To most, today is the last chance to run a float down a river for 3 months, or sit it out for a barbel with the weather having been so mild of late. I had as usual taken some time off work for these last few days of the season, but its been one to forget and I just haven't felt like making the effort for several months now.

If this is my 'year of hell' then I have still got 3 months to go and I cant think of anything left that can possibly go wrong. Even my body and mind are now seemingly conspiring against me, and its a case of chilling out and see what happens.

Hopefully things will settle down for me for June and everything can get back to normal. I suppose in one sense a 'winter off' for a  change isn't a bad thing, and a change of fishing styles for the next 3 months will also be nice.

The fish have been feeding well recently, and no doubt some PB's and river records will have been caught.


I have to admit to being a bit bit lazy over the last few months. A season of little highs and a run of bad luck lasting over six months now, has really taken the shine out of this season especially with the milder weather than of previous winters. I have put in a few trotting sessions on the dove, and thankfully the fish have been obliging. Even the wild brownies have been kind although our target species, the grayling, has been a little difficult to find to say the least.

Rick has had a bit of luck landing just one grayling off the stretch on his very first trip, weighing 1lb 14. A real beauty of a fish to say the least, and he also managed a New Years Day barbel from the Trent at 11lb 8.

With the days lenghtening, and hopefully the weather changing, it will be nice to get back to normal and start putting in some more trotting and barbel sessions assuming that I don't bury anymore size 16's in my top lip.......... 

25/11/11, River Trent. New Moon.

Its been a while since I last headed out, having spent more time in the house rather than out of it, but it was a pleasant evening so Rck and myself met up for a few hours to try our luck. The biggest surprise was the lack of a boil or crease with the river so low for the time of the year, and although there was plenty of depth at our feet, we didn't have a sniff between us. There were signs of fish moving about, may be not our target species but a decent sign never the less, and it could of been that any hungry fish just didn't fancy the two different boilies that I was offering.
The continuing dry and mild weather is certainly a worry if the weather patterns dont get back to normal through the rest of the winter, but looking at it, we don't need to worry, as it looks like December will be very different and the trotting gear will be needed.

10/11/11, River Dove. Full Moon.

Rick and myself met up at 7pm for another crack on the tough stretch. Surpisingly there seemed to be no-one on apart from one guy packing up as we landed. Another one of those barmy mild nights at least made it a pleasure to be out till late but it was another night that wasn't going to produce anything for us. We finally packed up just before midnight planning to get out earlier on Saturday for a bit of a mixed session.

01/11/11, River Dove. Phase 1stQ -1.

Another attempt for us to look for one of the bigger fish found is in a couple of pegs we had fished a week ago. Rick had a change of bait on one rod, but he knew it made sense to ditch it and go for the boilie of the moment, and that change brought the only run of the night resulting in a fish of 11lb 8. 
Aanother mild night saw us giving it till midnight before we packed up, and the next session isn't too far away.

31/10/11, River Dove, Phase 1stQ -2.

Yet again the weather was unbelievably mild so we headed back to the same stretch, but had to head downstream after finding other anglers in the spots that we really fancied. Our four rods went out just as previously and we sat back almost expectant of action. This night wasn't to be for us, but a couple of fish did come out of the pegs we had fancied. Its all about being in the right place at the right time at the moment, so I guess we will just have to keep on trying.

29/10/11, River Dove. Phase 1stQ -4.

Rick and myself headed out quite late, intending on fishing till the early hours of the morning. Surprisingly there weren't too many out and we chose a couple of pegs that we hadn't touched this season. We both rigged up with the same boilie that has certainly caught us by surprise this season, and sat back to wait any interest expecting any action to be hours away.
As it was it turned out that we only had to wait minutes as I had my first barb in quite a while weighing in at 10lb 2. After a few weeks off it was both nice to be back out and amongst them, so we fished on till 1am hoping for something else but without any further luck. And with the weather holding in the mild zone we intend to keep on scouring the stretch.

26/10/11, River Dove. Phase New Moon.

After a 3 week break from the barbel side of things on my part, Rick and myself met up at 9pm for a session on a notorious stretch. Rick had fished the two previous nights on it and had both a fish or runs on both nights which certainly bucked the usual trend. Fishing the same way as well as the same boilie, we set up and sat down to see what would materialise with an idea of when a fish might put in an appearence.
As it was, the idea of a time was spot on as one of Ricks rods went over at 12.50am resulting in a fish of 11lb 6. Nothing for me when we finally packed up at 1.35am as the rain started to fall, but it was nice to be out again.

11/10/11. River Itchen.

Eleven of us again made our way down to Southampton for another treat of a day out on this fantastic little chalk stream. With perfect if a little too mild conditions on the day, we set about catching a multitude of species on both the fly and trotting gear from every spot that we fished. Salmon Parr, gudgeon, roach, chub, bream, carp, dace, eels, barbel, brown trout, sea trout and grayling all succumbed quite easily with some decent specimens being landed.

Some of us also managed to hook into the last of the running salmon, loosing two or three of them through the day, as well as watching them leaping about in your swim. Its a long day having to get up at 3.30am and not get back until 10pm , but it is so worth it for what is a truly fantastic change of both scenery and tactics, and if anyone is contemplating it then I would thoroughly reccommend it.  

It's been a busy period as well a disappointing one on the barbel front. The only good session was an afternoon on the upper reaches of the Dove trotting maggots for what ever fancied them resulting in plenty of brownies up to about 2lb's and accidentally hooking a couple of signal crays too. Over the final days of September I have fished every night putting in 5 sessions on the trot for 2 chub and 2 lost fish. Weatherwise, conditions couldn't have been better, but other factors and may be desperation have led to the worst month I have had for many seasons. 17 sessions for one fish last month is enough to make you hang everything up as it certainly isn't due to a lack of effort.

May be its time for a break, and thankfully we are back on the Itchen in 10 days time for a very welcome change of scenery.

21/09/11, River Trent.Phase LQ +1.

Fishing the supposed better spells has been a joke to say the least this month, with fish coming out either very late or during the day...... but its all about perseverance..... isn't it. Rick managed to get a very bent double out the night before, but this session was plagued by weed due to a small rise in river level. It was bad and casts were quickly covered in it making it a no joke session. We ended up biteless between us and I think its now well and truly time for a change as we have some good weather on the way next week. 
A last gasp chance may mean 5 nights on the trot next week to try and bag one, but it may well all be in vain if this winters forecast is correct....................

19/09/11, River Trent. Phase LQ -1. 

This month has been a grueller for myself and there just doesn't seem to be an end to the disappointment. Another session on a low clear river resulted in another biteless evening, but at least the weed was kind to the two of us. Fish are coming out to the usual baits, but the rewards do seem to be had after putting up with little in terms of tasters.  It certainly is becoming a case of time for a change, and thank goodness we are back on the Itchen again in 3 weeks time. A daylight float session is a case of some much needed medicine.

15/09/11, River Trent. Phase LQ -5.

Again we divided our efforts and found quite a few other anglers out on yet another very pleasant evening. Familiar spots for the two of us in the hope that something might turn up, had a rather surprising twist to it. I found the weed to be a real pain, but I did see what could of been either a decent brown trout or a salmon that had obviously been in for quite a while, swimming across the surface with the top half of its body out of the river. Rick did have some luck landing a chub and 5 bream at 6lb 12, 7lb, 7lb 4, 8lb 3 and 8lb 8.

14/09/11, River Trent. Phase Full +2.

Rick and myself headed for another stretch still seeking a decent fish for the month. A couple of pegs that have produced doubles for us just didn't want to help us with our quest. I can't say that I even had a tap all night, but Rick did manage a chub and an 8lb 11 bream on pellets. Its not going according to plan this month, just like it did last September.

13/09/11, River Trent. Phase Full +1.

With the intention of fishing most nights for a while to see in a better spell, I was back on a different stretch of the trent hoping for a change of luck. Rick had been forced off by weed just a couple of nights earlier, but I found the river looking fine with little weed showing on the surface. A chance to try out Rick's boilie find of the season resulted in 2 'air fish' for myself and a chub on pellets. I looked at one of these takes and the rod tip was nodding, apparently saying to me "I'm on, and not going anywhere', but again there was nothing on the end when I picked it up......

12/09/11, River Trent. Phase full Moon.

Rick headed for the Dove whilst I headed for a change of scenery again. Plenty of taps on both rods for me, but nothing to save a rather frustrating blank, but clever peg choice had at least kept me untroubled by the weed coming down . Rick did manage a chub and 3 screaming 'air fish', being a bite with nothing on the end. Quite how the fish manage it is surprising especially when you dont even feel a hookpull.

10/09/11, River Trent. Phase Full -2.

Back to the same spot again, but a little earlier for me to have a few hours on the float trotting. Some of the guys who had been on for quite a bit of the day had been struggling and although not a fish a chuck session, I was catching a few roach, perch, chub and a probable hybrid, even during a torrential downpour. A swap to the heavy gear was made just as the sun was setting, and again we didn't have to wait too long as Rick had a decent chub early on, and I followed that quite quickly with a barb of just over 8lb's using Ricks first choice of boilie. Boy they are good. 

08/09/11, River Trent. Phase Full -4.

A change of rivers for Rick and myself, so we headed to an area that doesn't look particularly barbelly, but does hold some decent ones. A cracking warm evening to be out and we found the river coming alive as the sun started to set. A poor one on the charts, but theres always a chance of something, and we also picked a couple of not so tried and tested spots. Only one fish came along early on to Rick's new and somewhat deadly boilie. Not a monster at a little over 8lb's, but when the fishing is tough they do seem to be doing the business with relative ease, and its about time I also got on board with them. 

06/09/11, River Dove. Phase 1st Q +2.

Back to the same stretch we went hoping to break the spell. The weather was breezy to say the least but we set out our stalls again, although the baits were a little bit different, in the hope of some sort of a result.
And again we failed to muster even so much as a knock. Looks like its time for a change of rivers as the trent should be easier, and its certainly a head scratching time on the dove which should fish on well into october.

04/09/11, River Dove. Phase 1st Q.

Rick and myself went out early to clear a foreign object out of the river that we assume had been thrown in by kids. Gathering weed and starting to move downstream into deeper water meant it would be nothing more than a permanent problem rather than a feature. It turned out to be very easy between us to get it out of the river up a 6ft high bank, so having made the minimal noise and disturbance, we decided to fish the same general area.
Again the river proved to be a no go area as only one chub came out between 3 anglers. Its quite amazing how the river has turned the gas down from high to simmer yet again, and although some fish are still coming out, they aren't coming out so easily or in numbers.

02/09/11, River Dove. Phase 1st Q -2.

More of a forum night out with Paul K, Rick, Matt and myself all along the same general area, and quite a suprising result. Rick and myself never had a thing, whereas Matt had a couple and Paul had 4. The biggest one on the night only being 8lb's and not a sign of a double. Sometimes thats the way it goes and its always nice to see whats backing up the bigger fish for future years, and the search for this months double is still on.

01/09/11, River Trent. Phase 1st Q -3.

A change of scenery was needed, so I headed to a stretch that I haven't fished all that much in the last two years. It too was noticeably lacking in flow and a lot more weed was obviously showing where there would normally be less or even none. I opted for a peg where I would be fishing out towards the middle of the river and so risking a pasting from the weed, but it wasn't too bad and I was able to hold out for long enough. Plenty of knocks early on which just died off around 9pm, which coincided with the end of a better spell, left me wondering if I was going to catch anything, but a chub of about 3lb's saved a blank in the end. Danny was out and had a small barb around 7lb's and he too had been bombarded with knocks and wrap rounds which had resulted in a lot of fresh air.

30/08/11, River Dove New +1.

Having been floored by a puncture ( and no spare wheel ) all Bank Holiday, I was finally able to get out  on the bank after work. The most surprising thing was the lack of another angler in sight on either bank, but that just meant more choice for myself. I chose a spot that I'd only fished once this season and after checking my records and times, it was looking like a quite session in front of me, although one point to be aware of was at 11.26pm. In the end I fished till midnight for one rap on the tip on a new boilie I'm trying, which just happened to be at 11.30pm...... Oh well, plenty of further opportunities to keep on trying new things, and the trent will soon be in fine autumn form giving us a lot more to go at.  

The change in the weather was certainly noticeable, with a chill to the wind even with total cloud cover. Hopefully we will get some wet weather next week to kickstart the autumn and really get the fish going.

24/08/11, River Dove. New -5.

Back to familiar territories just for fun really with catching something being a bonus. Surpisingly I couldn't see another angler anywhere although I knew Rick was in a certain spot looking for something special. I did have some luck in the shape of a fish around the 4lb mark but with a very split pec that will make it a very recognisable fish in the future, but on the whole the river seemed quite quiet with very little topping even in the dark. I packed up at a reasonable time for an early night, but Rick decided to stop on and had a 14lb 1. That means there are two good fish in this particular areawhich still have some room to fill.

22/08/11, River Trent. LQ +1.

A change of scenery thats been long overdue. The weed looked bad on the surface, but you expect some streamer weed to be coming down this time of the year, but without the horrible claggy stuff that ruins sessions it turned out to be a good and rewarding change of rivers.

We fished a couple of familiar spots some distance apart, and I was the first one to get any signs of a fish as the last of the light faded away, but I ended up with nothing on the hook and my one chance of a fish seemingly come and gone. Rick did have a couple of fish, a bream over 5lb and a barb of 10lb 2. 
This was one of those nights when I had nothing to guide me chart wise, but then one of the guys on the forum posted up that he had an eleven pounder at the same time that I missed my only bite, so some sort of a result record. Paul K also had a 14lb 4 out of the Dove from an area not known for fish of that size.

19/08/11, River Dove LQ-2.

Rick and myself met up again to find Paul K already on the stretch, and headed to a familiar area with the intention of trying a couple of new pegs. Everything felt  good to us, although there were no decent fish topping which can mean we are in for a tough one. And a bit of a tough one was what we endured. I had one tappy bite from a fish which never pulled an inch of line from the spool, and was in the net in about 20 seconds. But it was another decent fish of 11lb 12.
Paul K ended up with 3, the biggest going 13lb 2.

17/08/11, River Dove. LQ -4.

After a week off fishing, then a week in Scotland followed by 3 days of painting, I was ready for a spot of barbel fishing and met up with Rick to head for one of my favourite spots that has been producing some good fish for us this season. The river was back to its low clear self and now much more weedy, but still had that look of potential about it, reinforced by a fish rolling in my preferred bit.
It was probably 8.30pm before we were both settled in, and a very large fish jumping upstream of us, ( probably a salmon ) caught our attention for a few minutes, but my charts and moon rise time had been checked ( 9.07pm ) and I didn't think we would have to wait too long. And it all worked out surprisingly correct, as one of my rods started nodding at 9.50pm resulting in a fish of 10lb 15, and then one of Ricks rods went at 9.56 resulting in a fish of 11lb 15. We gave it till 11.30 before packing in, but I didn't think we would have anything else from our run after the first two, and to be honest we never had another sniff between us in the last 90 minutes.   
Nice to start the month off without a blank.

29/07/11, River Trent. New Moon.

For a change I headed out to the trent to a stretch that owes me a fish this season and also has some great looking trotting pegs. The idea was to mix and match the session to see what I could come up with, but the warning light was there when I arrived as there were plenty of other anglers already on with the same idea, and all of them were saying how difficult the river was fishing. With a spell to work to and some very good fish crashing out, things looked good, but it was another frustating night thats becoming all too common. 
As I sit here writing this I should really be thinking about getting out and trying something different, but with a week in Scotland just days away now, I'm more interested in whether the local river will be fly fishable and the fact that a complete change of scenery is well and truly needed.

25/07/11. River Dove. New -3.

We headed back to Monday nights swim choice again, as I am trying out another boilie from the same range as RIck's current winner, and it was another chance to give it a whirl on fresh fish as well as against Rick's. As I was fishing the top of the run, I expected to be out fished by Rick, but it was myself getting all of the attention on the night but not a single hookup from whatever it was banging away on the tips. By midnight and still fishless we gave up, as did  the forums top poacher MR K........
Its all gone Pete tongue again, but only until next week.. 

23/07/11. River Dove. New -5.

For a change, we headed out with the float tackle over the weekend to see what species we could find in some of our Trent winter pegs. Things were a little disappointing really, but I did have a nice surprise in the shape of a 6lb 7 barb, and Rick managed to loose one too, but this night we were back out on the normal gear trying the same peg that had been so kind to us the week before. I suspected that the fish would have dropped back further along the run into deeper water, and although I managed plenty of knocks, my first thoughts were right as Rick had 3 flying takes but lost everyone of them. Oh well thats life. 

20/07/11. River Dove. LQ-3.

Rick and myself headed to a stretch that we hadn't fished this season, and found it free and still with some water and colour. It was a chance to try out his new boilie on fish that hopefully hadn't seen it from anyone else, and really test its merits as Rick has been doing rather well on it.
I opted for the succesful combi from the night before on one rod and Ricks boilie with a pellet feeder filled with the same broken bits to give it a good go, and it was the boilie rod tapping away in seconds resulting in a baby around 4lb's. As darkness started to fall, all our rods were tapping away but it my combo rod that went next with a fish of 11lb's, and then again with a 10lb 7. Rick then followed things with a 10lb 4 and one of 8lb gone midnight. At 12.45am we called it a night  having finally cracked this months target. Now we can fish for fun, and might even get the float rod out.

19/07/11. River Dove.  LQ-4.

Having decided to leave the river alone on Monday evening, I headed out to a stretch which looked spot on with less water on it, but still with plenty of colour. Rick was also going to join me to try and land one for a change as he was on a run of 5 or 6 lost fish including one from the night before. As darkness fell things looked and felt good, and with fish rolling around us we were hopeful. For some reason I decided to try something different with the pellets I had with me, and maybe more by luck than judgement, it brought me a decent fighting fish of 9lb 13. A horrible run of 6 blanks/bad luck in all departments was broken, although I did have to spend 10 minutes fishing for my landing net in 5ft of water as we packed in!!!!!!!!!

15/07/11. River Dove. Full Moon.

Rick and myself headed back to the same stretch to find a few on it already, and made our way to an area that seems to be both popular and a summer hot spot. The area was free and so we set up using very different tactics to the norm due to the quite shallow water. The fish were definitely in the area, but it was another one of those evenings for me where the highlight was a acouple of bangs early on, but nothing else, whereas Rick did at least have something on again which promptly came off. This month is not being very kind to say the least.

Its been an interesting couple of weeks, both fishing and forum wise, but its time to put an end to certain proceedings and get back to the norm rather than the abnormal. I have to put my hands up and admit, that some people read to much or are looking for more than there is to see, and so get fooled by what is really nothing more than a teasing comment designed to get them thinking. Having said that, thanks for the entertainment value which has got a lot of us laughing, as only someone of your unquestionable integrity and ability could have fallen for such a hook and sinker line. PMSL as they say, and try changing the lure colour.

13/07/11. River Dove. Full -2.

Out to an unfamiliar stretch for a change that needs some serious attention from ourselves. Rick had a peg in mind but found it occupied, so we choose a couple of totally new ones after walking quite a bit of the stretch. What looked tasty in many places, was also extremely empty of any visible fish of any species, so we chose a couple of runs to sit it out and see.
Rick was obviously in the right spot, as he lost a fish very early on and then managed a 9lb 13 later on.
We will be back out tomorrow on the same stretch seeing as Rick wants to seriously try the new peg, and I spotted another one that I doubt anyone heads for.

11/07/11. River Trent. Full -4.

As I headed for the trent, Rick was heading for the dove so dividing our forces to see if there was something for us to work on for both rivers. A stretch that I hadn't fished much at all in the last 18 months, had certainly changed and was looking almost lake like on some of its length due a a very slow and steady flow.
With the usual weed now becoming a big problem, peg choice was critical, and I certainly got that right as I only collected a cup full all evening.
The key point was between 10.17 and 10.20pm,  and the rod tips were silent until 10pm when the first one inch taps became noticeable. The taps became more violent  and had me almost grabbing the rod at 10.17 as the tip started to slowly and jerkily go round, but then sprang back with nothing on the end. And that was the end of the interest from anything for the night, so I packed in early. 
I have seen that sort of behaviour before leading to a proper wrap around bite bang on cue, but it wasn't to be for either Rick or myself. Mind you, we have acquired  what could be some new and useful information on the Dove, which will mean spending a lot of time on a particular stretch.

09/07/11. River Dove. 1st Q+1.

Rick and myself went for rather a long walk along the river, noticing that there were quite a few other anglers out as well. We headed back to a spot we had fished recently to see if there were any other residents that we might be lucky to come across. Certainly one or two other's have been lucky recently showing that there are a lot of fish in this particular area at the moment, but we didn't have a thing between us and packed in after midnight.

At the moment, its not an easy proposition to sit and wait, or feed and rove as the fish really are switching on, on their terms and not being fooled easily.

07/07/11. River Trent. 1st Q-1.

For a change, Rick and myself headed for the trent to see how much of a pain the weed was being. The spots that we chose looked good for getting away from it, but we were a little bit more than surprised at what was passing us by out of sight. 
I knew that the volume of weed in the river would have increased since opening day, and it truly has although not to intolerable levels as long as you pick the right sort of stretch to fish. We managed a few knocks and nothing else between us on a stretch that does have barbel of a good average size, but our casts were struggling after 20 minutes and everything was well and truly covered in it on retrieval. Looks like we will be back on the dove for quite a while yet.

As a PS, people often talk about pictures that give away good pegs or areas to try on the internet, and I agree that you have to be very careful these days, but there is nothing like putting one up to get a reaction. One of Ricks certainly has, as it only took a few days for the 'poachers' to move in on the stretch. Believing that we had fished a known peg, they took the long walk to find out otherwise, I mean have they not heard of 'cloning', or taking the pic a long way away from where the fish was actually caught. Looks like this one is still unknown as I understand that they may have blanked.    

First of all I would like to talk about the integrity of bloggers. Not your down to earth type who just want to share their highs and lows, who fish for fun and don't want to try to put others or the world to rights, but the alledged top end in the angling press all the time bloggers. The sort who think that the sun shines out of their arse and everyone will believe any old crap that they post because they won't know what's true and what's not. The fact that they will post what accounts to a pack of lies and pick on the un-able to defend themselves as well as preventing them from doing so, goes to show that they don't really care about what they say, who they have a go at for no reason, or whether they can hold their head up high and look everyone in the eye on a daily basis afterwards.
To them its about the 'ends' and they do not need to be justified by the 'means'. They care more about themselves than their image or integrity, and will stoop to levels meaning a crawling snake is actually higher off the ground than they are.
Their page  is their bit of 'sod you, you can't touch me' attitude in writing, so the next time you look in at someones usual rant, take a step back as ask yourself 'why is this fool picking on this unknown guy', and can I trust him to tell me the whole truth about it, because you might be surprised.

As a final thing, here is a pic of the 18lb + blue trout from Saturday.

04/07/11. River Dove. Phase 1st Q-4.

With something to work to and therefore checkout, Rick and myself headed out to see if an early capture was on the cards. The river looked good, the evening was fine and warm and the river looked its now normal low self, and surprisingly empty. We settled into a couple of known pegs and sat back to wait. The first time slot came and went by uneventfully, but just 4 minutes after the second slot, Rick found himself into a small fish of less than 6lb's. Not a great test of something I found last year, but close enough to mean we need to keep on trying it out. We gave it till 11.30pm before packing up, and Wednesday night should be another goer for the two of us. Looks like we may have some new ideas to try out too. 

01/07/11. Stonebridge trout lake.

We shot up the A1 for an overnight stop on a small but varied complex, where monsters are not a dream, but the variety of species is.
By 8pm, we had been fed, grabbed a bottle of beer and were fishing. Having fished it last year, I had an idea of how to fish it, and it proved useful as I managed 3 trout in a couple of hours as well as loads of follows. Although I had set Rick up the same way, he didn't have a thing the first night, so we talked tactics for the morning as we all sat drinking a few on the veranda till midnight.
After a restless night, we were the first ones on the bank at 6am on a glorious morning that would prove to rather difficult. We were lucky to have a few England internationals on the day to help us out, and we were well and truly fed and watered all day long. Rick was given a helping hand with a few flies which helped to hook a few trout for him, whereas I had a few follows and only one small brownie which came off for my troubles, on what was a bright, warm, and very still day.
The evening barbie was topped off with an unfortunate 'blue trout' that had jumped out onto the bank the day before and not totally recovered, it weighed over 18lb's !!!!!!!! A big thank you to Richard and the team again, and we will be looking forward to next years do.

29/06/11 River Dove. Phase New -2.

For a Monday night change of pace, I had been to have a look at one of the carp lakes on one of my tickets, and found it to have seriously matured although the carp were a bit unwilling to fall for something off the top, so it was back to normal this night as we set off on a long walk to try out a few new pegs. First choice for me was in use so we moved even further upstream and settled in to our chosen pegs just gone 9pm. Hopeful that my quick gander at my charts would be right, didn't take long to prove correct as Rick was the first one in at about 9.47pm  with a 10lb 10, quickly followed by myself with a 9lb 13. With both weighed, photographed and released, Rick was in again at about 10.20pm with a 12lb 2.
After such a good quck hit, we decided not too stop out late and packed in at 11.30pm with quite a walk back to the cars. 
And theres another change this Friday too as we both head off for a Corporate fly fishing event.    

25/06/11. River Dove. Phase LQ +2.

Rick and myself went back to have look at a stretch that had been just too busy previously, and found that the pegs we fancied were free. Rick dropped into a nice looking narrow deepening run whereas I went for a shallow pacey and weedy run. The river was carrying a little extra water and colour, and looked spot on. As darkness fell, fish started rolling, but they weren't particularly hungry as we both had knocks between us that were really moe inquisitive rather than from hunger. 12.10am and I finally manage to land a small barb of 5lb 12, followed by one of those wrap round line being pulled from the reel bites that just results in nothing. At 1am we packed up and headed home. Rick had managed a couple of chub for his efforts, and I had also seen a barn owl ghost on by.

24/06/11. River Trent. Phase LQ +1.

Friday night is always our late night of the week, and as we parked up on the bank the rain had already started. First time this season on this particular stretch, but we are trying to target particular pegs where we feel we have more chance, as well as trying a slightly different  approach. 
Plenty of bites on sweetcorn and meat resulted in a couple of very small chub for Rick, but again the river didn't look particularly lively apart from the smaller species topping all night. 12.30am and I'd had enough and packed up needing to be up very early the following morning. Rick stayed on a little longer, but didn't have anything else to tell me about, so this tentative start to the season continues.

22/06/11. River Dove. Phase LQ -1.

We headed for a fresh stretch and found it rather busy, meaning we spent a good hour looking for alternative pegs before we finally settled down on a rather well known and difficult stretch. May be surprisingly there was no-one else on it, and it was no surprise that all we could manage between us was a solitary chub, but its all part of the fun and variety that means we keep on trying.
One thing that kept us interested for a couple of hours, was the sight of a pair of little owls working the field behind us regularly crossing the river.

20/06/11. River Dove. Phase LQ -3.

As I walked along the river, the rain started beating down and so I found a decent looking peg and dropped in it just to get out of the rain really, I had both rods in for just after 8pm trying something a little different to see if I could break the early season blanks. I was at least getting some attention on one rod from something, but nothing special as I waited for Rick to arrive, but at 9.15pm the downstream rod started bouncing and I lifted in to the first fish of this river season.......... A 1lb 8 brownie on pellets.  
A lucky chap as I let him go back unharmed, and re cast the rod back to the same area it had come from, and as I did I noticed the other one was quivering, so I quickly dropped the other rod onto the alarm and sat behind them both to see what developed. I could see my feeder was rolling and stopping a few inches at a time, so I lifted the rod up and started reeling in slack line thinking theres nothing on it.......... then the line tighted, the rod goes over and something sets off upstream.
A decent fight and I knew it was a good-un before I'd even weighed it, my first barb of the 2011 season weighed in at 11lb 8. Rick also managed an 8lb 8 at 11.45pm, and with the rain easing off, we called it a night at midnight.

17/06/11. River Trent. Phase Full +2.

Rick and myself met up for another attempt on the trent. The pegs that we chose had been kind to us during late autumn last year, but would they be obliging now. 
Not an early start again as we had the rods in for about 9pm, but we weren't expecting an early action and again we were planning on stopping out till late.
Apart from some small stuff topping, the river seemed pretty 'dead', but at 11.45pm one of Rick's rods went over resulting in his first barb of the season weighing 10lb 2. Nothing again for me, but not for a lack of trying, and the next session may need a slight change of tactics. 

16/06/11. River Dove Phase Full +1.

Session two of the season started with a meet up about 8.45pm, and then head off away from the madding crowds..... A quick chat with one of the bailiffs told us that this river too wasn't giving up anything in a hurry, and a long patient waiting game is going to have to be the way forward.

With this in mind, Rick and myself headed to a couple of pegs that do produce, knowing we would be sitting it out for a long while till the early hours. And that was what we did. Rick did have his first fish of the season just before midnight, a chub of 5lb 1, but another fishless session for me although I was getting plenty of taps from something. At 1am we called it a day and packed up. Session number three looks like being later today, just have to decide where to head.

Overall a few fish have been coming out of the Dove and the Trent, but the rivers do seem to be holding back at the moment. 

15/06/11. River Trent. Phase Full Moon.

Rick and myself met up early evening for a midnight kick-off on the first day of the new season. Having walked the stretch a few days earlier, we knew there were fish about, and as we started to set up in the fading light they were rolling all around us giving us hope of at least catching something quickly.
As per many opening days gone by, the fish were on another script and not one was falling for anything that we threw at them, although we both agreed we were in the best looking pegs under the current low conditions. Just after 5am, we began to tidy up finishing the session off fishless at about 5.30am. A disappointing start for both of us, especially as fish were still showing in our pegs, but as we were planning to be out later in the day it was time to head back for a few hours kip, and back out again.

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