Okay, so fishing for chub on a Sussex stream (for example) isn’t quite as dramatic as watching Robson or Jeremy doing battle with some brutal beast on the Amazon or Atlantic, but it’s easy to overlook the incredibly diverse range of angling adventures on offer in the UK. Actually getting out into nature and experiencing the thrill of finding, hooking, seeing, holding and returning a wild fish is pretty extreme wherever you are, when you actually think about it…
Like many other fisherman I do wish one of the major TV production companies would be brave enough to fund a high quality, informed and engaging programme that really explores the stories of the fish and fishing to be found in the UK.
I indulged in my own version of extreme fishing on Saturday, fishing a flooded and rising river Wye in search of a late autumn barbel.
I’d been hoping to try for the river’s pike and perch populations, but with the weather mild ‘n’ wild and the river the colour of the stewed tea in my flask, I opted to fish for old Boris – a suitably extreme fish that thrives in such extreme conditions.
I made up a mix of various pellets, dampened them with hemp and proceeded to dump a few feeder full’s into the river. Even a rod length out required a 5oz feeder to hold bottom and the flow combined with the sheer amount of crap in the river and the rising water meant I made my first cast unsure as to if a fish would oblige.
And for two hours, none did. Then, just as I was contemplating a move, the tip bounced round unexpectedly – fish on! A barbel raced into the mid-river maelstrom and at this point of the battle it really was a case of simply hanging on! As the fish bored upstream, taking line off the clutch it reminded me yet again quite how much fun floodwater barbel fishing is.
Fortunately the strong gear soon told and I netted a stocky, pale barbel. I thought it may be the precursor to a few more bites, but after another quiet hour, I again considered a move. And again this thought coincided with another bite. This time the resistance was less obvious and it wasn’t long before a nice chub came to the net.
And that was it. The river was rising quite noticeably when I took a glance at the football results coming in. So I finished my flask of tea, made those inevitable three or four last casts and was home in time for dinner.