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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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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The job's not finished - yet!

It was inevitable that, whilst we were away, plans for the coming season would be discussed; Barbel, once again, featured prominently. Benno and I have some unfinished business with the fish of the Kentish Stour. Simon is "spoilt for choice" - living, as he does, within a relatively short drive to the Ivel, Ouse, Lodden, Kennet and Thames (St. Patrick's Stream), whilst Luke still has to catch one - so he will also be trying his luck with the fish of the R. Stour.

05.07.2013 - Benno with the fish that got us off the mark.
11 lbs 6 oz of Kentish Stour barbel from a swim where we never got another bite!
I have to admit that my enthusiasm for the river returned, as we talked tackle and tactics, yet I know that it will not be any easier than last season. I ended that campaign completely numb; nothing I had done, when I'd been successful, differed from those occasions (all too many) when I failed. I felt that I learnt very little from the lessons I had been given. However, I wouldn't change anything - those fish which graced my net were hard earned and beyond my wildest expectations - during August 2013 I beat my PB three times with both 13 lbs + fish being captured using centre-pins; barbel fishing enjoyment can get no better!

An absolute brute of a fish, at 13 lbs 5 oz it remained my PB for just five days!
My plan for the coming season is also to try for a PB chub. I've landed a couple of fives from the river, but have seen two fish which would have easily been six, if not seven, pounds in a rather snaggy section. The acquisition of chest waders means that I am no longer restricted to bank fishing and a new long - trotting approach has been opened up to me - again the use of a centre-pin will simply add to the enjoyment of any fish captured. I think that what I learnt from last season, if anything? is too concentrate my efforts when conditions are best suited and not simply go because I felt I had to. Benno and I have ideas about a couple of other sections of the river - one where we have no idea if barbel are even present, proper Marco Polo stuff, although not as silly as it might first appear. We are well aware of how the species has spread out along the Rivers Severn and Trent, so there is no obvious reason why they shouldn't have done the same in the Stour? A leap of faith and only time will tell - we certainly aren't expecting too much competition for swims.
June 16th will soon be here and already I am getting those twangs of excitement that I recall at the approach of a new Tench season, on Wilstone Reservoir, some 30-odd years previous.

A 7 lbs + male tench from Wilstone Reservoir - circa 1987
During that era there was no other fishery in the UK capable of offering
tench fishing of such a high quality. To have been part of that is a very special period of my life.
The expectancy, at the season approached, fired by the desire to catch fish like this.
My choice of post title is not so much in the hope that I will beat my PB but, instead, that I start to understand the barbel of the R.Stour and feel that I am getting an insight into their feeding patterns and behavior. Only at that point will I feel that I deserve the success that I have been extraordinarily privileged to experience, thus far.

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