I’ve fished a particular swim on the lower Ribble twice in recent weeks and despite catching a fair few fish, the only good rod thumper I’ve managed to hook was a Chub of about 4lbs. Now this swim is a fast tongue of water over a gravel bottom, feeding into a big, long deep pool – its one of those places that screams FISH HERE at me – a real classic stick and pin run. On the two previous occasions I’ve tackled this run, I’ve fished from the southern bank and have had a deep back eddy in between me and the area I really think holds the fish, so at lunchtime today I had a few hours to spare and decided to approach the swim from the northern bank.
By changing my angle of approach, I could now wade over the shallow shingle bank, and stand waist deep on the side of the drop off into the faster deeper main current and run my float along the crease between the fast and slower water.
Again I set up with my standard stick float gear of 5bb shouldered wire stemmed stick and a 5lb hooklength, but rather than using a Drennan specialist size 14 hook, I used a Drennan size 16 carbon chub hook. The finer wire gauge i hoped would make a difference to presentation, and I know that the hook is strong enough to hold any fish under 10lb without loosing shape.
After spending 5 minutes feeding the swim and watching the world around me I had a first run through with the float.
About 3/4s of the way down the run, the float buried and i felt an almighty bang on the rod. Fish on!
After a brief run, the fish stopped in the central part of the heaviest flow and pulsed in the current, typical barbel behaviour. Over the last few sessions I’ve been using my avon rod for trotting the Ribble rather than my 15ft lightweight Drennan, so by using the arc of the stronger rod i was able to apply low side strain and gently move the fish into lighter flow. (its nice to be able to boss a fish for a change rather than being bullied by any fish over 3lb as was happening with the Drennan).
Didn't know how else to contact you, so I'll leave a message here. Just wanted to thank you for this blog because it helped me catch my first freshwater fish! Caught a little pike today on a rattle shad, in the canal down by old trafford, just opposite Pomona tram station. I'm well chuffed! I went there after reading your post a couple of weeks back.
Sounds like a great session.
If your looking for a new 15ft rod that will handle barbel I can recommend the Hardy Marksman,: )
Mike Duddy says
Thanks for your recommendation Phil, but i think a cheap pellet waggler rod will do a better job.
I am looking forwards to showing you this peg, it is available on a day ticket (if a baliff is ever brave enough to come and collect).
I went on yesterday hoping for a repeat – but the water was 18inches higher and the dynamics of the river completely different. Still had plently of fish, but nothing over 8ozs so headed off down to the Dane. See next blog for report