Passion for Barbel… Flood Thoughts

Kate playing a nice fish…
…there was some sense in the terminal arrangement, honest!
Ian, Kate, Barbel, Steve and Bailey the Spaniel
And away… Bailey looks on
Steve with an “ivory” barbel
Steve with a big fish

Life eh? All summer we have have been bemoaning river levels too low then, in a trice, the Wye is six feet up, running like a gravy train. WHAT, you think. Give me the chalk streams of gentle Wessex, please.

But no, you get on with it. This is what real barbel fishing is all about… you’ve just got to think it through. So, flood thoughts as they come.

There are good floods and bad. Good floods are gentle and warm, bad floods cold and dirty, bringing in nasties off roads and fields. As this was the first flood for months, I was worried just what horrors would find their way downriver.

Would this flood provide a “good flush out” (as we like to say), or would it simply introduce more killers like phosphates?

To the fishing: traditionally, rising water is bad, dropping water good. Mostly. Tell that to the chub that follow the flood line up the meadows, eating grubs, worms and spiders as they go.

But, yes, this time round, the dropping water produced for Kate and Steve ALTHOUGH two barbel came at the peak of high water.

We lament the death of weed in the Wye. The only possible good thing I can find to say here is that fishing was possible through this flood as there was precious little weed to come down and clog the lines. A first for me on the Wye, and no mistake!

Meat has always done it for me in the past. This time round the fish came once again on Scopex boilies. Two on a hair out-fished the meat rod throughout.

Most of my flood barbel sessions have not seen me bait heavily. This time I did and it worked.

I’m always amazed how quickly barbel lose their colours in flood water, and go from gold to a pale ivory. Masters of camouflage. Princes of survival.

Surprising how their fight is different too. Dogged. Deep. Slow. Few of those long runs that we so get off on! Is it simply that in no visibility water barbel can’t see, and don’t relish swimming full pelt into a rock or tree trunk?

Enough… let some pictures do the talking!

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