Three very long months but it was the day we've all been waiting for - the glorious sixteenth! And as always I wanted to start the season with a bend in the rod - there are no guarantees - but I thought my best option was to target the local barbel.
I only had the morning so I was on the river just before sunrise. Due to the last couple of weeks of summer rain the river had recently flooded but was back to reasonable height and colour, and as soon as I had enough light I was wandering about stalking fish.
And I soon found one - my season opener was a scrappy little barbel about a pound. As the sun got higher in the sky and visibility increased so did my confidence. Fish after fish found the net and it was very difficult to drag myself off the river just after midday!
I landed a total of 17 barbel to 8lb 8oz, including getting two snagged and wading out to free them, plus a couple of bonus chub - what an opening morning! No monsters but that wasn't the point - fantastic fishing - I'm sure I'll be back very soon!