A very strange summer season, after my diagnoisis I thought time on the bank would be limited. Instead I did find time (20 trips), fishing around surgery, chemo and radiotherapy. I was in hospital most days so each fishing trip became very important - the planning and time in nature as essential as the fishing itself.
Things were very up in the air after the initial diagnosis - after the bad news we had to create a plan to try and deal with it! Fishing was far from my mind to begin with but an away day before surgery seem a great idea - and a catfishing trip was perfect - eight cats to a 33lb 6oz new PB - that'll tide me over...
Opening day was just 10 days after surgery - but I dragged myself to the riverbank - it really gave me something to work towards. Season opener was a little common carp and soon the barbel flowed - 34 of them over three trips to the Small River
, not big fish but just what the doctor ordered! Plus a 5lb 3oz summer chub.
A couple more trips to the Small River
but the main event was five days on the mighty River Wye
. Targeting barbel in the low water, a few hours a day on Swan Shit Island
inbetween family time. And the fishing didn't disapoint - 30 barbel to 8lb 4oz, 70+ chub and seven eels! Hopefully be back for a few more barbel before pike time.
Started with a mission to find a seven pound plus barbel on the Small River
- do they still exist? Yep, got one - but I think they're few and far between now! Then a fantastic day chasing Fenland rudd in the boat with James - no monsters but a pretty perfect day! And the initial round of treatments came to a close - I am knackered!!
Really knackered - in fact I ended up in hospital - just pushed it too far! I had to cancel my trip to The Wye and take it easy closer to home. I've said it before but I'm so lucky to have the Small River
- it was a summer of chasing barbel - and great just to be out on the riverbank when I thought I would be stuck at home!
Right - now it's time for wooly hats and wellies - let's see what the autumn and winter season has in store for us...