A very early 4am start saw me heading down to The Royalty with James and Warren for a two part mission.
Mission 1: Survey the water for future pike trips. With clear water and polarised glassed James and myself walked the entire beat - including the 'swamp' - looking for pike, holes and likely lies where we can cast a bait when the pike season opens in October. With a mental map of the river we have greatly expanded our search area when the time comes - mission success.
Mission 2: Try and find a Royalty barbel - a first for both me and Warren. There was a slight tinge to the water colour and we felt confident. But as the day wore on, and got brighter, the fish just weren't playing - I had a couple of chances but at 8pm we called it quits - even James couldn't tempt one. I did manage a trout on rolled meat to avoid a blank - but the mission was a fail.