I had a few hours the other evening, sat in one of my favoured swims where a number of chub is all but guaranteed and a couple of barbel are usually on the cards. As I set up a couple of visiting anglers appeared at my shoulder bemoaning their lack of success. I chatted about the swim they had chosen and offered a few words of advice. Two minutes after making the first cast I was reeling in a chub which seemed to impress them both and they returned to their peg with renewed enthusiasm.
After returning six chub but no barbel, I went to the pub where one of the anglers I'd spoken to bought me a beer. He'd returned to his swim, put one or two bits of my advice into play and had two chub and a barbel in three chucks! Of course, the rest he'd given his swim could have been the deciding factor but he was happy.
Yesterday I decided I wanted a barbel but on arriving at the river found all of my preferred pegs inhabited. I could have loaded up and gone for a long walk but I was feeling lazy, so I had a chat with a mate and announced that I would extract a chub from a fallen tree swim just upstream from him.
I parked on the bank above the swim, lobbed half a dozen 10mm boilies in and set up my 9' cane stalker rod. That done I lobbed four more boilies in and set off down the bank carefully..... though not carefully enough. I found myself sliding on my left heel with my right leg sticking out as a counter weight whilst I grabbed wildly at anything remotely likely to slow my progress towards the drink. I came to a shaky, relieved halt at the water's edge and regained my composure and tackle. Of course, the bag of boilies had come open and my precious bait was buried in dense grass which turned out to be the resting place for a number of enormous, sticky slugs.
Fortunately my actions had gone unobserved and I was soon teetering on the bank with a fallen branch in front of me and a willow tree leaning across the river. A couple more freebies went in followed by my bait which I lobbed beyond the swim then wound back and lowered into the chosen spot. Five seconds later the line tightened and I hit a spirited chub which was soon bullied into the net.
I moved downstream and noticed that the guys fishing the swim I'd been in the other day were, unsurprisingly, the one's that had spoken to me. They and their two mates were all fishing close together and had taken a number of chub and several barbel. Where were they when I fished there?
I had another chub from a cattle drink swim which I abandoned when the cattle got thirsty and started chasing the dog all over the fishery. I returned to the tree swim, repeated the previous scenario but without the ballet dancing and had another chub, again within a few seconds of the bait hitting bottom.
Chub? Chub are dead easy. Barbel? I can give people barbel any day of the week, I just can't catch them myself.
Ah well, I'm guiding for the next three days. I'll be down around Ross so there should be plenty of action......... unless I have a cast that is.