After weeks of the river being low and clear we had loads of rain and I was worried at one point that it might be unfishable. On the morning the river looked perfect with some extra pace and a tinge of colour. Neil and Rob were off playing darts (drinking) in Torquay so it was left to the rest of us to sort the match out. There were only eight of us so we put pegs in that should hold some slack if the river rose during the day as more rain was forecast.
I had the bucket and when there were only two balls left I got Pete to draw for Justin who hadn't turned up yet and he only pulled out 14! I was left with 17 or 18 and after reaching the river decided on 18 as it can fish well with colour on. As usual I only set 'Ole Faithful' up and looking at the river I was surprised there wasn't as much colour as I expected. A small fish topped in the slack at the top of the swim and I couldn't wait to get started.
10:15 arrived and so did the rain!, first put in I had a chublet on caster and then three nice dace and the odd minnow. By the end of the first hour I'd had 13 fish for the best part of 2lb and was enjoying it although the rain was freezing cold. I was fully expecting things to slow and they did in the second hour, I was trying holding it back, running it through and different areas of the swim, but I only added five more fish including a nice roach with several fish coming to double maggot.
The third hour was much the same and I would get a couple of fish from one spot before they moved. Steve Parker turned up from peg 52 and said his swim was unfishable and that Martin was struggling on 50. He also said Pete in 15 had a decent chub plus bits so I was up round there at the halfway stage. I was still getting odd fish but it was becoming a struggle, so I went 13 metres down the swim and missed a corking bite before catching a net dace. I had a few more indications but no more fish. Tony Newman then turned up from peg 24, he'd also packed up so I stuck at it hoping I could get a few more.
I put on a half a lobbie and had three dace in quick succession before that died a death so I tried a lobbie down the swim and missed a bite before disaster and I got snagged solid on some underwater obstruction. I pulled and it finally came free but 'Ole Faithful' didn't look too good afterwards. The side eye had pulled out, half the shot had pinged off and the hooklength was gone! With only twenty minutes left I did a bodge job and stuck the eye back in and tied a new hook on. Out of the blue I had two small chublets in two chucks on caster to finish with 31 fish which I reckoned might go 4lb.
I packed up and went to see how Pete and Justin had got on, Justin had a fantastic days fishing and plonked 18lb 8oz of dace, chublets and roach on the scales, Pete had also done well with 6lb 15oz although he said he'd bumped as many off as well. My fish actually went 5lb 7oz but my only hope of a brown envelope was now if those two framed and I got the section by double default! Back at the results and that was exactly how it panned out and I picked up a tenner to keep the winnings ticking over. I was actually third on the day but they only paid two due to the depleted turnout. Martin had 1lb 5oz and owes me £1 (well he can give me one of the several I've given him over the last few weeks!). Despite his low weight he actually won his section as the two pegs at North Bradon only weighed an ounce apiece. His second one pointer means him and Neil are leading after three matches and dropping the worst result they are both on two points. I'm way down on five.
1 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 18lb 8oz
2 - Pete Lonton (Ilminster) - 6lb 15oz
A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 5lb 7oz
B - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 1lb 5oz
Well that's it for this week, tune in next week when I draw another crap peg!