I arrived at the river at about six or six thirty. My intention was to roam about, paying particular attention to a couple of spots where I had seen fish but which most anglers pass without stopping.
At swim number 1 I tried to bounce a bait between the weedbeds to where the barbel were laying. Unfortunately I soon had an audience of steers that would not take a hint. I tried my usual trick of waving the landing net at them and suggesting that they remove themselves from that particular spot but they kept coming back. In fact, as I sorted some bait, one of them stepped over my cane rod! That was just too much. I leapt up to scare them off but felt a sudden gust of fresh air around my wedding tackle. I had split the crotch of my trousers and, as I was going commando (perfectly legitimate in warm weather, you just have to shake well), there for the world or rather, the cows to see, was my pride and joy.
What an image, me chasing cows, waving a net like a demented lepidopterist with my toggle and two hanging out. I must have looked like a Welshman!
I decided that a move was my best choice.
At the next two swims nothing happened, I was starting to feel that it was going to be one of those trips. But things looked up at my next spot.
I lobbed four or five boilies upstream of a snag and followed up with my bait. The fish in this spot are a bit cute but I think that by using modeling clay as a weight, my cast just sounded like two more boilies hitting the water.
After a few minutes I threw a couple more baits in but as I did so I felt the line tighten and made a mess of the strike. Oh dear, this can be enough to spoil the swim but I persevered and out went another bait. A couple of minutes later I had a strong pull and connected with a heavy weight. It didn't really fight that well but woke up a bit at the net.
As I lifted its head to unhook it I thought it was possibly a scraper double. I rested it in the net where it sat quietly blowing bubbles and decided to go and get my scales so I tucked my todger away at set off. When I had my scales I got her out of the net and realised that there was little weight in her body so, although she had a 'double' head, the rest was a bit of a let down. Not that I was in any way disappointed with a 9.5 and I curse myself that I often have to reduce fish to a weight rather just take the pleasure of the catch.
A very lively chub followed and I'd had enough. I went to see how The Boy was getting on. He'd had a chub of about 5lbs but no barbel. I then tucked a tea towel down my trousers to retain a degree of decency and we went for a pint. Happy days.