I have always been passionate about river fishing and the roots, I am sure, were from the first time I went fishing as a young lad on the River Swale on a Saturday afternoon after my father and mother had finished a long, hot shift in the village fish and chip shop that they owned. I vividly remember having being stung by nettles from head to toe in pursuit of a stick to be used as a rod. My old man then fashioned a rod and attached an old bit of line to which he tied a small and no doubt rusty, hook. Over watched by my mother, myself and my younger brother spent hours catching minnows on a handful of maggots wriggling in an empty crisp packet. These early years have certainly a lot to answer for and for over 27 years now I have fished rivers all around the world. From chasing Tarpon in Central America, brown trout on the Irish rivers, carp on the Rhone in France right through to my specimen angling in the UK.
I made lifestyle changes last year and moved from the banks of the Thames in Oxfordshire back home to Yorkshire. My busy work itinerary means that I seldom fish a regular routine and I am more accustomed to planning an assault on a venue over a period of a few days. A chance phone call from an old friend and we planned a social down by an old river I had fished from a young age. This river is great, I fly fish the upper reaches often, as well as targeting the grayling in the winter. We set a date and organized a BBQ on the bank. Barbel and chub were our quarry and the evening went well; on dusk, I landed an 8lb fish.
The drive home got me thinking… with long days and some time on my hands, I definitely fancied getting myself tucked away and hidden from the constant buzz of life. The next day I obtained myself the necessary tickets for the river and walked the stretch of the river and proceeded to bait a few swims with hemp, boilie and pellet. I organized my equipment so it was light enough to carry the miles across muddy fields only taking the necessary kit. Due to low summer levels, 1.1lb t/c rods and the 8lb Korum Barbel Line would suffice. All carried in the Korum ITM luggage that is absolutely perfect for this mobile approach.
Rigs and bait were simple. 2oz feeders, a running feeder with anti tangle boom, braided hooklink between 2-4 feet in length and a hair rigged pellet or boilie on a size 8.
I enjoyed a few lovely evenings by the river, interspersed with a flash of blue as kingfishers did their rounds. The fish obliged and the rods slammed over and the screamed for attention. My evenings resulted in barbel to over 8lbs and chub to just under 6lb. The best thing was being back by the river really felt like being back home.