I, like many anglers, think a virgin landing net is unlucky (we're a superstitious bunch). The first thing I did as soon as I reached the river was to dunk the net, and the next fish caught was going to be landed in it - even if it was a baby gudgeon!
Dan didn't have much time to fish tonight, we arrived at 7pm and he had to leave at 8.30, we concentrated on one peg. Dan fished meat, I fished halibut pellets. An hour and a half isn't long when you are fishing and the time disappeared in the blink of an eye. Just one half hearted bite to Dan, no fish.
Dan headed home, I headed a few hundred yards upstream to meet Darren. Darren was already fishing in two consecutive pegs and was kind enough to move one rod so that I could get in. He'd been fishing about an hour without a bite so I wasn't expecting instant results. But after about ten minutes I had a bite and connected to a good chub. Once it was nearly beat I mentioned to Darren that it hadn't taken long to christen the net - bump - the hook pulled!
We fished into the dark before I had another bite, one of those rod-ripping bites that barbel are great at. And after a short, powerful fight Darren swept it into the net. Net christened! The barbel went 5lb 9oz - fantastic!
We fished on for a couple of hours with only one or two little bites before Darren lost an eel. Darren left and I stopped off in a spot I'd pre-baited on my way to meet him, 20 bite-less minutes later I headed for home.