What Chances Our March Barbel?

This is going to be nip and tuck. My goal of catching a barbel every month of the winter hangs perilously in the balance.

As I write, the river has fined down nicely from last week’s inundation and looks extremely fishable. I have been baiting a few swims with diligence.

But it’s February 27th, not March 1st. There are two days to wait and, frighteningly, heavy rain is forecast up the Wye valley as of tomorrow, leaching into Tuesday.

My guess is that as the land is already soaked, the river will rise high and fast. Yep. As I began in this piece, everything is in the balance.

I have in reality ’till around 8th March, and then in all probability my season will end in Norfolk.

There might be a window around the 13th/14th if I am happy to add 500 miles plus to my month’s tally. A balancing act indeed.

I look back to the winter’s barbel campaign, if so it can be called. (I realise my “campaigns” this century are not what they were last!)

I’m broadly pleased with it. I have caught barbel, or Enoka has, and I call that the same thing as we rod-share.

I have learned a good deal about barbel feeding habits in cold weather, something I needed to do.

Above all, the many twilight sessions helped me calm and focus on what life is all about, what a privilege it is to have lived one.

Surely that thought is all the more valid this horrendous weekend?

You’d have thought Putin, as a so-called angler, would have more grace and humanity in him than to unleash the abominations we are witnessing.

In years gone by I fished extensively in the states bordering Russia and met wonderful anglers pretty much everywhere.

My heart goes out to them. These poor brothers and sisters of the angler will be worrying about more than rain in the Welsh hills this sobering Sunday.

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