Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dusk breaks its promise of a pike

An hour before dusk, the river comes alive. There are fish topping all over the three swims I've selflessly bagged. It's got to happen soon.

Won't be anyone else there, I thought earlier, as I headed down the A10 eating Monster Munch. There wasn't - apart from Rob's old man, who's in the bit I fancied could do a good fish.

It already has mate, he says. Had a nice twenty. Just down there it was. It transpires ROM's off soon, so I do the decent thing and jump right in there.

Instead of going out first thing and going home when I get bored or hungry, I've gone later and plan to give it until dusk. Rumour has it that's the time they've been catching them on here. 

The afternoon passes without a run, as the breeze gets up and the cloud thickens overhead. At 4pm, the wind dies and the first few dimples appear around the floats.

Looking good. Looking like another mild, bright-ish day's triggered a fly hatch, which has got the prey fish rising. Within minutes, they're everywhere - all over the three swims I can effectively fish from the spot where I've plonked my Khyber half way up the floodbank.

As my eyes flit from float to float, there's a big swirl right under the middle rod. A shower of rudd fly in all directions, like a handful of gold coins.

Get in there my son. I'm down the bank, with a bait on it in barely a minute. This looks silly. In fact, it looks very silly. But as I sit down behind the rod, there's an action replay right by the float. Come on girl. Come on girl.

The line twitches as rudd ping into it. A bigger one attacks the float. The next swirl's 10 yards up the margins - near a float I've parked in the next swim. Then it swirls beyond the float.

Alright four-eyes..? An old mate I haven't seen out on the bank in years appears from nowhere. We chat as the sun sinks. This is the time, he tells me. This is when we usually get 'em on here.

Stay here 'till it's dark four-eyes, he says before he disappears off somewhere else. I had three doubles and a twenty in half an hour here the other week.

Stay on there as long as it takes, says a text from Rob. I keep telling myself it's got to happen soon, as the sun disappears behind the floodbank. The rudd are still going at it hammer and tongs. But dusk comes and goes without fulfilling its promise.

The Shipping Forecast comes on Radio Four, as I hit the main road. Dogger, Fisher, German Bight. West, North-west four to five, occasionally six at first. Backing west three or four later. Rough, becoming moderate. Showers then fair. Moderate or good.

I can't wait to get back out tomorrow, for some reason.

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