This was an opportunist all out Barbel session compressed into a couple of hours on a river which was closer to being out of it's banks than in them.
I didn't expect great success with the fish in such extreme high water conditions. Neither did I expect the almost euphoric feelings associated with an entire session: in daylight, not being frozen half to death, remaining dry, and best of all intermittently feeling the warmth of a watery sun.
I plonked my tackle at the cow drink and walked the length of the top meadow. I identified three spots in which I thought a Barbel might reside - seeking refuge from the jogging-pace column of water in the centre of the river. I was looking for areas with good but steady speed out of the rip of the main flow and preferably behind an upstream obstruction which would be filtering out the sticks and other crap from the current.
Putting my tackle down appeared to indicate to the sheep in the field that I was a bringer of 'nice things', and the buggers baa'd to each other loudly. Blood curdling it wasn't. They flocked together and rumbled over to where I had set my gear down. To mitigate a broken rod I shouldered my quiver before undertaking my inspection of the stretch.
"...a good but steady pace out of the rip of the main flow, and preferably behind an upstream obstruction which would be filtering out the sticks and other crap from the current"
I fished flavoured meat on a hair to a 3oz lead. Free offerings felt futile in the flow.
Nothing resulted from the cow drink.
I tried behind the hawthorn bush a little further upstream but again no bites from there.
In fact given the water conditions were pretty terrible and I blanked I'm struggling to see why I'm having such warm feelings for this brief session. I think it was because it felt like spring was in the air. Not an overpowering scent, just a whiff, but there nonetheless.
ps. Tonight I have heard a rumour of an enormous Barbel from LAA's water on the Avon. I'm not propagating it here as there's nothing backing it up but suffice to say it was not from the 'top meadow' at Wasperton and if true would certainly trouble the river record.