Whenever we can, my friends and I will try and get away for a couple of days. Mark had called last week to say he had created a window for such a couple of day`s on Tuesday and Wednesday, we would go somewhere and fish until late and then sleep in the tent and fish somewhere else. This time around, (feeling adventurous) I asked Conrad on Saturday if he could recommend somewhere from his vast experience of different rivers. He then suggested we come up to his piece of paradise on the middle river Trent, what an invitation! Needless to say, Mark and I jumped at the chance, this would be a new river for us both.
Day 1 The Trent
An early start was the plan, leave at 6am and be in the village in Nottinghamshire by 9ish,we would meet Conrad later in the day when he finished work. Things did not quite go to plan, we hit some rush hour traffic going into Nottingham and then got a little lost before popping out the other side, but we arrived safely by 10am, and raring to go. After collecting permits and provisions it was time to try a new river, having fished a couple of hours with no bites, we moved on and would do until we found the fish feeding. It was a little daunting to start with but once we got used to the style of fishing we caught some! We even had a fish on each at one point, a “double hook up”. This is Mark`s first Trent barbel….
We went on then to meet Conrad at teatime and move to a piece of river which is somewhat exclusive, the fishing was great but the weather was damp (at some points torrential). We finished the day with 10 for me, 8 for Mark, and Conrad popped along for a short session and had 4! So after that action, a glass of vino to toast the new river and time to set the tent up. The wind was cold and brisk, we did`nt take long to get the tent up!!
Day 2 The Derwent
We had to be up and out early from the tent to get across to Derby and collect permits for our day on the second river, so after a hearty breakfast (bacon bacon bacon) we set off to try. The river looked really good for bites, a little extra water on and some colour too, with lots of likely looking swims we roved around and tried several before Mark landed on this beautiful hard fighting fish! 9lb 11oz!! A first from this river, and a second new river in as many day`s what a result, it couldn`t get any better, could it??
I almost ran to the next likely looking swim ready for the bites that might follow, half hour or so after, Mark came down with a second smaller barbel, “great” I said “they are feeding”. As my rod was gently swaying and knocking with leaves coming through and Mark had set off to make tea, I thought “any minute now”, and just then the the rod hammered around into an unstoppable curve. Yes I was into my first Derwent barbel, we laughed as Mark arrived to see the rod bent over and the barbel diving for the inside cover. But as the fish came closer it was evidently not a barbel, this hard fighting 4.5lb chub was the culprit…
A bit disappointed, we carried on for the barbel, but all went quiet for Mark and I. We were very tired and planned to leave at 8pm, Mark had kindly given up his swim that had the two barbel in, so as I could try for the bite that might get me a new river. After falling and breaking one of his rods, Mark was tainted with being pleased and angry, it was 7.50pm and I called him to say quitting time soon, his reply was “mate I am playing a barbel”!
He called me back and told me the great news, it was a double!! I think my word`s were “you make me sick”, after the necessary jibes we took this picture… what a result take two. Our trip was complete.