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Reelin' in the years

It's not often that I've had my rod pulled in - or nearly pulled in. It happened on Munky Island once on the Thames when I returned from a crafty slash to find my rod, reel and everything to do with both had just...gone. I eventually spotted the tip of the butt end poking out of the water about 20 feet downstream and then when I retrieved in and wound in there was a single large bedraggled swan's feather on the end. That was nearly 40 years ago.

But the other night, no sooner had I cast in with two grains of corn on a 14, light ledgering where I imagined the shelf dropped off into the main lake, than the rod jerked off towards the water and I had to drop my camera, grab the butt, lift the rod and strike all at the same time. The culprit was - another - roach and by this time I'd caught 15 or 20, between four ounces and maybe a pound (I've still no scales) and all in beautiful condition. Add a three pound tench, the fact that I caught in two swims using float and then ledger and that I spied not another soul (unless deer have souls) all evening and it was my best catch of roach since the Latchmoor pond days.Nothing to match the glory of that magnificent river roach caught earlier in the year but just as wonderful. This here's a typical fish. What a beauty.

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