I had a few late afternoon hours to fill (!) so I decided to get down to the stretch of Banbury & District water nearest me. It only takes 10mins and I'm in the layby. I'd already tackled up with my Fox Duolite Barbel rod and my Okuma centre pin. I decided on a simple link ledger with a couple of swan shot pinched on. I thought I could vary the weight according to the swim.
This stretch has a number of features varying from straight glides to some very snaggy margins.
I'd just bought some pots of SonuBaits Barbel and Carp range of oily hookers. (Mmm, maybe I should re-write that last bit). So with just a net and my bait-and-bits belt I set off to walk the meadow. The first "peg" has a very deep hole where a back stream enters the main river, but sod's law, someone was already there sitting under an umbrella. I thought about telling him that the pool was next door. Sitting under a brolly on this sort of venue!?? Still, it's free country.
I looked into every clear bit of the undergrowth where it was possible to poke a rod and had a few small chublets about 1lb apiece. My pin was still loaded with 4.4lbs Beyer Perlon so there was never any danger in them getting off although for the first few seconds they put up lively fights.
Towards the end of this meadow a local wildlife group has the land and it was like walking though a tropical rainforest - well, maybe that's a little exaggeration - with armpit high cow parsley and other native "weeds" trying to wrestle my stuff from me.
Nothing of any size took any interest in the pellets but I'd spent about 3 hours enjoying the river and its' wildlife. Halfway down I watched a mink poke its face out of the far bank reeds for a full minute before ducking back. Also as I was manoeuvring into position in one swim something made really quite a loud splash as it entered the water. Couldn't see any bubbles or other sign of what it was despite remaining crouched down for what seemed an eternity. Had to take a diclofenac when I got home!