Opening Day Of The River Season 2016 -2017

Well . .  . Its here again. . . Boys and girls . . . . . 
The opening day of the river season has arrived.
I had decided on visiting my local club stretch “ Little Britain Anglers “ on the River Irwell in Radcliffe to see if I could winkle out a barbel or a chub.
I quickly loaded myself up with my trotting kit and ambled over to peg one on my club stretch.
There was an umbrella already stationed there and with a quick shout of  “ Hello “ A well know voice answered back
“ Alright Cootesie. How you doing “
This is a sight as rare as a River Irwell barbel . . . .
It was the Little Britain Anglers Chairman . . .
Eric Owen . . .

To see Eric here is not unusual at all . . . . .
But . . . .
To see him fishing was a rare sight indeed. . . . Lol.

He was also after an Irwell Unicorn. . .  .
Without any luck so far. A few tentative plucks but no proper bites. We had a quick chat and decided I should try “ Barbel Bend “ the place of my only river Irwell barbel capture. I took a quick picture and a short video and then I was off.
I passed“ Little Pete “ on the Big Willow Peg. He had had a nice chub of about 4.5 lbs on his first cast but nothing after that.
On arrival at barbel bend I set myself up. My bait station was around half way out in the river, just before the deeper channel so i could virtually fish off the rod tip. The reel was an old trudex centerpin I have tarted up and the float was a
“ Feather Inlayed Irwell Stick “
perfect for the faster runs on my local spate river.
I was not going mess about today !!!!!! I set up with 6lb line straight through, 14 no 8 Irwell Stick and a 12 Drennan Super Spade hook , fishing half or a full lobworm, feeding hemp and maggot, topping up with a few balls of brown  crumb every now and then. I was fishing for bites really. . . . anything that took this worm was going to be a good fish.

The recent floods had changed the layout of this this somewhat. Gone was the nice, deep hole where I had my barbel. It had been replaced with tonnes of gravel. . . . It still had a nice depth to play with for the middle Irwell , around 4 - 5 feet so I slowly got into a rhythm. Cast , feed , trot.
I had a bite on my eighth trot down A small fish. . . . . I was shocked as small fish are rare on this part of the river. I swung him in expecting a little brown trout. . . .

I couldn’t believe. . . . . It was a lovely little chublet of around 3 oz . Not what I was after but VERY good news for the river .

Ummmmmmm .. . . . .
I may have to re- think my tactics on this session if there are plenty of these about. Fifteen minutes later another chubblet caught on half a  lobworm comes to the net. I was thinking to my self
“ Should I scale down and go all out for these little chubblets or stick to the big fish approach “ !!!!!
My mind was made up for me five minutes later !!!!!!!!!
Right at the start of the run my little yellow Irwell Stick buried , the Acolyte Plus hopped over and I was in.
“ This fish was a good one “
I thought as it powered of on its first run . . . .. . . Could it be an “ Irwell Barbel “ . .  . . . I received my answer thirty seconds later . .   .a big boil on the surface curtailed my thoughts of opening day beard. Barbel stay deep mostly and this came up far to early “ Trout “ I thought. . .  it didn’t give any heavy thumps like a chub.... sure enough a few minutes later a healthy wild brown trout of about 3 lbs came to the waiting landing net.

A good fish but not my intended quarry . . . . and that was it. For the next two hours I toiled away trotting but for nothing . . . . not a single bite.
It was rapidly approaching 14.00 . England vS Wales was on the telly. . . . .
The other two pegs I fancied were taken so, I had to make a decision . . .
Fish on . . . . or . . . .  ..
ring Eric to open up the “ Man Cave” and watch the match with him . . . . . .
The match won . . . .
A quick phone call to the big man and we were in the cave, feet up, watching the match.
Which turned out to be hard one to watch but England got the result in the end.

Eric started fishing again and I dozed off in the Cave for about half an hour. I woke up feeling knackered so it was off home for me. I popped my head around the duck pens to say good by to Eric when I nearly walked into my old mate
 “ Balled Eagle “.
 I had not seen him for ages. F.A. Cup Final day to be precise. We all got drunk in the Welcome Pub and watched the Match.
I walked with him to a newly formed peg and spoke of our plans for the summer. I was off home then , I was starving and knackered ! ! ! ! !

I still dont know what Eagle caught. I will have to catch up with him and post on here . . . LOL

Until the next time……….



If you would like to look at all of the hand crafted floats I make please click on the link below and it will take you to my float page.

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