Keeping It Realistic As The River Season Kicks Off (846)

There was a time when I would have been on the bank on the evening of June 15 waiting for midnight and the start of the river season. However, after four days in Portugal, back home in the early hours of Friday and then another full day at TNS FC, arriving home at 10.00 p.m. that was certainly out of the question this year.

I still managed to get out on the 16th though, with an evening session on a small stream that featured in my blog recently when I came across a few barbel. The venue is not a recognised fishing spot and the fish are thin on the ground, so the first thing is to be realistic.

Unrealistic expectations mean you will never enjoy your angling. Always avoid the piscatorial equivalent of keeping up with the Jones’. The only time angling should be a competition is when you’re fishing a match. Don’t worry about what others are doing just focus on your own fishing.

Setting myself the target of a barbel from my new venue,  I know it’s going to be a challenge. A marathon rather than a sprint is how I see it. In fact, just catching anything is going to be an achievement. In three hours on the stream this time I caught two small chub and was thrilled.

The fish just aren’t there in numbers so anything on the bank is something worth getting excited about. When I do get a barbel I want to land it and although the ones I spotted were small, I want to be in control once we connect.

So the main line is Sufix Synergy 8lb with 6lb Drennan Team England for the 18 inch hooklength. The cage feeder is Drennan (15g) and the hook is a Super Specialist size 8. The bead set-up is a Korum dura-bead, something I tried recently for the first time and am impressed with.

So, no barbel to kick off my stream campaign but I was more than happy with the small chub. They were caught on a bunch of red maggots with the same and brown crumb in the feeder. I’ll certainly be back very soon, so as they say, watch this space.

It was great to spot a few foxgloves growing in the hedgerow. They’re one of the first flowers I identified as a child when I started to get into the natural world. It is believed they are so called because foxes wore them as they prowled around at night so as not to make too much noise. The stuff of traditional myths and folklore, if ever there was a story to tell.

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