After keeping a close eye on the river levels this week, yesterday looked good for another nice bag of roach from the Calder untill I heared the news my mate JD had lost 3 barbel the eveing before. This started my brain ticking and after a trip to pick up some boilies I had had rolled by Tailor Made Baits my mind was made up. But I was a little pushed for time as I had a few things to do first and some friends were dropping by mid afternoon, as they left I went to grab my gear only to find due to my idleness my barbel gear was still all mixed up with the stuff I had been using this spring for the tench (I had been using my avon rods and bait runners) so decided to just go with the float and maggots again as it all needed a good sort out. The Calder is not yet a renowned barbel river anyway with not many people targeting them and the average size is around 6lb. I had said to my self I would not get dragged into targetting them and was happy knowing that I would be trotting for silvers again.
I arrived by the Calder around 5pm and although the level had dropped massivly it was still running quite fast with around a foot of water left in. First choice swim was taken and second choice was way too fast to be trotting for silvers so I opted to fish the same swim that I did last time even though this too looked a little fast. I came away from my last trip having had a very nice net of fish but thoughts in the back of my mind were that I could have done better as it had been hard to control the float correctly with the shifting current, so this time I rigged up a 2 gram avon float with plenty weight down the line.
I had a steady first hour catching a few fish but not in the numbers I had before, mainly dace and small chub with only the odd roach, I can only put this down to the faster water and the roach not been happy to sit there today. I was into a bit of a rythem and catching steadily when the fish dropped right down the swim and it went quiet. I wasn't entirly happy with the avon rig so swapped to a 6 no.4 stick float in four foot of water, a bit heavy I know but the extra weight I hoped would keep the hook down some what.
Steady feeding of maggots, casters and hemp saw the fish return and it seemed they liked the lighter strung out stick rig, it was difficult controlling this lighter float in the flow but holding the rig back saw a fish in the net every second or third trot down untill the down stream wind picked up. This made things rather difficult as I was having to keep the line up off the water by holding the rod high whilst trying to hold it back but the wind kept picking the line up and pulling the float off line. It was now 8pm and only catching the odd fish I decided on some last hour do or die tacticks, so on went an even heavier stick float of 8 no.4's and I started to feed heavier to try and draw the fish right up the swim were the current was slightly steadier and a shorter line ment I could controll it better in the wind.
After half an hour of feeding I started to catch quickly again, mainly dace with the odd small chub and roach mixed in, all coming with the float running all of 5 yards. I stuck at it for a good hour and caught more fish that I had had in the last 2. I packed in around 9.30 and had around 15lb of fish in the net, not as much as my last session weight wise as that was made up mainly of plump roach but I did have a higher number of fish. It had been hard work from start to finnish but I did learne an awfull lot yesterday, the way different floats work in the current and how the fish responded to differing feeding patterns, well worth the effort I though and can't wait to get back on next week.