Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Special moments

Late October, the smell of autumn in the air, a mixture of earthy mushrooms and rotting fruit mingling between an anglers nostrils, a feeling of optimism filling the air and suggestion that winter is not so far off, bringing with it windows of opportunity for many other species to be enjoyed.

The river more pressured here but no less beautiful, the sun a golden orb, casting a myriad of colours and a steady breeze whispering a thousand words of welcome, a simply stunning day and one to cherish.

An anglers plan of perca, barbus and that quantum of hope that we all share on every fishing trip, that spark of what could be and with it the hope that thoughtful fiction can indeed become reality, that we might glance down into our landing net one more time and draw a breathless smile, whilst overcome by a mixture of adrenaline and happiness.

Cheeky plucks, along with worm stealing antics were the prelude, but when those tiger stripes and defiant dorsal broke the watery surface, blood red beauty was displayed in full, a masterpiece of colouration

Coloured perfection
A double worm here and a slowly fed mix of maggot and caster there, time for a cup of coffee and contemplation, a chance to mull over thoughts and become temporarily complete as a human, however I am drawn back to the here and now as the rod tip bends, before taking up an alarming arc as I set the hook.

Stubborn resistance felt, a moment of stationary calm, then as if someone had flicked a switch, that preliminary and testing run full of power, the tiny reel ticking away at an increasingly excited pace as 6lb line and angler are put to task. As each deep run is made, so the adrenaline increases, control needed lest it overspill, a necessity for a clutch moment and a benevolent smile from the river and its occupants.

Smile it indeed does as the net slips under her, angler dry mouthed as he tries to recover the nervous energy that has been expelled during this tussle.

Smooth head and a thick set lateral line, adrenaline and wrought nerves turn to a smile that is set like cement, a perfect moment.

A switch to a less nerve wracking setup is made, time passes rapidly and along with it clearing skies and moon appear, I make out the silhouette of a deer as it casually makes its way behind me, before picking up on my scent and vanishing like a ghost. It is nearing time to go home when the river casts its second spell over me and I am once more entranced as I admire a torpedo of a fish, replete with a Mako esque tail.

On the way home I recount the trip, recalling each and every moment, savouring it whilst silently thanking the multitude of variables and dice rolls that had fallen to favour me.


  1. You been overdoing the throat medicine Mark? :-D

    Lovely - and some great images.

    1. Just a tad Dave, or I might just be really over the moon in those pictures mate haha.

      Cheers mate.

  2. Wow - and loving the camera work as well

    1. Why thank you very much, that is most kind of you. Although I don't go bass fishing, I regularly enjoy reading your blog and that 8 pound fish you had recently was simply beautiful.

  3. Mark, that is just perfect,what a proper Barbel, certainly on a belter of a river, by any chance have you spotted any decent Pike?, i fancy a trip up to that neck of the woods, is it on a season ticket or is day ticket available?


    1. Cheers James,

      There is good Pike in the Loddon, not sure what the populace is as I have not fished for them seriously, but they have been out to over 20lb as far as I am aware.

      This particular stretch of the river day tickets are available for guests who are accompanied by a member and I would be happy to guest you if you would like that at some point this season or next mate, you are more than welcome.

  4. What a great Barbel! And nice pics Mark!

    1. Hey, how is it going Boudewijn, I hope you had a good Christmas. It is probably one of my favourite captures, the combination of well toned, very pretty fish and the battle that ensued once the hook was set on light tackle, it was something else I can tell you that. Many thanks for the kind comment regarding the photography.