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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Monday, 17 June 2013

A journey of re-discovery?

The new angling season started yesterday, 16th June, on our rivers and some other venues where tradition still dictates that the coarse angling close season runs from 15th March -15th June inclusive.
Yesterday I was on the banks of The River Stour, just outside Canterbury, before 04.00hrs and this morning by 04.30hrs. Two sessions and I have yet to get a bite! This has nothing to do with the state of the river or the lack of fish; I am simply not good enough - yet!!
I am specifically targeting Barbel and have yet to see one in the river. They are certainly in there, a guy I met with yesterday had just landed a specimen of 12lbs 3oz (he showed me a photo) and told me of other successes he'd had along this section of the river. He had spent the entire close season period looking for swims and fish - his efforts being rewarded. I, on the other hand, have not spent a minute of my time wandering the banks, so my lack of fish is easily explained. I haven't put in the effort to locate my quarry, thus blanking will be something I will have to live with. I have found a few swims which look like they should produce fish, so now I have to see if any of these are actually holding areas or just "fishy looking"
My "joint" PB Barbel (9lbs 2oz) taken from The River Thames (Mapledurham, Berks) in September 1985.
The other fish was from "The Royalty Fishery" on The Hampshire Avon under the watchful eye of Fred Crouch.
It was September 1985 that I last caught a Barbel; and that was from The River Thames, I have also taken them from The Lea, The Windrush (both Thames tributaries) and the mighty Hampshire Avon. At that time I was fortunate to have Fred Crouch as my teacher. Not only was he a gifted angler, he was also a very generous mentor who took great pleasure in passing on his knowledge so as others could experience the thrill of barbel angling. It was Fred who introduced me to the delights of centre-pin fishing; the use of bait droppers and the importance of accuracy for optimum results. All these lessons have stood me in good stead but, now, I am having to start afresh on a new river. Past experiences will play just a small role in my quest for success on The Stour. New ideas, particularly in the areas of bait and hook link material have made barbel angling a little more sophisticated than the maggot feeder rig that was so productive 30 years ago.

My swim choice this morning. Only room for a single rod and that being
paired with an ABU Cardinal 66X

Just like Fred, the guy I met yesterday was equally forthcoming with snippets of advice which will aid my cause. He showed me a few areas where he had previously taken fish and even pointed me towards the swim where he had just taken the 12lbs 3oz fish. Very welcome input; let's hope that I'm able to use it to best effect. It might be that he just felt sorry for me as I was equipped with two 1lbs 12oz TC rods sporting two Matt Hayes centre-pins. He had just one rod fitted with a fixed spool/bait runner type reel. I clocked his rig and noted the semi-fixed lead set up (no good getting old if you don't get artful?) plus the 18mm pellet attached to his hook. Whatever the outcome, I am looking forward to this challenge with the same enthusiasm I had for the pike in that small drain out on the Worth Marshes.

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