Saturday, 20 August 2011

Enigmatic Gold

The river,I had promised myself that I would return to its sleepy,Crabtree banks,places where an angler can disconnect from the grey monotonise sound that is the hustle and bustle of everyday life,where one can take a chance to dream,streamer weed jungles,moving to the flow like party streamers,in varying colours of green,if this could be my home,then it surely would be.

Life is a short passage of time where if you blink,you may miss something special, being by the water is no different,condensed with the activities of numerous wonderful creatures,there never ceases to be some wonderful sights and this time was no exception,with deer in the fields and fox's padding about marking their territory,simply wonderful.

I had planned on fishing an overnight session,targeting the Barbel,but upon getting to the river I spent the first few hours with the Camera,taking a few choice photographs of the Deer,the evening sun making them look particularly resplendent.

So it was not until gone 7pm that I got setup,with one rod upstream and the other downstream, both with the line well pinned down,the evenings drawing in a bit earlier now and I rather prefer it,as it gives you that little bit extra time at night when the fish are happy to feed a bit more confidently,darkness had not long covered me in its shroud when I had my first steaming run on the downstream rod,lifting in I was met by an angry and very stubborn fish,that tried to power off further downstream and find some comfort near to an undercut bank where a tree had fallen during the previous winter,thankfully it turned before getting any nearer to this sanctury and I was rewarded with a lovely looking Barbel of 9lb4oz.

I was not very sure if I had the camera framed right for the self take and ended up with me having my picture taken wearing an overly serious look on my face,not one of my better self takes I must admit.

The first fish of a trip is always special to me,this fish was no different and it's always a real confidence booster to get a fish early on,especially as this river can have some moody moments where it can really confuse you,but this is something that I have always enjoyed,as the challenge is part of what makes fishing special to me,as well as the preamble leading up to wetting a line.

The night was a peaceful one,with a steady breeze and the odd shower later on,I was contented, one fish was more than enough,but I was happy when the downstream rod disagreed with me and a surging,powerful,mini torpedo headed off toward some cabbage patch,trying to bury itself in there,this fish was a very proud,pretty fish with lovely red fins,weighing 8lb1oz.

I sat back sipping on my flask of tea,the perfect drink to compliment such a lovely setting,the night cooled a little and sped on far to quickly,a glimpse at my watch told me it was getting on some what,I pondered wether to stay longer or go,the thought of leaving the embrace of the river and heading back to the arms of humanity did not appeal to me very much,So I decided to continue on for a while longer

The upstream rod had been in a world of peace,relaxing on its rest,there wasn't any prior warning to the violent take that soon followed,with line being taken and fish on a quest to disappear somewhere upstream,this fish was a real livewire making several runs before it was sat recovering in the net.

It was a very powerful fish,weighing 9lb,with a tail shaped like a spear,which explained the powerful runs it had given,it was in brilliant condition,really scale perfect.

Morning broke,I had stayed far longer than I had planned on doing and it was time to leave this magical place,as I packed up I took another look at the river,thanking it for its kindness in giving up a few of its gems to me and headed off home.


  1. Three of the nicest Barbel i have seen, But what a wonderful place to be as well with all the wildlife willing to pose for a picture,
    Excelent work Mark,

  2. Thanks Paddy,

    It is a wonderful place,in all the years I have fished it,it has never failed in giving a special moment with the wildlife or the fishing.

    kind regards