It was breezy, from the west, overcast but dry. Boredom had set in so the river beckoned. There was a hint of colour beneath the ruffled surface, a surface maybe eighteen inches up yet dropping. The afternoon had brought out a few more hopeful souls, who had been catching a few. The favoured pegs being occupied I wasn't phased and dropped in between them at seven thirty.
Small taps occurred almost immediately I cast out, but no firm offers. A fish or two were landed either side of me, small barbel. My first fish, a chub of about two pounds fell for an S-Pellet fished downstream shortly before nine. I changed the two 12mm crab Pellet-Os on the upstream rod for a single 8mm version, and straight away I hooked a little scamp of a barbel that shot hither and thither before falling off as it reached the shallows.
The wind died, or maybe swung round to a direction that sheltered me from it, and in the quiet birds of all sorts could be heard singing before roosting. Then the valley fell silent save for the occasional distant vehicle or 'plane as darkness descended.
It was an hour later that the upstream rod produced a small chub, less than a pound. Book at Bedtime had finished on the radio when I decided to have a change of attack. I wound in the upstream rod, rebaited and recast - further across than before. Thinking I might as well put a fresh bait on the other rod I had my back turned to the river when I heard the whiring of a baitrunner.
One of the anglers downstream had passed me by saying he couldn't buy a bite, and I'd said I was in the same boat. As he headed back to his peg I was playing a fish. It felt like a decent one too. As mentioned in previous posts the fish aren't making long runs at the moment. It still pulled hard though. In the light of the Petzl it looked close to tripod size. The scales stopped a few ounces short of the arbitrary mark. A nice fish nonetheless, but still in slightly flabby post-spawn condition.
The recast pellet was taken within minutes by a four pound chub, then by a six pound barbel. I'd found the spot all right. The next cast had also only settled for ten minutes before it was picked up. I was busy filing PVA mesh bags and by the time I had grabbed the rod the rig was snagged. I tried the usual tricks; altering the angle of pull, opening the bale arm, putting the rod in the rest with the baitrunner slackened. After ten or more minutes nothing had happened. Feeding slack line it seemed the fish had gone. Pulling for a break that was what the line did.
I retackled in hope, fairly sure that the loss of a fish would have put an end to sport from that spot. Certainly for as long as I was planning to fish for. Sure enough the upstream rod remained motionless. The final fish of the night was another small chub that took the downstream bait five minutes before midnight. That was my intended departure time, but having had some recent action I stopped a further thirty minutes. Just in case. It was not to be.
As I approached the gate the beam from my headtorch picked out numerous pairs of glowing eyes. The cows were peacefully chewing their cud and, although they turned their heads, ignored me as I wound my way between them. However, a couple that were standing seemed to give me sideways looks. If cows can think I'm sure they were considering me stupid.