Saturday, June 21, 2008 Filed in: rivers
In the spirit of new things, I resisted the urge to return to the river with - literally - exactly the same bait as last time and instead, bought some shiny new casters from a tackle shop that Ray recommended. I liked it. Better than the other local one and seemingly much cheaper too. I shall be spending money there again. It's also in the same road as a proper butcher where steak mince shares shelf space with kangaroo meat.
The weather can't make up its mind. When we arrive, high stepping through that wonderful wild field again, it feels perfect. It's warm, the wind (from the west anyway) has virtually disappeared and it's nicely overcast. But all through this short evening session there's a strong feeling that it wants to change - get nasty even.
When the rain comes it's enough to get you wet and persists for about an hour during which time I catch roach, chub, perch and an eel on float fished casters. I've fluked onto a deeper swim, where the river turns and widens and it's good. The 15' rod makes it easy to control the float and there's a lot of water in the swim. I should stay there really, but intrigued by the memory of a massive missed bite a couple of nights previous I wander back up to that swim and try there. It's miles too shallow, can't be more than a couple of feet. So's the next place I try. And the next. By the time my last roach comes I'm barely float fishing at all. Instead, I'm letting the float carry the bait down under the tree and then holding it back so the caster lifts in the water.
All evening an owl quarters both fields, hunting, and as I wander downstream to Ray with the light fading there's a curious guttural cough. Then another. It's a deer on the other side of the river, spooked by the steps of an angler so proud of his approach work that he assumes it's his friend, hawking up some satisfying post-fag phlegm. Ray watches him jump in the air and then disappear while I, none the wiser, toil through the high grass, sodden but satisfied.
About the author
Rob Beattie is the other of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.