Saturday afternoon, saw me back on the banks of the Ribble near Ribchester. I went back to revisit the beat which I fished on opening day, determined that a few tweaks to my set up, and a more promising swim would see me taking a few better fish than my opening day account.
A discussion with Tony in the car whilst driving up the M61 saw me changing from my favoured Drennan Carbon Chub spade end hooks to Drennan Specimen eyed hooks. Rather than using a traditional tucked half blood which i usually use with eyed hooks, i used a knotless knot with the line initially passing through the eye of the hook from the rear to the front. The result of this was that the hook point hung slighlty upwards away from the hooklength and would hopefully result in fewer missed bites.
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know by now that I have been having no trouble getting bites whilst fishing stick and pin on the rivers, but have suffered terribly from hook pulls and missing fish on the strike. I've tried a variety of hook patterns over the last few years, and have never really solved the problem. I think Ive now cracked it.
I shall add a couple of photos showing the differences with this new set up as soon as I can. The difference in the angle of the hook point when hanging in the water is remarkable using this new set up.
So back to the fishing - I started off in the peg Phil had plundered some cracking fish from on Wednesday - first cast i had a 4lb chub, second cast a brown trout of about a lb and a few casts later a Barbel of about 3lb. Not bad - and i didnt miss any bites or bump any fish.
After this initial burst of activity the swim settled down, and the bigger fish seemed to back off. It was only by resting the swim, that the fish regained the confidence to get switched back on to my maggots.
Tony moved in to a fast shallow swim 30 yds above me and took a succession of smallish barbel and some clonking chub.
As the light faded, we moved 200yds upstream to fish a deep pot of a pool, and again first casts saw me take dace and brown trout, before the swim died. Tony had yet again set up in a deep pool further upstream and took a nice grayling and a barbel of about 3-4lbs. The long summer evening made it possible to fish til 10pm.
I think this change of set up, a decent couple of swims, nice weather and good company gave me my best ever days fishing on the Ribble. A pb barbel of 4lb 4oz capped off a fantastic day.
(photos to follow)