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
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.
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.