My last two trips out resulted in two magnificent catches of Barbel off of the ( River Ribble and River Rother (Sussex) ), somehow could I complete the hat-trick? Well, it would seem my purple patch extended into my third session, it has become quite an incredible 3 weeks. Almost speechless.
After more than two weeks off the bank owing to work and family commitments I hadn't managed to get out, so with the hot spell abating and an unexpected early finish I thought it would be rude not to go fishing for a couple of hours before heading home for dinner.
Around 1530 I arrived on the ColnBrook and had a wander with my rolling gear, very minimal gear and scoped out areas where I suspect the Barbel would be holding up and it didn't take long before I got a savage wrap around on my rod but when I struck nothing was on the other end, I suspected a Chub as it was typical for Chub to be present in this specific area. But on the other hand I could not totally rule out a Barbel.
|Tough to roll but doable when you know how.|
After that brief action I decided to stick it out in that area and got a bait on the bottom but after an hour nothing materialised so I moved upstream, rolling through various treelined runs but every run seemed devoid of life, all that broke that lifelessness was the constant flow of planes taking off from Heathrow, some low enough to cup your ears and feel the hot waft of aviation fuel whip past as they headed for foreign climes.
2hrs of constant rolling meat and evading mosquitoes led me slowly back down to where I had that early action, I dropped my bag on the floor gently, crawled into position and flicked my bait across to the far bank and allowed it to slowly fall to the bottom ( around 4/5ft ) no sooner did it brush the bottom I felt a subtle pluck which was instantly followed by the raw power of a Barbel, my centrepin was in meltdown and my 1.5TC Drennan Twin-Tip Duo was bent right through to the butt, this fish was very strong and within half a minute I caught a glimpse of the fish which I knew was a double, that made me very very nervous indeed.
I think not seeing them for a majority of the fight makes it somehow easier, seeing this one so early on I knew how high the stakes were and this was a must win battle, ColnBrook doubles are very rare indeed.
Three or four times during the battle the line pinged off its dorsal fin and that did not help with the nerves either, twisting and turning downstream after long surging runs up and down towards weed-beds which seemed to surround me before inevitably it found one and wedged itself deep underneath, luckily for me the bed it found was under my feet so I had the chance to create numerous angles on the fish, with 12lb line and a micro-barb hook I knew the odds were still in my favour. I slackened off the tension and slowly but surely began to feel it kick gently under the weed where I then put the rod into full action and the Barbel eased out and back out into the flow to continue its crazy fight, this fish did not want to come in, mercifully she was tiring and it wasn't too long before I finally had a ColnBrook double resting in the net, we both needed a breather! That was enthralling to say the least.
I didn't need to weigh it to know what I had achieved, but I did anyway, of course!.
With great anticipation I watched the scales settle on 11lbs 5oz, EPIC!!!
💥💥💥 RIVER NUMBER 22 COMPLETE!!!! 💥💥💥
|My ColnBrook beauty.|
I honestly don't know what is going on but that's now three trips, 4hrs on the Ribble, 10hrs on the Rother and now 3hrs on the ColnBrook and caught a double off each with no other fish featuring, there is no way I could top this run, could I??? Right place, right time and the right tactics and watercraft.
Bring. On. Number 23, please :)