Polaroids. Arriving at the river I reached on top of my hat, where my polaroids live - they weren't there. The most important item when fishing for small stream barbel is a pair of polaroids - without being able to spot fish you could be fishing a long way from them!!
Hooks. I was sure I had a pack of size 4, wide gauge, barbless hooks in my bag - nope! I'd been up late watching the snooker the night before - and thought I'll just chuck the gear in the bag in the morning - mistake - biggest hooks I had were size 10. Fail to prepare...
Prepare to fail! It's been too hot to fish for barbel all week, but with a drop in temperature and a storm's worth of fresh water in the river I thought they might be on the munch. And they were - an hour later I'd hooked 4 - and lost them all to hook pulls - very nearly went home!
Adapt. Instead I cut the luncheon meat right down to barely cover the hook - and despite loosing 2 more barbel and landing a dozen or so small chub I could get a better hook hold. Seven barbel landed over the next 3 hours - an absolute result after my poor start.