Friday, 26 August 2016

Rolling meat on rivers.

One of the daytime TV channels throws up Angling old programs from time, to time. Last week it was Dean Macey fishing with Ray Wilton on the Avon, rolling meat for Barbel.

It really appealed to me coming from fly fishing where upstream nymph fishing is practiced on my local rivers. Clearly there are differences, but also many similarities. Like casting upstream and feeling the weighted nymph (replace with weighted hook and meat) bounce along the bottom, until you hook up.

Amazing video, full of fun, and information. Really like these two lads style. Quality video too.

So in the week I got the fly tying gear out and tied a few long shank size 6s hooks, with various amounts of lead wire I felt should, cover a few running water situations. I took them along with some Spam to the Trent to experiment.
I said earlier this method really appeals, because I can roam with just one rod, rather than sit in one swim with two rods faced skyward waiting for the fish to cooperate?

Rod choice had me thinking. I could use my normal barbel rods, the Daiwa infinities, but fancied something with a softer tip, to watch the taps, and knocks better. The Drennan Specialist feeder with the 4 oz carbon top looked ideal. Rated up to 8lb line was maybe light, but I did not have to cast any weight, and thought I could still use 10lb line right through.

On the river the rod proved perfect, even though I only caught a few modest chub. If in flood, or heavy winter water, it my be different, I'll have to see!

I found the best way, was also the simplest. Cast upstream, but not too far out, maybe 3 meters from the bank, no GROUND-BAIT. Allow the meat to come past you, then release line, and bump it downstream. Due to the lack of flow in many swims, this only worked 50% of the time. A cast further out in those swims did not give the proper presentation, as the meat swung around into the slack water in an arc. Had I wanted to be less mobile, then I could have sat 10 minutes and maybe a fish would have found the bait. Or I could have baited a few swims before fishing, something a may try some time I'm feeling a touch lazy.

 Above one of the best Trent chub taken in recent years 8lb+. The mighty river itself.

The Trent is currently low and really needs a good flush through, but I doubt it will get one until winter proper. Low water and excessive hot weather in the 30s plus have put the barbel off feeding since the season start. Lots of anglers and people on forums have all concluded the same, things are really difficult, and few fish being caught. Anglers are still fishing and pilling in bait, so maybe the fish are feeding at the coolest time of day, very early morning, I'm just guessing, it's all we can do!

I had a day on the local river yesterday, trying the rolling meat again. But recent rain had brought a lot of weed and debris down, making it almost impossible. I did manged one three pound chub, and got soaked to the skin with sweat, bank walking looking for fish. It will be much easier in the winter, the river will be clean, and the fish more obliging, I hope.

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