Jeff eventually arrived an hour and a half late, but at least he arrived.
We got to the river and had a chat with Stuart, the bailiff, as to where might fish well.
Ranunculus weed normally cut back to aid fishing and improve flow has been left to restrict water flow and try to maintain a decent level of water in the river.
Jeff decided to tough it out for a Barbel or big Chub from a very snaggy swim, while I took off with a float rod, centrepin and loads of bait to see what I could winkle out from further upstream.
I wandered off to the weir as this can throw out some great surprises. First trot and I had a nice Dace of around 6oz, this was followed with loads more to 11oz. Every time I went slightly off line I had the usual issue here of Minnows hitting everything that moved.
I then struck into something that felt a lot different, eventually landing a lovely Roach of 1lb8oz, then lost another at the net.
That was about it for this swim and was time to move on. A wander across the field to the old river saw me bump into a friend and coach Martin Porter. He was sat on a corner by the town and was knocking out Perch to 1lb8oz on a regular basis.
I fished with him for an hour, chatting about all things fishy when I noticed several fish move into the swim. I climbed up on a style to have a good look and saw 4 large Chub and a Barbel moving around in the swim.
Martin changed rods quickly and got a bait out while I got the float back out rather rapidly.
Martin soon had the Barbel on but lost it soon into the fight. I spent ages watching the Chub ignoring my bait, so a few minor adjustments to the rig soon had me hooking into a nice Chub of around 3lb. Not the biggest fish there by any means, but a pleasant distraction to the Dace and Minnows.
I then left Martin to enjoy the rest of his day and went back to join Jeff. We had decided to fish into the late evening to target the Barbel that reside in this stretch. Not the biggest barbell you will find in a river, but beautiful fish that fight like demons.
Jeff had set up at the top of a swim that consisted of overhanging trees and huge amounts of weed, deep hollows under the weedbeds and shallow glides over gravel...this looked good for a fish or two.
We fished it hard, tight to snags for several hours, just as darkness fell the top of my rod twitched a little then twitched a lot as the tip nearly hit the water! What they call the 5 foot twitch!!!!
Unfortunately I lost the fish in the snags so there were a few rude words flying around for a few minutes!!
We fished on for another hour, but that was the lot for the day. Not perfect, but a lovely day with good company.
I returned a week later with Steve Waple. This time we arrived much later in the day so we could go straight for the Barbel.
We set up in the same swim as last time and got the rods out. Teme Severn Spiced Liver and Lamprey boilies with minimix pellets in a feeder cast tight to the overhanging trees, just behind a thick raft of weed. Steve set up just below me at the far end of the snags and dropped his bait in at the back of the trees. Lots of movement, lots of twitches as the fish moved over the baits, but after 4 hours we still had nothing to show for it.
Suddenly my rod tip ripped over and I was in...straight into the river after a fish trying to rip my arm off...straight into the weedbed....and snapped me off!!!!
This was getting annoying!
We fished on till just after dark but no more action came our way. Another missed opportunity...but that’s fishing.
There is always next time J