Since the rains arrived last week a few barbel have been showing and with more rain on Monday night the river was spot on by yesterday afternoon, a couple of foot up still and a lovely looking brown colour. By the time I collected the other half from work, dropped her off home and arrived river side it was near on 6pm. I met up with my good mate JD who was already there, just for the sake of it I think as he too knew the river was spot on. We had a quick mooch around before he said he was not stopping much longer so I took the chance to jump in his swim as I did fancy it for a fish or two.
Tactics had been refined a little from what I have been using over the last couple of seasons, gone were the feeders to be replaced by a running lead and small pva bags were used to feed a small amount of mixed pellet each cast. Tackle too was scaled back a bit to something very close to what I used to use on the Don, 12lb line to a 2ft hook link of 10lb Korum expert mono and a size 14 expert power hook from the same company all finished off with a single banded 11mm elips pellet. This though had been given some attention and had been soaking in my own mix of oils I am currently testing dubbed the 'doner kebab flavour' and wrapped in a matching paste.
I cast out and sat back to chatter away to JD, soon after the rod tip knocked before pulling steadily round and the following strike met with nothing. I'm pretty sure though that it was just something been washed downstream but after JD told me they don't tear off on the bite I was taking no chances. On the following cast though there was no mistake, the 3ft twitch was followed by the tip springing back and pulling round again before I could even grab the rod and the strike met with solid resistance. The fish hung there for a while before going on a couple of long powerful runs, I managed to crank it back up stream when it decided to go nuts under the rod tip. Soon enough though it was beat and JD scooped it up with the waiting net.
I don't know who was more pleased, me or him! Anyway I was over the moon with my first Calder barbel and equally pleased that JD was there to see it. After a rest photo's were taken and on the scales it went 6lb 13oz, not massive but a real solid nice looking fish. I was a little surprised no more followed and I never had another knock but I couldn't care one bit, I had what I came for and headed home around 9pm when heavy black clouds started to build in the sky around me.