This last Sunday however I was partaking in the piscatorial form of trotting, the River Severn was the venue and Barbel were the quarry, the swim was already chosen with a couple of fall backs if the river was too high to wade out to where I wanted to be. I arrived at just after 7am as I heard Keith Arthur tell the listeners that his 'Fishermans Blues' show was being cut back from two hours to just one......he didn't seem bothered so hey ho. I parked the car in a temporary spot whilst I ran down the bank to quickly survey the level, it was game on so back to the car and into the car park and on with the chesties. The run I intended to fish was quite close to the RH bank but the access was impossible from that bank so I accessed from the LH bank, 3/4 of the river from that side being no more than 18 inches deep before arriving at the fast 4-5 foot gravel lined run that I wanted to fish, first job was to get some banksticks in the gravel so the rod, bait bucket and landing net were all positioned correctly, feeding this swim would play a huge part in how the fish reacted and I didn't want to be looking down for my bait as more often that not the swim would receive two handfuls of bait per trot.
Mid river set up
The set up was simple, 7.6lb line to a 6.12 hooklink, size 14 Drennan Super Speci and a 2&1/2 swan Drennan Chubber. Hopefully my new 14ft Gti SU would be tested today as afterall this was why I had bought it! I fed the run with hemp & caster for about 20 minutes whilst drinking in the surroundings under the watchful eye of the Wrekin but I eventually gave up and started to fish, three casters on the hook, first run through and the float buried straight away, I thought it was a snag and lifted the rod, the 'snag' then ran past me at speed and into another snag and snapped the hooklink, GREAT bloody start! I re-rigged and disposed of the lighter link and ran the 7.6 straight through. Third run down and again the float buried but this time the strike was met with a heavy weight and the tell tale head shake of a hooked Barb, she sat in the flow for 20 seconds solid before running downstream with the pin spinning wildly! Excellent this is what I wanted, after a good scrap with the rod doing the business and soaking up the lunges she was guided to slack water to my left and ready for the net, she looked every ounce 9lb too but as she approached the net the hook pulled, she righted herself and shot off, Barbel 2 - Danny 0 ........
I regained my composure, the hook seemed fine so on I went, it took a few more runs through before the first fish was landed and that was a plump Dace, the next trot through again saw a bite and the rod once again was firmly hooped over against an unmoving object, after a great scrap again the first Barbel of the morning was drawn over the net , thank god for that!
All in all a great session, the rod handled the Barbel beautifully with plenty of power to absorb the runs of the Barbel in the fast flow, I'm now looking for another swim to test it in!