I've been very active on the car boot front lately. Bought a lovely 15' trotting rod, hand built by Kevin Blaynes at Anglers Workshop in Staffordshire, a bargain at only £20 and almost new.
On the same weekend I picked up 2 books, both really enjoyable reads I can recommend thoroughly: "Fisherman's Valley" by John Bailey and "River Carping" by Neil Wayte. At 50p each, a couple of bargains.
I've respooled some Shimano Baitrunners with 25lb Berkley Big Game and have some ready-made traces of Kevlar wire. The only thing needed now is a cat!
Monday, 1 August 2011
So the weekend was here. I left Banbury just on 6am and pulled up on the island at a quarter to seven. As expected most of the swims below the weir were taken, one by Martin who had been there a couple of hours already! He confirmed that the "Barrels" swim at the top of the island was one of his choices and, as I'd fished there previously, I decided to give it a go.
Here's quiz question. Whose bike rack is this?
Only joking Danny.
Around 6ish Keith came calling and he suggested we walk on water to the inviting-looking pub on the far bank for a pint or five. Looking across the river it didn't seem open, which was strange as it was early evening on a scorching July day with the kids on holiday. Surely any self-respecting boozer would be full of families and anglers enjoying the day? Anyway, Jeff and I voted Keith the scout and sent him across to suss it all out. "It doesn't open 'till 7" he told us when he had braved the torrent for the second time, so we waited another hour and crossed. Lee and Martin followed a couple of minutes later. (Can't post the vid, too big?)
Lee had asked about waterproof cameras knowing that both Jeff and I had one, so I took the opportunity of demonstrating to him the benefits. My foot and his feet at 6".
At last we were in sight of some nice ale and a welcoming mine host.
Well, the first bit was right but while waiting for the foaming stuff to be pulled, we were frostily told "we only serve NON DINERS (yes he did say it with that inflection) drinks up until 8 o'clock".
Mnnnn, not the welcoming mine host we'd hoped for then. As we were the dregs of society we went out back into the garden, after all, we wouldn't want the sensitive souls inside to faint at the sight of us!
Then, to add insult to injury, when Jeff and Martin (?) went inside just after 7:30 for refills, they were told that "this will be the last order sir, won't it". FFS, don't ever, ever venture into this pub run by he-who-has-his-head-up-his-arse.
So we crossed back over to our bank and after my second BBQ of the day, chili ribs for lunch and chicken pieces for supper, a group of us gathered on the point watching D and A try for more predators while we sipped a beer or two. Joe Chatterton turned up unexpectedly and it was nice to put a face to the name. Luckily he hadn't brought his rods so he couldn't shame us by sorting out a double or two.
Midnight came and as a few of us were flagging, I decided it was time to retire for the night.
I woke about 5:30 the next morning and after 10 minutes or so went down to the bank where Danny, Andy and Keith were already up.
Note: Friendly Swim but NOT Friendly Pub.
Fairly soon I was into a species we all expected to catch on this weekend. A barbel. Not the biggest ever caught but at least it was one, and my first of the season. I'm almost embarrassed to show it here.
Eventually everyone had left by midday except Jeff, who's staying for a few more days and will, no doubt, catch a nice double at night rolling his meat down the faster water. After getting a jump start from Andy - cheers mate - due to a flat battery, I too packed up and was home around 2ish, knackered and sun burnt but I had a most enjoyable time with the rest of the bunch. Next time a catfish challenge!