Co-organiser Martin Cornish had arranged the draw and in choosing the last number, succeeded in drawing number one which meant that, this being a ‘walk-off’, he would have first choice of swim. Nobody was surprised to see him elect for number three the riffles, the winning swim last year and also one which had already given up some good specimens this season. Former winner Dave Chambers cursed his luck that he had picked number seven, while Alastair Allan, fishing this event for the first time, pulled from the hat the paper marked ‘Chris’s Swim’ and so hoped that this might help him catch his first Rother barbel.
Unfortunately the inclement weather had put a few people off, and so after the draw, only eight of us set off downstream to choose our swims. Fortunately for us, the rain held off until most of us had got our brollies up, and it was just as well, for the rain was pretty relentless for the next four hours or so. Early catches included a chub and three eels (I put away the luncheon meat after my third).
Late in the afternoon last year’s winner Chris Exall arrived to defend his trophy, and as no-one had yet caught a barbel, he was still in with a chance. However, just after seven o’clock came the news that one had come out, and the very happy angler was Daniel, aka Gordon, Bolton who had landed a fish of 7lbs 7 oz. Whilst not as big as previous captures at these fish-ins, it was every bit as welcome. We all fished on for a while, but Gordon’s remained the only barbel to be caught. And so, the ninth Chris Humphry fish-in came to an end at the cattle drink, with Lynnette Humphry presenting the trophy to a delighted Gordon in front of an attentive audience of barbel blankers and curious cattle.
Many thanks to Lynnette for her continued support and hospitality in keeping us refreshed. Thanks, too, to everyone that fished and made a charitable donation. On this occasion it was decided to pass on the £160 that was raised to this year’s Barbel Challenge which is raising money for the Army Benevolent Fund. Finally thank you to those anglers who couldn’t make it to the fish-in, but kindly made a donation anyway.
Participants: Alastair Allan, Daniel (Gordon) Bolton, Colin Bridger, Dave Chambers, Martin Cornish, Chris Exall, Peter Foster, Nelson Keet and Clive Pester.