Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Third time unlucky

This morning saw me heading to Liverpool to visit the Harrison rod factory. I've got my timing to a fine art now and manage to arrive just as the kettle is boiling. The topics of conversation with the staff cover the usual angling stuff (like tarty carp reels for tarty carp anglers) - and guitars. Today Andy had his pride and joy with him...

Rockin' round the rod racks

By the time I returned home the rain had eased off and the day was warming. As I sat drinking a mug of tea after my lunch I got a text to say the barbel were on the chew. I hadn't planned to fish, but with the window of barbel opportunity still open a crack I hastily threw the gear in the car and set off. EH was sat where I'd caught last night's fish. Not sat in my swim, but actually where my bait had been. The river had dropped a good four feet, was still dropping and, while still coloured, was not flowing so strongly and the leaves and weed had abated to a manageable level.

I set up twenty yards or so upstream in a spot I have caught from before. The water temperature was down a touch at 5.6c, but EH was getting bites and landed a couple more barbel, biggest about seven pounds, a chub and a trout. All on pellets. I wasn't getting a touch. The rain came through in waves putting a damper on what would otherwise have been a pleasant afternoon to sit watching the rod tips.

Just after six my upstream rod tip started a slow bounce just like the bites EH had been getting. No line was being taken when I pulled into a fish. Definitely a barbel and bigger than my first one of the year. It rolled a couple of rod lengths out - turing on it's back showing its white belly and open mouth in the light of my Petzl as the hook pulled free. Hooks never pull free from barbel...

Oh well. Bait back out and another shower arrived. The closing theme tune of The Archers coincided with the rain stopping, so I packed up having not lost any leads for a change. I'd gladly have lost a dozen to land that one fish. I've two more free days before I have to start building rods. I haven't a clue what to do though. It's tempting to have another try for a barbel or two, but it's turning cooler again.