I had not got down to the river till evening,spotting the light coloured derriere of a deer as it bobbed away into the undergrowth,it was a nice still evening except for odd scatterings of showery rain mixed between the blue sky,the sounds that link evening to night began in earnest,the howling call of a vixen setting off a rather rousing cacophony of barks from nearby dogs.
The silhouette of a Pipistrelle bat skipped in and out of view between the reed beds,flitting about to and fro collecting a feast of insects,the scene was set and completed when a couple of owls sat in a tree nearby me and duly began their hunting routine,which was keeping the mice at bay to say the least,I could have done with the owls growing some gills and hunting the crayfish which were out in force and giving me nightmares,stolen boilie stops,chewed up anti ejection sleeving,you name it,they were doing it.I decided to place some loose feed just a bit further away from the main centre of crayfish headquarters,so as to give me some breathing space and this worked for a while and two or three hours later,I had a resounding,thumping bite and it was not long before the silvery back of a summer Chub of 5lb 5oz was sat in the net,a fish I am pretty sure would go bigger come winter time.
The night sped on,as ever it does when you wet a line and the battle for the land time forgot,the tale of fisher versus the crayfish legions began afresh and unabated,I eventually opted to change my boilie rod for some extra hard freezer baits,in the hope that I would sustain the clawed onslaught for longer,perhaps long enough to allow the fish a chance to pick up this tasty snack,although I wouldnt have blamed them if they had opted to go for a nice fresh crayfish instead,I mean after all who wouldn't?
Time passed,the rod tip responding every so often with a reply of,tip tap tap,these crayfish were really on the ball tonight,wait what was that,thump thump,the rod tip looped over and relaxed again, "crayfish darting backward with the bait damn it" I muttered to myself,not so long after the rod hooped over again and the tightened baitrunner decided to clock off at the rate of knots,it was at this moment I was sat thinking "ye gods,that must be one very big crayfish".
I told my legs to get up and strike this run,they moved but were seemingly not connected to me,my torso wanted to go to my rod,however my legs walked on the spot with me still in the chair,I cannot quite describe what had just happened but eventually I some how managed to get my brain to tell my legs that this was simply not what I had in mind and scrambled for my rod,in the fashion of something akin to a clockwork teddy bear.
I was met with a surging powerful response as the fish kited upstream trying to head for numerous snags including some thick pads and reed beds,it hugged the bottom bullishly,I felt the line tripping over unseen obstacles,before a torpedo shaped flank appeared in mid river,it looked a solid summer Barbel,the thoughts of "please don't slip the hook" played many times through my mind.
It was eventually greeted by the waiting net,a lovely summer fish,one ounce under 12lb and a nice reward considering the amount of crayfish activity that there had been,I went home early morning a very contented chap,I am still trying to fathom why my feet walked on the spot but didnt propel me out of my seat when I had the run,whilst I packed up I came to the only possibly logical conclusion that I had in fact been doing the crayfish dance.