Int it funny how things turn out? Last night the plan was to go and walk a couple of stretches of a river that I was thinking about joining. The trouble is, it’s very difficult to do that particularly when all your fishing gear is still in the car from your last trip. Time is precious so if i’ve got a spare minute then i’d rather be fishing than walking and if i’d got my act together, then I really should have walked the stretches in the close season.
So, I reached a compromise. I’d drive past one of my club waters and if there were no cars in the car park then I would fish and if there were cars then I would do the recce thing. Guess what, there were no cars. With that I hurriedly got my gear on my back and did my best Usain Bolt impression to get my chosen peg.
The water was pulling through a bit with all the rain we’d had over the last day and I really expected it to be higher than it was. It was on the rise though and I suspected as the evening wore on i’d be cursing the weed coming down and catching on my line, particularly as there was a pair of swans upstream with their cygnets pecking away at the weed.
By the time I was fishing it was just before 7pm and I settled down to fish until around midnight. There were some good fish topping and it wasn’t long before I had a bite on the right hand rod. I’m not sure the fish knew it was hooked at first because it came in fairly easily until it got into the edge when it finally woke up and decided to try and head back from where it came. Well there was no doubting it was a Barbel. Not a big fish at around six pound but good to get off the mark on this impromptu session.
It felt good to be out and a noisy heron flew just over my head and pretty much scared the crap out of me. I’m not sure who was more surprised to see who because I think I was sat in the Heron’s favourite fishing spot. A short while later an Otter swam downstream about a rod length out in front of me. I knew they were in this area but there it was as clear as daylight in front of me. I wonder if it had been up checking out the cygnets wondering whether it could take one down. I wish it would because their constant pecking was sending loads of loose weed down which in turn was catching on my line.
Just after 10pm the right hand rod was away again. This fish definitely knew it was hooked and knew exactly where it wanted to go. I could feel the weed catching on the line but I muscled it out before it shot off downstream. Getting it turned and back up towards me was hard work in the flow. The Barbel was doing it’s best to use it’s big pectoral fins to stay in the flow but eventually after an arm aching battle I managed to get it in the net. I had a quick look at it in the water and thought “yeah that’s a double” before letting it recover in the net for a few minutes before unhooking it and weighing it. It was only just a double mind, coming in at 10.5 but it was still nice to get the first double of the campaign on the bank.
After releasing the fish I couldn’t help but feel that I had a chance of another fish. The night was still young and the fish were obviously on the munch. I heard a couple of big splashes downstream and could see the ripples dissipate from what looked like big fish. Either that or the Otter was having it’s supper but in all honesty I think they were fish.
The last couple of hours flew by in what felt like five minutes. No more bites ensued though, the river was rising and the swans were still pecking away so I figured it was a good time to pack up.