Determined to get it right this time I set off again on the long walk, hauling my coarse fishing tackle to the swim I fished on my last visit. This time it was a morning session and I noticed that the river had dropped a little and was crystal clear. These are great fish spotting conditions but they are wary and feel vulnerable in such clear water.
At the swim I put in a little bait as before, some across to the gravels and some in close. I waited ……… and waited. Eventually, a couple of decent chub ventured out of their cover and began picking up my mixture of pellets. Once a few fish appear others usually follow so I kept a trickle of small pellets going onto the gravels but lobbed a few bigger Elips pellets in close.
I suppose it took an hour before I had any confident feeding underway. The low conditions and bright sunshine was making the fish uneasy but I slowly got their confidence, that is until I introduced my bait. I made a horrendous cast and sent everything scurrying back under the overhanging bushes. I wasn’t happy with myself but figured that I’d take the opportunity to position my bait exactly where I wanted it then ‘feed’ them out again.
It took some time but eventually I had both chub and barbel milling about over the loose feed. Nothing wanted to come to the nearside bait today, they were all staying across the far side of the river. Ah well, if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed and all that…… I put my bait across a bit further but it was a chub that took it. Again, I let the fish ‘feel’ the rig and it let go. I was using a long hair which always seems to put the chub off so, I was still in with a chance.
Exactly two hours after I started I had a decent pull and found myself attached to a barbel – at last! It took me all over the swim but I never allowed it to get amongst the overhanging branches so it was soon beaten. And there it was, after so many years – a Lugg barbel of maybe seven pounds or so. I felt very satisfied and decided to pack up there and then. I’ll come back again soon especially if we have a spot of rain and the water colours up.
Written by Dave Burr