For family reasons, only a very short fishing trip is possible first thing today. At 5:30 it was actually raining but I decided it wasn't enough to be overly unpleasant at the river. A different approach for today. No pre-baiting swims, just a piece of crust tried in as many possible spots as I would manage in the 3 hours I had available.
First spot was the swim nearest the road where the other angler was fishing last time. This is an interesting swim with a near bank slack area and a tree in the water at the downstream end and could bear a decent effort. I had a couple of little taps on the tip, but not enough to stick it out longer.
Next stop, the long glide/crease swim. I had intended to skip this swim, but then thought it might be interesting to try and search the swim by upstream ledgering from the downstream end, not an approach I often use, but one which I would like to get better at. I used a 2/3oz weight, which might have been a tiny bit light as the tip deflection was only an inch or so rather than the 2-3 that perhaps it should have been, but the actual technical fishing went ok, and second cast I had the classic slack line bite and landed a chub of about 3lbs. Very pleased with that, given that I rarely fish upstream ledgering.
Inspired by this, I did have a look at a couple of other swims that I would usually have ignored and gave them a cast or two to again test the upstream ledgering idea. If I can get this right, there are quite a few other swims that might respond well to the technique, especially far bank raft swims which can be very good fished this way.
A bite in "Hawthorns 1" which produced another 3 lber, then nothing in "Hawthorns 2" which rather surprised me. I baited one of the top raft swims and the "inside crease", but left them till later, instead moving well downstream to a couple of the deeper swims. It is this stretch far downstream where I really want to put much more effort in the last week or so of the season.
One swim that could be very good is where there is a line of reeds on the near bank, then a raft ten yards further down. This produced a 4-02 today.
By 9:30 or so the rain was getting heavier, though I remained warm and dry. Bernie, the crayfish netting farmer came down and we had a quick chat - rumours of a big barbel caught recently are of great interest, especially with today's rain. I haven't fished for barbel for a week or two - perhaps the rain is a sign I should. But by mid-morning the rain has a heavy sleat component and the overnight forecast is for a mild frost. So maybe barbel aren't on the cards. Maybe Tuesday's trip can be more barbel orientated?