Sunday, 26 July 2015

A couple of trips with limited success

Well the last two trips to the bank have resulted in very little.

I managed to try my new camera and lense though which I'm enjoying researching, a couple of pics....

Monday, 13 July 2015

The search for a River X Barbel......

I've been looking on in envy over recent weeks as others have landed a X barbel. I came very close to picking the right swim on opening day, only to be pipped at the post and a close double was caught. I've had a couple of other trips into dark, which have produced plenty of chub but no barbel. I will continue, firstly because the average size is extremely good, secondly because I like a challenge and thirdly because the river tees is a brilliant place to spend half a night.

Last night I needed a few hours by the bank, so arriving at a chosen stretch at 9pm I found, as is often the case, nobody fishing and miles of river to potentially fish. As the light dropped, the bats came out to play - it's astonishing just how many bats there are. I watched on as any moth that flew above head height was eagerly hunted by five or six bats, and definitely eaten - They don't stand a chance.

A poor picture, but a random photo in the pitch black resulted in three bats

I had been introducing free samples to the water over time, and at 11pm after an hour or so of plucks and pulls, the rod absolutely hoofed over and screamed into action. 'Barbel' was my instant thought, but it was soon apparent that a chub was the culprit, the fast shallow water causing the fish to eat and bolt away.

Despite trying for another hour or so, no more fish were forthcoming and I packed up and walked into the dark. I'll keep at it, and am determined to get one.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

A short session on a new stretch

I'm making a concerted effort this season to try new bits of water rather than sticking with the known, with the hope that I can locate some surprises rather than sticking with the known bits that produce.

I managed a few hours on a new stretch of river but disappointing result with only one chub to show. Definitely left with some new ideas though - I witnessed a very big pike in one swim and a final walk round before packing up showed up a few very interesting looking swims for next time (with a bit of battling through the undergrowth).

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Testing the Drennan Acolyte Plus rod, a morning on the River

After recently acquiring a Drennan Acolyte Plus rod in 14ft, I decided a morning on the stick float was in order. I have the Acolyte ultra which is my go to river tees rod, where you can expect a good head of dace with a chance of decent chub and perch. However things are different on the swale, the silverfish shoals just aren't there and instead you have a situation where there is a good head of chub (probably no more than the tees but they have a better chance of taking your bait), with a chance of a barbel in the right conditions.

I'm trying to get into photography a bit more so decided to get to the stretch for the crack of dawn at 4.30 am and get a decent shot....

Unfortunately there were already a few cars at my preferred so I dropped in a couple of miles upstream where there was more flow and oxygen. Tactics were 5.5lb Gamakatsu G-Line straight through to a size 16 kamasan animal, with a Dave Harrell big stick. Do to the flow, I started off by introducing ten droppers of caster, which I then topped up over time - the noise this created had no detrimental effect to the bites. To summarise, I had a nice steady morning hitting into 7 chub of various sizes (to about 4lb), a perch not far off 2lb and a couple of trout and gudgeon.

I was particularly pleased with the perch, fought very well in the flow and I just think that river perch in relatively clear waters look spectacular. The rod coped beautifully with all the fish, and there is plenty more in reserve that I hope to unlock at some point soon. An ideal rod for chub, with the ability to cope with a barbel I reckon.

As the sun rose higher, the bites tailed off and I had a little wander downstream to test my photography skills (or lack of) again, this time trying to get some flowing water. This wasn't easy to achieve, as there was too much light for any length of shutter speed. I think some filters are my next purchase.....