In the magic river Kennet, which rises from Swallowhead spring near Silbury Hill in Wiltshire and joins the Thames at Reading, live many fine barbel. They are not easy to catch â€“ it requires patience and expertise. Fortunately, yesterday, near Thatcham, we had loads of both, the expertise provided by our friend Martin, who knows his beloved Kennet intimately for all the best swims.
Last year we went barbelling and Martin caught a very fine specimen. This time Martin insisted that Rupert should cast and land whatever fish we hooked so he could feel the rod as the fish took the bait and enjoy the unique snatching fight that only ‘old whiskers’ give. We baited three swims and had quite a few knocks but it wasn’t until 4 hours into the session that the rod jerked wildly and we knew Rupe was finally ‘in’.
It wasn’t a huge fish â€“ about 5lbs â€“ but who cares when it’s your first solo barbel and you land a creature as beautiful as this?
Thank you so much Martin!