Mondego Barbel in October


Well-known member
May 18, 2006
Coimbra, Portugal
October 5 is a holiday in Portugal, and having not been to the river for over six weeks, I was sorely in need of some time on the water. The previous couple of days it had rained, and the river was carrying a bit of water - just perfect for the spots I was planning to go.

As soon as I got to the river in the late afternoon, I could see barbel of all sizes showing in shallow streamy water. On went the trusted red bead head nymph with peacock herl body and olive CDC hackle with the yarn indicator a yard or so up the leader. The fish were feeding and also moving towards my nymph - something they weren´t doing too much during the low summer flows.

During a very pleasant couple of hours I managed to get 5 fish from about 1.5 to about 4.5 pounds, my best day out since the springtime. The one in the picture was the second largest of the day and took the nymph in about a foot of water then tore off across some rapids and almost snagged me between some rocks.

It will be interesting to see how the fishing evolves into late autumn and winter. Right now the water is still warm enough for wet wading and we are forecast a week of 80 degree temperatures and sunshine, so it will be nice to fish the evenings. Last year at this time, it got very wet and the river was in flood for much of the autumn and winter so I didn´t venture out. This year I hope to get more opportunities.


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