WELCOME to our Friday blog. Every Friday we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online

Brothers Carl & Alex, aged 17 and 14, are the youngest bloggers in our mix.

as simply Carl & Alex. These super keen youngsters have a passion for making a variety of fishing videos, and provide a youth dimension to our new blogging mix.

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YOU may remember that last week our blog was about couple of short sessions on a small river where I caught a barbel and a handful of chub. Well this week I had been planning to go back and attempt to do the same… but the river had different ideas!

My dad suggested we leave at around 10.00; it had stopped raining and the sun seemed to be pushing through the dark grey clouds. I put my river tackle in the car, on top of all the carp gear for that night’s fishing. I was going to use my light quiver rod, as in the shallow water last weekend the chub were quite shy biting. I dropped a few cage feeders into my rucksack and then added three big gripper leads, just in case. I was ready, so off we went…

On arriving at the river, I walked across the car park and peered into the deep channel that the river has cut out of the land. To my surprise the channel was almost full; full of murky, tea coloured water, swirling, boiling, swelling, and then tumbling down into a now very flooded weirpool.

I admit, I have seen our river in better nick. But there were no cows and trees floating down.

My first thought was how on earth am I going to fish? Would even my large gripper leads hold the bottom in this powerful current? There was only one way to find out!

As usual my first choice swim was chosen so I climbed up the path, only to see that where I normally sit was under a foot of water. I did locate a small slack though. My gripper lead and large halibut pellet were quickly flicked into it. As I placed my rod into the rest the tip flew over, but I left it because I could see a branch had been washed down into my line.

The delicate quivertip bounced all over the place; leaves, sticks, even branches were being washed down the river. I know for a fact that when the River Wye floods you might see the odd oak tree or sheep drifting past, but I hadn’t expected this little river to change so dramatically, she was a different beast today!

Eventually the tip pulled round much more strongly; I was inclined to leave it and dismiss it as yet another branch but when the rod buckled right over and the clutch started spinning, I had the best excuse to get excited. A strong fish ploughed itself into the near bank snags and after a fair bit of tussling the unseen fish managed to shed the hook.

I was so annoyed to have messed up my big chance. And with the river as it was, I was unlikely to find another slack where my lead would have a chance of holding the river bed. I tried the same spot again but whatever I had lost had spooked the swim entirely. I reckon it was probably a barbel because a chub, even in the swollen river does not pull like that.

I decided to move as the current swim was failing to produce anything. I headed upstream only to find the gate locked up and a note saying that ‘Due to people using the gate to access private property and stealing items we have locked this gate and boarded it up’.

No option, I had to return downstream to try and find a slack there. I had a look into the weirpool and was blown away by the noise and power of the water. Completely unfishable I thought. However I noticed that there was a slower piece of water tight to the side of the pool. Perhaps my lead would hold bottom down there?

Something picked up my meat… something BIG…. and unlike last week it wasn’t a greedy dog!

I gave it a try and after a few minutes I was snagged, and then snagged again, and then again. I was on the verge of giving up altogether when the tip smacked over and I hooked into a big barbel! It tore off down the pool and got wedged in a snag; my rod was completely inadequate and was helplessly bent double.

Somehow the fish came free of the snag and then dived under the weir sill. I was quite frankly terrified and my dad suggested that it was fighting me rather than the other way round! Finally I caught a glimpse of the fish, a big deep bodied, barbe… wait, no… that’s a carp!!

I could not believe it, my biggest river carp for sure. In a way I was disappointed because I had big barbel in my head but I was also very pleased to have my largest carp from a river on the bank.

A proper warrior, Carl was chuffed with this river carp.

A cast back to the same spot brought another surprise. I cast out a large lump of meat just like before. A second after it hit the surface I saw a swirl and something charged off with my bait in its mouth.

The fish flat rodded me until it finally came to the surface where I watched as a high double-figure pike rolled before me and the hook pulled from its jaw. Nooooo! That would have been a PB.

For my next cast I tried a pellet wrapped in paste and after a wait of around an hour the tip nodded. I picked up the rod and felt it was solid again. Grrr, snagged for the fourth time today!

I pulled from all different angles but it was well and truly wedged. I tried the technique of letting the fish take some line and swimming out of the snag. And then I was back in business. At the end of the short scrappy fight I had a pristine chub in my net.

This chub rounded off the session.

I released it into the pool and was impressed to see it swim back strongly into the main flow. How fish cope with such a powerful flow is beyond me!

That was the end of the session. We headed home to pick up Alex and then to Tanyard Fishery to go carping for the night. Let’s just say that there is a reason for not including that session in this blog! I did hook one carp though.

We are looking forward to going west this week, to try for the mighty River Wye’s barbel, chub and pike. Please don’t rain anymore. Please!

Tight lines from me, hope you all have a good weekend.

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