I took a quick walk up the river Sunday but couldn't stay for too long due to appointment with Nursey. It won't surprise you to know that the river was very high, dirty and fast! However, that was just to begin the day and most anglers told me it had risen a foot 4 hours later. Pegs which had been afforded some slack or steady water had by mid match also been turned into a mess, though a few lucky anglers did have a decent peg.
I walked from the cattle grid at the Crane, where Roy Carter nicked a few small fish from against the nettles, to just short of the New Fence peg, leaving the river bank about halfway through the match. The vast majority of anglers had caught, mainly eels and roach, and Nicky Johns, Kev Dicks and another lad had taken a bream by this stage. Word got to me that Shaun Townsend up in the Cornfield had lost what he thought might have been a barbel, and an angler in the lane was reported to have lost a barbel estimated at 12lb. In such a torrent I would have thought 15lb line and a poker of a rod would have been needed to land such fish!
I watched Andy Ottoway just above the gantry catch a couple of eels and miss a few bites, and we discussed how frustrating it can be hitting bites in flood condtions... is it an eel bite and how long do you let it develop, or is it a bite from a roach or a skimmer!! Well my usual thing is to wait for the fish to hook themselves and hope they hang on, but sometimes the bites don't fully develop. That's why I never mind fishing a flooded river, it is another challenge to work out. On the day some anglers pegs that looked good had not caught, yet others who were in fast water had done so but admitted to not really knowing what was a bite and what was weed. Quite a few anglers fished a pole feeder when to my mind a standard gbait feeder on a rod was a better bet, simply because you have more control over a fish, if a bream hits the fast water on a pole it's gone, and I did see one angler lose "something" that had dragged out 13 hollo elastic so far he could not get it back and feared his pole would snap!
Thyers angler and Dentists favourite "Gappy" won the match from the outfall at Swineford with a very good weight on the day of 17lb. On the opposite end down near the bottom of the lane sick note Liam Braddell had 14lb. Darren Gillman had 12lb (20+ eels and 3 skimmers)from the peg above Liam, and 4th place came from the end peg at Jack Whites with 10lb, the end peg is on a bend and bream normally drop back in there in flood. So as you can see the pegs with the most steady water were the places to be. Well done to everyone who battled the river today.
I believe Thyers are winning the league overall at present.