End of season Bash…

End of season Bash…

End of season Bash…

It’s almost a tradition now, the end of season bash on the river. Plans had been made well before Christmas so there’d been more than enough time to prepare for the last four days of a relatively successful season.

The plan was to meet at my house at 8.30 on the last Monday of the season. At 9pm I received a text saying that my pals alternator had packed in and he was waiting to be recovered… Not the greatest start to the trip. He’d kept me updated throughout the day and by 3pm in the afternoon it was fixed, although his wallet was £220 lighter. The plan to meet at mine was abandoned, so instead we met near The Severn at Buildwas. The River was high and handsome, carrying over 2.5 metres of extra water according to the meter readings. We’d arrived in the last throes of day time, had a quick recce and chose two spots. Dashed back to the cars to get the gear and by the time we were setting up it was later than dusk.

The rods were put out and the kettle on, it hadn’t had time to warm when one of the rods went… A great start, 10 minutes in and the first Barbel of the trip, coming to yours truly at a respectable 9lbs 2oz. That was it for the rest of the night , not a beep on the alarms.

Tuesday morning came and with it came the start of Storm Gareth. A quiet day all round, re-casting every 20 minutes or so to keep bait going in… the rain had battered it down all day but instead of the river rising further it had dropped a good foot, by the afternoon we were blessed by a yellowy orange orb in the sky, the extra warmth being a welcome bonus. It literally was the calm before the storm. As midnight came the wind picked up, by 3am my brolly was being battered by gusts of over 50mph. It was bad enough for me to go outside, reel in and lay the rods on the floor…

Wednesday came and we upped sticks and travelled the relatively short distance to Atcham. A move that proved costly as I managed to break down. I did get the car going again and nursed it back to where we were to fish. Again the river here was high, not the greatest when you’e never seen the stretch before… We walked over the sodden fields and found a few likely looking spots, went to the car and got the drenched gear out… Set up was brisk in an attempt to beat the weather and soon enough we both had rods in. It wasn’t too long before I heard the shrill tone of an alarm. I popped my head out of the brolly to see my pal bent into a fish. Soon enough it was in the net and much like the previous fish I’d fluked, it was really quite pale. It came in at 8lbs 14oz. The rest of the day was pretty much uneventful until we went into the dark hours. My right had rod beeped twice then flat toned as the rod folded over. Fish on… briefly. I reeled back to find a broke main line… wounded. Set up again and sent it out on the same spot… an hour or so later the script was repeated, this time not a break in the line but a hook pull. The dejection measure by my silence with rod in hand and glaring at the river… There was some solace as the night progressed as another bite ensued, turning out to be the best Barbel of the session at 9lbs 10oz… The rest of evening was quiet apart from more driving rain…

Thursday morning at 4am I went for a walk to see what was happening in the field behind us. It wasn’t good news, the water had almost encircled us. I got back to the swims, woke my pal and said we’d better pack down sharpish. It has to be the quickest pack down ever. It meant that we’d have to cut short the trip by some 18 hours or so, but better safe than sorry. All that was left to do was nurse my car home. Fortunately it was a less than remarkable trip home. Unfortunately after putting the car in the garage, I was almost twice the amount worse off than my pal due to a knackered injector.

So that was the end of the season, not really pulling up any trees but conditions were really against us. The few fish caught proving that it’s possible to catch a few if you put some effort in…

Rolll on June.

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