River Mole Double, That's A Wrap!!
With that loss on Monday still very raw I wanted to get back down as soon as possible at the very least try and get a bite, on Wednesday I shot down to the river after work to find that in just two days the river level had dropped more than 8 foot!, I didn't think it would happen so fast, seeing as I was there I tried my luck anyway, unfortunately I fished a few pegs but without a touch.
When I had got home I looked at the forecast for the next few days and the next few days looked pretty squalid, with a decent bit of rain the river could well rise again. Whilst at work yesterday and chipping through my schedule the persistent rain showers had me thinking that the Mole could potentially rise a little and with a bit more water in the river I may stand a chance of a bite, maybe even a fish.
About 1530 I left south-west London and headed for the Mole, shrouded in drizzle to moderate rain the whole way down I felt like I stood half a chance. When I arrived the rain was teaming down, the march across the fields was hard work but good to get back down again, the more I fished it the more chance I stood of catching my target.
I made a bee-line for the swim I lost the two fish and landed the 7lb 13oz Barbel, I knew at least at some point this week Barbel were present so used that as my base, given the fact it was hammering it down I didn't fancy moving much either so I sorted a rod out and sat behind it in my rain suit.....the monotonous rain kept falling for another 45 minutes when I decided to have a change of tactic. As I could see the river was beginning to rise I bought in my static rod and took to rig off, tied a size 6 wide gape hook straight to the 12lb line and placed a large lump of meat out in the flow and began rolling the long gravel run.
First roll through lasted about 3 minutes or so before it came to an end, I then went downstream 20/30 yards to a nice back eddy off a 4ft pacy glide under two large oak trees and worked my bait at the top and down through the crease, a few little knocks were felt to begin with as the meat bounced over a few stones and possibly little snags poking out the bottom before it again, came to an end. I repeated the cast but slightly further upstream and out, so I could cover different water and as I got down roughly half way I felt a tiny pluck on my finger tip that felt odd, so I struck it and instead of expecting the strike to pull through the bait the rod went solid and slammed downstream, I had definitely pissed something off! I sure hoped it was a Barbel, conditions were now perfect for it!.
Powerful surging runs in the increasingly strong current made for a spectacular battle, that was until all of a sudden, just like Monday the fish went solid, I couldn't believe it was happening to me again, this time though I did not allow any give in the gear and without a lead and other components to perhaps hinder my escape I applied pressure from all the angles I could muster, however in the pouring rain I was losing grip on the rod and struggled to do much with it, only when I scrambled behind me to grab my towel could I dry the gear off and regain some modicum of control, this was only going to end one way, I was determined of that and after three or four minutes I felt the fish kick and then I went for broke, I cranked down on the fish and kept the pressure up.
The snag could be felt grating the line as the fish slipped slowly past it when, much to my delight it came completely free and the whole weight of the Barbel was once again on the rod, as it came away from the snag it came to the surface briefly and rolled, thus showing its deep, board flank, I had no doubt in my mind this was my R.Mole double and with one almighty pump down on the rod she came across the crease and into the slack where I was gleefully waiting with my now somewhat small net (30'' Fox pan) for the Barbel to cruise in, once half the fish was in I scrambled the rest in, I HAD DONE IT!!!!!!! 6 visits equating 20.5hrs in somewhat unfavourable conditions for humans I had done it. What a fish she was too.
Now it was time to briefly marvel at my hard fought prize, on the Rueben Heatons and Avons, she weighed a superb 12lb 10ozs, pure River Mole awesomeness! Another very tough venue chalked off.
River number 8 out of 40 - Done! Ignore rolling meat on a rising river at your peril, I'd love a pound for every Barbel I've caught when faced with those set circumstances. I would be a full time angler I suspect.
|Soaked through to the bone, I couldn't have cared less!|
After I slipped this incredible creature back I went home to get a nice warm shower and dry clothes for I had returned victorious!!!