This stretch is fairly straight and I chose a swim which had an overhanging tree to my left, downstream, with a clear bit of water directly in front and upstream.
Knowing that this part of the river holds some good-sized bream and also the possibility of a large barbel, I set up a large halibut pre-drilled pellet under the tree and a cage feeder with smaller soft pellets on a quiver rod. This was cast slightly upstream into the main channel.
I soon had the bream interested and started to catch them up to 6 - 7 lbs.
The best went 8lbs 3oz.
I'm afraid despite ringing the changes of bait and hooklength the barbel didn't show. I went from 3' mono to 6" braid, hook sizes from 12 to 8, pellet to meat to boilie, all to no avail. Still I enjoyed the wildlife between bream/roach as well as 6 hang gliders doing their crazy stuff god knows how many hundreds of feet above.
There were the usual summer boaters, both holiday-makers in narrowboats as well as a few gin palaces. Most were really sensitive to the angler (me) and when they realised I was there, pulled further out into the river.
However, around lunchtime I heard the chug chug of a narrow boat coming upstream but couldn't see it through the tree to my left. I thought that it must be further away than I thought until suddenly, about 10 ft from my bank appeared the bow with 2 ladies of a certain age enjoying a cuppa. On seeing me one shrieked back to the Captain, "Look out, there's someone here!". I sunk both rod tips in speed which Usain Bolt would have been proud of, and watched in amazement as the craft continued its parallel course, not turning one iota until Captain Pugwash casually said, "We'll only be 15 minutes, we're just stopping for a bite". With that he churned the water and proceeded to moor no more than a few yards upstream from me.
A reasonable guess would have been that within several miles there were no other fishermen. So why here? Good as his word, after 20 minutes or so he cast off and, instead of continuing up the river, he swung the boat around and went back to wherever he came from. Hopefully only to fall in some mammoth-sized cowpats when disembarking!
Rosinante, I solute you (with 2 fingers!).
I ended up with 8 bream between 6 and 8lbs 3oz and some very nice roach up to 1lbs 7oz. Oh, and a bit of sunburn.