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Thirty years

The river was alive tonight. The weather was perfect - warm, overcast and thundery - and all the other anglers tucked up safely in front of the television. My plan was to fish and move, fish and move. As soon as I caught something, I'd up sticks and move on to the next swim.

That lasted five minutes. I got a cracking tug first cast and missed it. Second cast I connected, but after a few moments it came off. Fish and move, fish and move. I stayed. What a tonk.

After a biteless half an hour I went downstream. Caught a chub. These chub are shrinking. Two or three seasons ago you could regularly take between ten and 20 fish a season that were 2lb plus...some went over 4lbs. These are good chub for a river this size, but in recent years they seem to have vanished.

To the third swim. This looked fishy. Slightly wider, on a bend, the current slowing down. There are carp and tench in here, you know. But not for me, not tonight. Then, as I was reeling in, there was a swirl and a tug as something took the luncheon meat on the retrieve. A chub? Nope. A pike. Sadly, like the chub, he'd shrunk until he was a perfect miniature pike, right down to the I-know-what-I'm-all-about-how-about-you? grin. My first pike in over thirty years. After that I didn't even mind catching an eel.
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