River Kennet with Les

On Friday Les Weller and I decided to have an evening session on the river Kennet and to fish a couple of hours into dark for the barbel. Les is now a member of the Wasing syndicate and so we decided on the Dalston beat.

We met there at 3pm as arranged and I started to put some feed into my chosen swim, only to realise I had forgotten my bait dropper rod. I then decided to use a Bob James stepped up specimen rod I had bought last summer only to find that the screw reel fitting was too small for the foot of the Relum centre pin I was going to use. This is obviously why this normark rod was reduced from £250 to about £80, I ended up using this rod for the bait dropper with a fixed spool reel. I put in about four pints of hemp and small pellets and went for a walk. I have never really explored this beat before and I discovered some really attractive swims which I will try in the near future.

I started to fish at about 5pm with my favourite hexagraph rod and centrepin reel, I legered a medium pellet on a lead core leader under the far bank bushes. The lead core leader prevents fish around the bait swimming into tight lines and getting spooked, it does this by pinning all the line above the leger weight on the bottom and I have a one ounce flat lead sliding on the main line above it.

Les caught one barbel early in the evening and a small chub a little later but I was plagued by crayfish and was never certain if my bait was still on. We fished until about midnight and I ended up fishless but the company was pleasant.