After another week of rain I was convinced we wouldn't be on the river but apparently the river was up and coloured but fishable. I really wanted to draw Isle Brewers but pulled peg 14 (the tank traps) out of the hat. I wasn't too upset as I normally do well off this peg, I also had the scales but only had to weigh in myself and Janders who was on peg 23. I got to my peg and the river was pretty high and the traps themselves were unfishable, I still had a slack behind the grass island to my left and the little cutback where the swim runs out to my right.
I set up the usual 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo with 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 B611 with blue hydro in the top two. Behind the island it was still pretty boily and only about a foot deep but I still expected this to be my main catching area. I started with caster on the hook and had a chublet and a dace on my first two chucks before I had fed anything and really felt I was going to bag up. This didn't happen and after the first hour I'd only had six fish, double red maggot saw me catch more chublets and dace with the odd little perch and by the end of the second hour I was on eighteen fish.
I kept checking to see if the river had dropped any as it was a little too pacy really but after three hours there had been no change, I was still getting odd fish but I was having to chase them around a bit and I was having quite a few bites that I wasn't seeing. I kept altering the depth and moving the shot around but was still only getting the odd fish. I was losing odd fish as well bringing them in against the strong flow. Janders walked up from his peg and he'd only had a few minnows. While he was there I had a tiny dace, a better one, lost a perch in the flow and another as I stupidly tried to swing it in!
I was by now also catching the odd roach but at no time did I feel I was catching as well as I should be. With an hour and a half to go the river at last started to drop slightly, even to the extent where I tried fishing in the cutback. It was very boily here and there was loads of surface foam which made seeing the float difficult, I had a couple of bites I didn't see and had a small chublet before giving this up as a bad job. Back up by the island I was still getting the odd roach but was bumping/losing too many fish.
With half an hour to go and the light fading, the fish switched on and I added another half a dozen fish although I lost around the same. On the whistle I finished with 36 fish and estimated I had four or five pounds. I packed up and walked down to weigh Janders in and he had struggled to weigh 4oz so another pound was soon nestling in my pocket. We walked back to weigh me in and when I pulled my net out he reckoned I had nearer to 7lb and I was suprised to weigh 7lb 1oz. I still didn't think it would be anywhere near enough to pick up any money.
Back at the pub and the other anglers who made up my section were back and I was amazed to find I was top weight in the top six pegs. As I was getting a drink Justin Charles walked in, he had drawn hot peg 126 at Isle Brewers and I asked how he'd got on, he said he'd had a bit of a 'mare and had weighed 8lb 11oz which was top in that section. With no other weights around it was confirmed Justin had won and I was second and picked up £35. John Coxon filled the last podium place with his two chub for 5lb 8oz from peg 53.
More importantly I had won my section to keep up the pressure on Justin in the league which he currently leads with four points followed by me on five and Martin Heard on six. With two matches to go it's very tight.
Next week it's back to the Crown league where I'm also lying in second place behind Janders so another good result would be very welcome but this run of results has to end soon.
P.S. Amsterdam was excellent.