Barbel Fishing With Andrew Boyne

I kicked of my river season yesterday on the Ribble trying out a new waggler plus a few sticks floats.
Traffic was good for a change as I made way up the M61.
I couldn't wait to see the river again. . .
that wait seamed like years....
When I arrived the river was one her bones !!!!!
I had never seen the Ribble this low before !!!!!!
Most of the pegs were unfishable for me with the floats I wanted to use. 
There was either no flow or too much pace.
I opted for a gravel run at the end of a deep, 
virtually still pool.
 There was more pace on my peg as it shallowed up to about three feet . . . at least it would move the sticks along.
As I was running a new stick float through the swim there was a massive CRASH !!!!!!!
 I nearly jumped out of my waders !!!
A fish had leaped clean out of the water and crashed back into the deeper part of the pool to my left.
I got a clean visual of it as crashed down the second time.
It was a salmon of around 10 lbs.
I had been told they were present but this was the first time I had witness their acrobatics first hand.
I was slowly getting into my rhythm.
Cast, feed and mend retrieve.
Cast, feed and mend retrieve.
I was enjoying myself now and I hadn't had a bite
After 30 minutes of feeding the float buried
and I missed it
another bite
missed it again.
This happened for the next ten minutes until finally I hit one and I was finally into my first river fish of the new season

After a spirited little battle on light tackle. I landed a lovely Ribble dace about eight ounces.
A good start I thought and a new rod race point.
The next thirty minutes saw me miss bite after bite after bite.
I have fished for dace many times in the past but I have never had a day like this.
to say the least 
I had quite a few dace in the net at this stage.
I had switched to the waggler to try it out and was happy with the way it was performing, although, it was much too heavy for this particular run.
I was geared up for roach and dace fishing so it would be fun and games if I hit a lump.
The very next cast saw me do just that !!!!
As I dragged my waggler over the feed the float buried.
I struck from right to left and hit into something really big. I only had it on for about three seconds and my Drennan red maggot hook gave up the ghost and was bent straight !
I have no idea what it was, probably a barbel but a BIG ONE !!!!!!
I have landed them on these hooks to 6 lb in the past so it must have been a good one.
That lost fish seemed to kill the swim stone dead.
I never had a bite after that.

As I was contemplating a move a familiar voice shouted
" You had out Cootesie "
I looked up the bank to see who it was.
It was a smiling
Andy Boyne,
the guy who had made both my lovely rods.
He said he would try and make it if he could get a pass.
" Not much Andy "
I replied.
" A few silvers and just lost a lump which has killed my swim stone dead "
" Do you fancy doubling up on some dolly pegs and having a bit of a social fish " ?
" Yea why not mate " came Andy's reply.
" Give me 20 minutes to sort my kit out and
 I will meet you at the pegs mate "
I said
wading back to the shore line.
I didn't think the bank was that steep on the way down but getting back was REALLY tiring for me
one month after my opp . . .
I should have picked a more sensible peg.
( Ssssshhhh dont tell the Mrs )
By the time I had got myself, plus all my kit up the bank I was pooped.
I needed a sit down and a swig of Lucazade.
Once refreshed I plodded off to where the youngster was setting up his tip rod.
We both new another angler
" Big Tree Ste "
had fished all the tip pegs this morning as I had a quick conversation with him just after I set up regarding his mornings catch.
( 4 barbel )
 The session was going to be a difficult one and we both knew that we would not get many chances at a fish.
By the time I got to Boynies peg he had done 20 minutes on it and was ready for a move.
The next peg was one we could fish together and have a chat.
Andy wanted me to try my new tip rod out he had made for me. . . . . .
I did . . . . . . .
I used it to trot a 7 gramme chuber down the main bedrock channel that had been exposed due to the low level of the river. It was just too good a chance to pass up.
Andy took a sneaky picture and posted it on facebook . . . . . .he has given me some stick about it since
Here is a quote from a post....
" Notice I included a pic of you testing your new tip rod.  . . . . By trotting a float!!!!!!!

I'm not too confident on the tip anymore.
Its been 35 years since I did any serious tip fishing for barbel .
As the light was fading and there was nothing doing on this run Andy made the decision to move once more......
probably for the last time . . .
as the rain had put in an appearance.
We moped back to Andy's original peg
and as we settled Andy said quietly
" If we don't catch one hear Mike I will eat my shorts . . . . . ."
such was the mans confidence.
He set up on the up stream peg while I was trotting on my tip rod.
Fifteen minutes later . . . . .
I get the shout . . . .
" COOTESIE . . .I'M IN "
I shuffled through the sopping wet undergrowth as Andy battled something big in the rapids . . . .
I couldn't see anything for a few minutes....just the feeder thudding heavily just above the waters surface.
The fish was holding in a pacey funnel of water the kiting down a few yards . . . then holding again.
Andy had had enough of these shenanigans by now and gave her a load of right side strain to get her away from from her ally . . . .
 that fast water. . . .
and bring her into the slack water at our feet.  This manover instantly worked and she was forced into the slack.
When she first hit the surface
I didn't say anything  . . . ..
I didn't want to jinx Andy but she was a
She made a few more dangerous lunges. . . . .
typically for barbel,
was just as Andy was netting her but being a season barbel hunter he had her under control and in the net within a minute.


This is what we came for.
I originally guessed her weight at around 9 lb
Andy's comments were and I quote again

" Shes a double all day long she is Cootesie "

She weighed in at 10 lb 2oz.
Andy was bang on the money
 This certainly got my attention !!!!

Andy said. . . .
" Ditch that bloody float set up and use the rod in the way it was made to be used !!!!
I didn't argue.
Andy shared some of his rig knowledge with me which is woefully behind the times.
He even gave me one to copy too . . . . .
He's a good lad.
A few minutes later we were both tipping for barbel.
I quite enjoyed the rest to be honest.....
and I was stood up....
We were having chat about something or other when my tip started bouncing and I lifted into the bite.
The flow and the feeder was so heavy that I thought I had missed it.
" Are you into a fish there Mr Cootes " came a chuckle from Bouyneies direction.
Ten seconds later a greedy chub of around
2 lbs said hello.
Not what I was after but another rod race point in the bag

and a nice picture for the biog.
We called it a day after that.
No barbel for me.
We were soaking wet but in good spirits after Andy's barbel, plus, we were both going to enjoy the England game when we got home.
A great day Mr Boyne.
 I promise I will give tip fishing my full attention next time. . .

Some of my dace net
Me using my new tip rod to trot a chuber.
7 swan chuber



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