As usual the weather forecast was a huge over estimate and the rain fell sporadically but it did fall at the right places and by Friday morning the Wye was on the rise so the decision was made to travel down to Ross On Wye on the Saturday and see what panned out. I arrived at the stretch at about 1PM and immediately the river looked superb, a metre of extra water was showing on the EA website http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/riverlevels/default.aspx and chocolate colour it was! After parking the car I checked a couple for their tickets who were fishing next to the car park, the female half of the couple had just returned her new PB, all 10lb 11oz of it so she was on cloud 9, they were obviously feeding.
I walked downstream to a spot that I had previously fished in similar conditions and it looked good with a well defined crease running through the swim making bait placement an easy choice, or so I thought.......
I set 2 rods up, both with splodgers (feeders) containing groundbait, pellet and crushed boilie, hookbait would be either boilie, pellet or corn. First casts were made, one up and one down and within 5 minutes a Barbel rolled very close into my own bank, I reeled in the D/S rod, refilled the feeder and dropped it just above where the Barbel had shown, within 5 minutes I had a stutter take and a fish was on, an unspectacular fight then took place against a stubborn fish that didn't take much line although stood its ground for a while, it hit the net and hit the scales at 8lb 3oz,a good start.
I then endured a quiet spell (apart from canoeists) but then another rattly bite on the D/S rod was hit and a 6LB Barb was in the bag, shortly after I lost a fish not long after the strike, it felt like a Chub. The next fish was indeed a Chub of a pound, the species count was up to two for the day. The sun was dropping towards the horizon when the D/S rod folded over and the baitrunner screamed, no Chub this time! I then had an epic battle with a very strong fish that used the extra flow to its advantage and held deep, I saw it twice and it looked a good 9LB, maybe more but I will never know as I pumped the fish up towards the net the hook inexplicably pulled......the air was blue as I had taken my time and enjoyed every second of the fight but lost out at the death, the hook looked sweet as so I will never know the reason but losing a Barb at that stage of the fight is unknown to me.
The sun was now almost set and I wondered if things would kick off after dark, not a usual scenario with coloured water flowing through the rivers veins but the daytime period had hardly gone ballistic.
Around 7.30PM the fireworks started and the U/S rod that had sat idle all day kicked into action and bucked, a typical ruck ensued and a 7LB Barb was in the net, the rod was cast out again and within 2 minutes was away again, a 7LB Barb the culprit. Ten minutes later it was the same story, 7LB Barb.......
The routine was broken by smaller 5LB Barb as I was starting to pack up about 8.45PM, the D/S rod after dark had turned to stone and the U/S rod had sprung to life, weird because as far as I know the river bed isn't that different but the nocturnal shoal obviously appeared from somewhere.
One strange thing that I haven't mentioned so far was just on dusk, a light mist formed on the surface of the river and everything looked eerie and atmospheric when I heard ladies singing, it got louder and louder and with it I could hear the movement of water by the use of paddles.................this was like Pirates Of The Caribbean! Eventually a canoe came into sight and 2 ladies were obviously taking a last minute journey downriver whilst singing a version of 'Waltzing Matilda'.....madness!