Arriving before him I walked down from the car park to find that nearly all pegs on the island were occupied but 2 guys said they'd be going around 6 ish. I continued down the main river and found that there were only 1 or 2 swims which didn't need the agility of a Joe Brown (showing my age).
The river was looking in great condition, about 8" up but, according to one of the fishermen, just fining down. The colour looked perfect.
By the time I got back to the car Martin was just arriving so we loaded up and walked back to the weir. Luckily a guy who had been there since 7 am was packing up and I dropped into his swim. He left with the news that out of 8 bites he only landed 3 fish, all the others making off downstream and promptly taking him into the bullrushes. At least I knew they were feeding!
Martin had brought his chest waders and wanted to roll some meat under the far treeline so went into the only remaining swim at the top of the island. After an hour or so of a) having to add more weight to my large feeder in order to hold station in the flow, b) losing hooklinks and c) landing just 2 small chub, I walked along to see how Martin was getting on. He was certainly getting into it big time! He was halfway across nearly up to his armpits.
Shortly afterwards he landed a nice fat-looking chub. Picking it up I was surprised that its' round tummy was in fact empty and probably just scraped 3lbs. So the intrepid explorer ventured out again into the torrent.
By this time he had managed to soak his jacket thus ruining anything in the pockets, including his carefully prepared sticks of luncheon meat.
When the 2 other anglers had packed up I moved into their swim which gave a better and wider view of the main current at the far bank.
I only managed one more chub in the high 2lbs but it was in fine condition, although, like Martins', had an empty belly. So no barbel for me, just 3 chub, but when I packed up just after 9 Martin was braving it out 'till dark. I think he finished with 3 or 4 fish including 1 barbel. He had, however, been broken by a very large fish earlier.
An unusual thing happened while we were there. The first 2 anglers, who had moved, lived in East Anglia and around 5 pm 2 others arrived from Hull. 4 from miles away!
The Hull guys were down for their annual trip of 5 or so days, fully prepared with bivvy etc. They were giving Marcliff until Sunday then heading off to Fladbury weir for a day or so. I know the fishing here can be very good but it was strange to meet 4 anglers who had made, between them, over 700 miles round trips to fish our part of the river.