21st July, 17:00 - 21:00 river Blythe with Jeff Hatt. Wet, damp, windy.
Having read about Jeff's previous trips to the Blythe I was keen to see the place so we arranged to meet on the bank.
The Blythe around Coleshill is a lovely river and reputedly holds some good fish.
I started on the stick and maggot and caught a couple of small Roach and hooked a Perch about 10ozs which fell off. Looking at my watch and with the 'fishing challenge' with Pete looming over me I decided I didn't have the time for float fishing for small fish and decided to give spinning for monster Perch a go.
In the split second it took to make this decision the heavens opened and I got a drenching whilst switching over the tackle. I had left my brolly at home and elected to wear a waterproof jacket and thigh waders. This was fine apart from the four inch gap between the bottom of my jacket and the top of the waders. Run-off from the jacket went was guided directly down the top of my boots. Rubbish!
I hooked a Perch on a small spinner which fell off and then had a pull from something else which didn't hook up, both in the pouring rain. I tried a few more spots with nothing and once again looked at my watch as something inside was pulling at me and shouting - "try for a Barbel you idiot!". The river was filling quickly from the days rain and so I once again switched angling codes and fixed up a running lead and pellet to try for a Barbel.
I found a likely looking spot just upstream of some willows with a fair push on. I baited the area and settled onto my wet chair in my wet clothes. The river continued to rise quickly.
After forty five minutes I was getting cold so went for a brisk walk to warm up. I returned to my gear and fished on.
Surprisingly despite the fruity looking swim I didn't have a touch other than from Crayfish and increasingly detritus coming down in the current.
We called it a day around nine as I was getting decidedly cool because of the earlier soaking.
Despite the inclement conditions my appetite has been whet by this stretch and hope to return soon. I'm pretty sure it won't be this year though as this challenge is dictating events at the moment. Over a post-Jubilee pint last Friday both Pete and I agreed to do something either less competitive or as a team next year!