Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Just when you think it couldn't get any worse...

My latest fishing trip didnt go quite as planned.  I was never going to reach the river at the crack of dawn due to arranging to have a few beers for the Euro Final (congratulations to Spain - a masterclass) on the Sunday evening.  I was up at 8am on the Monday and not in as bad a shape as I expected.  Van was soon loaded up, however I had to make a detour to the tackle shop for some hooks as I only realised I had run out on Sunday morning when I was getting the gear ready after the 3 month lay off.
As I came around the roundabout I indicated to come off the turning, only to be greeted with bollards and a diversion sign!!    Damn it!  I now had to detour all the way via Newport centre through traffic which delayed me even more.
For the past couple of seasons I have been using Korum S3's seamless hooks, I scanned the wall of the tackle shop, I couldnt see any.  On enquiring I got the response that they have now stopped making them!  Whenever a decent product is introduced very often they stop being produced, however some of the more useless ones hang around forever!  Anyway I grabbed a couple packs of Drennan Barbel hooks, very strong and very sharp - as I was about to find out.

The river in question was the Wye after Barbel.  My Dad was already there fishing, so I decided to phone him en-route to see how he was getting on, considering the rain was still persisting since the early hours. The conversation went something like this:
Me:  Hi Dad, how you getting on?
Dad:  Bloody soaking
Me: Have you had any?
Dad: Yeah, one, usual stamp, 'bout 6lb, rivers ripping through, lots of weed and debris
Me; Well that's a good start! 
Dad: Ive been here 4 hours!  I wouldn't bother if I were you son.
Me: Its my only day off in 2 weeks, I got to go fishing, even if it is lashing down.
Dad: OK well you can move in here if you want, I'll wait till you get here then shoot off
Me; Ill be 'bout half an hour, see you soon.

When I arrived, I approached the swim to find Rob (the bailiff) helping my Dad with his gear up the very steep, slippery, mud soaked bank.  The swim would of been more at home at The Isle of Wight Festival!
It was still raining as we chatted and I unloaded the van, wellies on, waterproofs on.  I decided to fish the same swim as Dad, on the reasoning it had been baited up for a few hours this morning.  As I descended the step bank, he lowered my gear down to me, to make it easier. 
I got as comfortable as possible, as I tied up a couple of rigs with the new hooks, the rain seamed to be easing a little, I soon cast out the feeder and sat back.  The river was at least 4 feet above summer level and carrying quite a bit of debris.  It wasn't long before the rain got heavier again, I had no choice but to put the brolly up.  For the next couple of hours I sat there bite less, frustrated and wet.  I couldn't keep the bait in the too long before the tip got pulled round by weed.  Then as I tried to retrieve my rig for another recast it was stuck solid.  All I could do was pull for a break, with the rod in the rest I pulled the mainline, until it parted.
On inspection the hook length was fraid near the swivel.  I sat there and wondered if it was worth putting on a new rig or calling it a day.  As my time on the bank has been limited I decided to stick with surely my determination would be rewarded!!
New rig on, I held the hook in my left hand and reached for the heavy feeder, with everything wet and covered in mud, the feeder slipped out my hand pulling the hook full force into my index finger!

Ouch!  Its deeper than it looks
 Instant pain, a few choice words and worse still I it was past the barb.  My index finger started to throb and I started to sweat as I reached for the forceps.  I tried to tease it back out but I knew it was never going to come out the way it went in, I was delaying the inevitable.  I sat for a few minutes and gathered myself. 
Only thing to do was to pull it all the way through past the barb.  I gripped the hook shank with the forceps, gritted my teeth and started to force the hook round until I could see the hook point below the skins surface, then I had to keep going, the barb was the worse it seemed to take forever to break the skin.  As I had no cutters on me (in the pike bag) I had to flatten the barb as much as possible and hope it went back through the finger, luckily it did,  Then it started to bleed. 
By this time I had had enough, I was fish less, wet, bleeding, sat in mud!  I could of easily packed up there and then.  I decided to bait up the debarbed hook and have another few chucks.  Luck wasn't on my side today, I fished on for a couple of hours but didn't receive a single indication, still id given it a go. 
What an afternoon, diversions, constant rain, Barbelless, a throbbing finger, you gotta laugh or you'd cry!