Tuesday 23 January 2024

Barbel Saves The Day.


 I had a few hours burning a hole in my day as I needed to run my van down to the service centre, so naturally I took the fishing gear with me and wet a line. The plan was to start on the float and fish for Chub, however the deluge we endured overnight turned the river from a benign stream to a raging torrent...seems to be my luck recently. 

 After persevering with the float for an hour I finally jacked it in without a touch. My mate Stu popped along for a wander and chat for the day in the vein hope he'd see some fish. Knowing the river as well as I do I opted to change over to a very simple link ledger set-up and fish 5lb line straight through, most would feel this a bit light for Barbel but it's not much lighter than I used (6lb) for about 15 years on this specific river and very rarely lost a fish, in fact I would go years without a line break. Of course you had hook pulls occasionally but that was no reflection on the lines capability.

 First spot that we dropped in looked decent but could feel it was very snaggy and quickly thought better of it. Second spot I tried was a bit more like a floodwater Barbel swim and thankfully it didn't take long! 

Wonderful looking fish.

 A spirited battle ended up with a nice plump floodwater Barbel lying in the net, this was followed by another not long after which was great sport in the powerful current where they both decided to hang for a majority of the fights. As the session was drawing to a close, I dropped into my penultimate spot on my way back up to the garage and before I could get comfy the rod tore off as it quite often does when they really want it, no subtlety in sight!. I do like the smaller ones for that reason, they really put the gear to the test.

 On another note...

 ...Soon, it will be time to hopefully put the River Wye to bed and complete river number 24, with a river best of 9lb 10oz I'll be hoping to beat that by 6ozs or more 😎. Only time will tell.


  1. An absolutely mint fish, lovely. Beware the back end Wye James, it can be a fickle beast but, and usually on the final day, can throw up some biggies. I wish you luck.

    1. She certainly was her fickle self! Up, coloured and weather was crap...

  2. Can't beat a bit of opportunist fishing

  3. Well done for even being on that river in those conditions. (And The Wye is rising :-)

    1. I dislike the Wye :) but nowhere has been in good nick recently, everything is so up and down and can't ever seem to get on the rivers when they are spot on.

  4. Replies
    1. Some! But I need to dip into my reserves to get up to 25 rivers by mid-March, time is running out fast!


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