Sunday, 7 February 2010

"Here be giants".........probably!

There is a small section of the great Ouse that over the last ten years has become legendary for producing massive Barbel,indeed one of it's residents "The Traveller" became the British record.This place is Adams Mill/Kickles Farm.
If I'm honest,I'm not overly fond of fish having names.These fish were captured many times before the travelling circus of "faces" came to town on the coat tails of real anglers.Obviously,for the next decade it was difficult for real anglers to get a look in on this Barbel boom,if of course they wanted to.
What is left of this place then?,in these days when most of those beautiful fish are long since departed,apparently predated by the Otter,oh the Otter,let me say that I like Otters,I also like fish,I'll say nothing else for now on the subject.Well the farmer at Kickles apparently had enough of anglers thinking they owned his land and stopped inviting them and the Adams Mill syndicate is run by that old stager Bob Church.There is a small syndicate for the opposite bank on Quarry Hall which I was fortunate to join this season with friend Birdy.
We spent much time walking the river,searching for undulations in its bed and clear areas to present bait,we saw very few fish and only one small Barbel.Adams end is streamy and Kickles slower and deeper,we decided the area between the two was a good starting point(the area I am standing in,in my title pic).It is perhaps a good time to tell you that probably it's most successful angler,Tony Miles once described Kickles as "a blank waiting to happen";it is, however, a beautiful place to be.
The bottom of the Ouse has been covered with an algal bloom this season and we decided to clear a couple of very small areas to present a bait.On that first evening I walked my baited rig out to one of these spots and dropped it through the clear water onto the gravel with a handful of free offerings so that I was 100% sure of my presentation.Waded back to the bank,tightened up to the back lead and waited in the early season warmth.
I have seen Otters on this stretch but that evenings entertainment was provided by a family of Water Voles who marched boldly under one side of my chair and out the other.It is these times that remind me why I fish,I'm truly part of nature and the anticipation of a first evening on a venue is unbeatable.
After just forty minutes I got a savage "four foot twitch" and was into a hard fighting fish,before I knew it I was standing mid-stream fighting the beast which was by now thirty yards downstream.This fish gave an amazing account of itself and surged off in all directions before coming close enough to see in the sunset lit crystal water that it was a fine double figure Barbel.When finally subdued it was netted by Birdy who was now standing in the river next to me.
It was special to catch such a fish from this venue with my old fishing buddy,we were the only two there.
So what does the future hold for this stretch?Well one angler from the Adams Mill syndicate told me to "make the most of this capture because I may not get another bite all season"...He was right,I've had Chub but no more Barbel,nor have I seen one.
Bob Church assures me that a fish around the 20lb mark has been seen this season,maybe there are giants here still,but I'm inclined to take advice given to Birdy by Trefor West..."Lifes too short mate,go catch some fish"

1 comment: