I managed to mow the 'wild flower meadow' before the rain set in, taking the top off an ant nest in the process. What busy little fools they are. I hope I'm not reincarnated as an ant. All that scurrying around working. I suppose ants know no different though. I had been quite antlike in the morning, whipping some rods, packing a couple of orders and repairing my small brolly for the umpteenth time. I was intending to take a long hike to fish so that would cut down on the weight.
Plan B came into play when I arranged to meet someone to get his approval on a refurb I was doing. As I got out of the car the rain that had eased off returned. There being four other cars parked up I left my gear and took the refurbs to the river. I hadn't expected the level to be quite so high, maybe 12-18 inches up on NSL, stained but not muddy. The air temperature was 14.5, the rain light. With my instructions for how to proceed sorted out I had to decide whether to squeeze in where I could or go elsewhere. Having got the ants out of my pants I took the easy option and hoped I was far enough upstream of an unseen snag.
It wasn't long before the rod tips stared tapping. And not much longer before I was retackling the downstream rod after I'd lost the lot. Then the indications stopped. After an hour and a half of inactivity and bad vibes - by which time the rain had stopped, I went for a wander and discovered the downstream anglers had gone. A move was in order. I didn't want to fish the swim they had vacated, but one a few yards upstream. By half past nine I was sorted. It started to rain again. This was the pattern for the night. Light fleeting showers, with bright moonlight in the breaks.
It was an hour before the downstream rod tip pulled down. The fish wasn't on long before it fell off. This is getting to be an annoying habit. Rebait with another boilie. Recast. Sit down. The same rod tip pulled down again. The bank here was only a gentle slope so when I had skidded down it I stayed upright with any easy grace, feeling more like a kid sliding on snow in the school-yard than a pillock falling an his bum. Not that there was anyone to witness it. No mishap this time and an eight pounder was in the net.
I hate wearing a waterproof jacket so whenever the rain stopped I took it off. This left me a little chilly so I put my fleece on. The trouble was that when a shower came in I would put my jacket back on and get too warm. There was no happy medium.
At twenty past eleven the upstream rod, on which I had been chopping and changing baits, was in action. This time it was fishing two S-Pellets. It was only five minutes before the boilie rod was away. Two seven pounders in five minutes. A feeding spell!
I had no set time for my departure. So it would probably be when the flask was empty. I hadn't had a knock since that last fish so around midnight I decided on a recast. The boilie rod had been wound in and rebaited and cast back out and I hadn't wound the pellet all the way in when the boilie was taken. I dropped the pellet rod and took control of the other one. The fish didn't feel anything special. It looked to be the biggest of the night though. Holding the scales as steady as I could the needle wouldn't make up it's mind. I wedged the handle of the Avons between the arms of my landing net and used the pole as a unipod. The needle settled at last. One division short of vertical. As the photo shows it was a bit of a lean looking fish.
I have caught a number of fish with these red marks near the anal fin from this stretch since June. They appeared to be healing on the two that had them this time. But what caused them remains a mystery.
When I eventually called it a night, an hour later, I wound the boilie rod in to find it baitless. Bugger. For some reason the river level didn't look to have altered while I'd been there, the fish might well have fed all night. I was tempted to rebait and give it another half an hour. The spirit was willing, but the tea was cold. Back at the car the thermometer showed the same figure as when I'd arrived. It had been a grand night out.
The weather forecast is for an Indian Summer this week. The work forecast is more grim. A wave of blanks is predicted to sweep in from the south any day now and prevent me putting in the two night session on a pit I've been wanting to do as soon as the weather improved. It'll have to be evening sessions on the river instead.