Today I spent a few hours on a new section of Erewash just made available to me and obviously my aim was to famaliarise myself but I did take my rod in hope. Well it was pretty cold but the sun broke through at lunch and not a single bite, not even a nock. I came across a rip rap section with a steep rock bank with overhanging trees that looked very fishy but like a bull in a china shop I ignored a few golden rules before casting into the river. Well I got such a thump 10ft downstream of me and the Erewash barbel that had eluded me swam calmly towards me right under my nose to avoid the boulder strewn bottom. Yes! its a barbel I shouted, nearly wetting myself with excitement but things quickly wet downhill as my rod tip tangled the overhanging branches, first golden rule broken, look around for snags in the event of catching/landing a fish. I quickly tried to wiggle the rod free with a barbel pulling like a train, luckily it pinged loose from the branches but the barbel decided to carry on going. Golden rule no2 broken, plan how to land the fish which balancing 12ft above the river with bush either side i was well and truly in the cack. My only option was to slide down the crazy paved bank, covered in wet leaves and blackthorn to add some difficulty but if i wanted the fish I couldn't hesitate and I did have my chesties on, thank God, mind you my hands are killing today with thorns stuck in my hands. Once hitting the riverbed I shuffled upstream staying in touch until I turned the fish and eventually played a beautiful guestimated 5lb+ Erewash barbel. Needless to say my camera was in my bag up the bank, son of a biatch but none the less, my sense of achievement was immense, mind you it soon faded as I clambered upstream for 100yards to climb back up the bank, where I took a well earned rest before leaving for another swim - job done.
I also managed 2 fine chub, to think this is free fishing takes some getting your head round really, especially the quality of fish and the fantastic fight given by all. I think grayling season finishes at Christmas from now on and then hammer the Erewash until trout season begins.
Might get 1 more bash on the wash before the final curtain is drawn, and just for those fly only anglers who imagine fly fishing is as difficult as angling gets, dream on. Today was every bit as enjoyable as trout fishing, slightly more skillful and much more challenging. Trotting for barbel is a hell of a challenge for anyone and tons of fun.