Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Flood Water & Falling Leaves

Autumn is an enjoyable season to be on the bank with its changing moods. It brings us shorter days, normally the first frosts and usually rain, which results in the rivers carrying extra water, however what does not change year from year are the vivid colours you encounter as the countryside prepares itself for the harsh Winter months.  The recent rainfall was the reason I trudged my way along a sodden mud caked track towards a swollen River Wye.  It felt colder of late and every breeze of cold wind sent ever more leaves spiralling to the ground to join the hundreds of others that made up the colourful patchwork.

Autumn Morning
The section I was fishing has a long bend which creates a slack on the inside bank, I intended to fish with 2 rods as I was not expecting the fishing to be hectic.  The inside rod for Chub with usual feeder tactics and a rod cast further out for Barbel, using a heavy lead to hold bottom.  I set up both rods before casting out.  I routinely cast out the "Barbel" rod and watched the tip as the lead settled, then reached for the "Chub" rod.  As I prepared a cast, the barbel rod heaped over, I stared at it for a second in disbelief, surely not a bite that quickly, then the tip trembled, I assumed it must have been weed or debris as I put the 2nd rod back in the rest and struck the arched barbel rod, there was a sudden kick as the tip bounced back leaving me to reel in realising I had just missed my first Barbel of the day! 
I recast, again let the lead settle and waited a minute before casting out the 2nd rod, just in case of a repeat performance!  All was quiet for now.  I managed to cast out the chub rod, just inside the crease in slightly slacker water.  No sooner was the rod in the rest the 1st rod bent over double again, no hesitation this time I struck and was playing a flood water Barbel.  It felt like a bag of shopping in the heavy flow as it glided side to side in the current.  Eventually netting a 5lber!  With the Barbel unhooked and recovering in the net, I noticed the feeder rod tip trembling, then bouncing down, then motionless.  The Barbel was just leaving the net as the feeder rod again thumped down and I struck which met with a residence for a few seconds, I reeled in to find a large scale, probably a Chubs on the hook!  What a mad 5 minutes!

Sport was seemingly more hectic than I had imagined, so I thought it would be best to fish with 1 rod at a time, alternating between the 2 during the course of the session.  I stuck with the Barbel rod first and was quickly rewarded with another, this time around 6lb.

Flood Water Barbel
With no further action on the barbel rod, I thought it was time I tried the feeder rod for an hour.  Having missed the first 2 bites, I hit the third and it resulted in a beautiful Chub just over 2lbs.  Albeit a small Chub, I wish I had taken a photograph of it now,  not only did it turn out to be the only Chub of the day, the iridescent purple and blue colours in the wrist of the tail were stunning.
The feeder rod was clearly going to out fish the other today, as it quickly accounted for a Barbel, biggest of the day at almost 7lb, the hotspot was going to be just inside the crease of the bend, which is normally the case.

Golden Flanks in the Autumn Sun
Above me a flew a flock of Redwing, winter visitors from Scandinavia, in search of berries after their long journey.  A juvenile Cormorant flew down river and a pair of resident Swans struggled to make their way up river against the dense flow.

The sun was now strong and felt pleasant on my face as I waited for the next bite I picked up another Barbel on the outer rod, then for the remainder of the day I fished the feeder rod.  I fished an hour in darkness, having no bites in that last hour, however the last hour of daylight was very productive.  Throughout the session I had landed 7 Barbel between 5 and almost 7b, a bonus Chub and lost another 3 Barbel. 

Into another Flood Water Barbel

The moment you know, its just not gonna happen!