My friends and I started our season as every year, with camping and fishing around the river Wye, and as every year, it was a joy to be there! We caught plenty of fish, although it was a little slower than previous years, each one was appreciated (even the hoards of Chub). The social craic was as good as always!
With the rains we have had, the rivers have been up for the first weeks, and it has been difficult to decide where and when to fish.
The chance for the Avon popped up last week and I took it, the river had good flow and even a little colour which meant perhaps more bites……but a first cast fish of just under 8lb? So it was, a very “special fish” considering I had not visited the area for more than a year, and in those previous visits I was seeing Otters every time, which can be very off-putting. I had laid low and was fishing less than a rod length out over a little pre-bait of hemp, the fish had come in to inspect as I lowered a disguised rig nearby. Nothing until after 20minutes or so a pick up and bolt!! The fight was a royal one, the fish a beautiful one..
This fish had battle scars, part of it`s tail and dorsal had healing damage on them, more about this on a later fish! Just after this, the wind whipped up and brought a – dark as night – storm. This blew out after bouncing rain lasting half hour or so, only for the sun to shine again. This repeated (only not so severely) for the rest of the session.
Things were looking good, and after speaking to other anglers, and avoiding constant showers, it seemed there may be more chances! So I moved to another swim, and the formula worked again…Chub and Barbel up to darkness. Then things went quiet until a couple of bangs suggested fish were near, this didn’t take long to develop into an “I`m gonna ave your rod” bite…and fight. My rod, perhaps a little soft and under-gunned, doubled over in the flow, but managed to handle the battle admirably. The fish pulled so hard, I wonder what the fight would have been like if it had had all of it`s tail…..
It was 10lb 2oz and I was off for a sleep very happy with the afternoon.
A move then in the morning for a cast or two before heading home. Having walked and set up in burning sunshine and heavy rain the trap was set….I then received a call which meant I`d have to pack up and leave right away! I was just turning to do this when the rod decided to do it`s own thing, and head off for the river. Of course I grabbed it just in time, and the drag began to scream, this was an angry fish and felt heavy too!
The initial run had taken more line than I would have liked to allow! The fish had gone down the inside along the lily pads, and was beginning to get the better angle on me, so keeping the line tight, I stripped down to my pants. Waterproof trousers boots socks & all, had to come off quite quickly, and did! I was in the water and walking through the lilies, keeping the line tight very aware that this is when hook pulls happen….I was lucky for my efforts! The fish came up over & through, and was in the net. I was surprised to hear a voice from behind and turn to see another angler just arriving to fish here.
After explaining my wading habits etc I got myself sorted, and then realised the fish was bigger than I had thought, better take a picture…..