Irwell Barbel Quest Pt4

As the weather was fine, and the river fining down after recent heavy rains, I took the opportunity to spend a couple of hours after work fishing a deep gully on the river.
Fishing a straight lead to a banded 10mm halibut pellet i didn't get a touch between 5.30 and 8pm.
Just as it was going dark - and I was thinking that this was a futile exercise, my rod hooped over twice and my heart skipped a beat (or two). I struck and back came lead, bait, but no fish.
10 minutes later I had the same experience - a great big rattle of a bite, but nothing to show for it.
At least it gives me some hope. My next refinement will be to use a hair rig rather than a bait band. Maybe this will increase the chances of hooking into a fish. The bite could have come from anything - but maybe it was a barbel and that was my chance. Hopefully I will manage to sneak in a few more hours this week as a blank with a bite is far more encouraging than a biteless blank.