feat wasn't hard to achieve. Hoping that she wasn't spooked beyond temptation, I sat and waited for about ten minutes tucked away with my secondary tactic out and fishing, a link ledgered piece of meat just held bottom in roughly the same position I had my abandoned chance previously and mercifully she slowly began to head upstream and into view, as she did make it closer to my bait the steam started to form on my polaroids in anticipation.
Just four foot now lay between target and bait and the suspense was insane, then, out of nothing the then static Barbel had enough of staring lunch in the face and within a second or two my bait vanished which nearly had the rod in, even if I was holding it! such was the ferocity. Its a feeling I have sorely missed.
A good four or five minutes was spent trying to navigate this powerhouse from burrowing into the numerous beds of ranunculus and then trying to get the fish to ease into my net which was tough as a really big tree overhead impeded my ability to lift the rod tip, nevertheless I finally slipped the fish over the rim of my net and my trip was already a blazing success and only into the trip less than an hour. Summer Gold at 7am and glistening in the morning sun, how I have really missed that.
In the water I thought she was a double and I wasn't far off. 9lb 7oz of chalkstream gold.
For me that was target achieved and for me the remainder of the day could have gone by without further incident...however, it only got better. All that to follow in part two of Summer Gold.
Love summer barbel for this exact reason, love em!Delete