I also dug out a couple of rods I've been using for fishing the big river and gravel pits with leger rigs. The old Daiwa Emblems must be seven or eight seasons old but they're still going strong. Even the bail arm rollers still rotate faultlessly - despite the total lack of any servicing or looking after.
Chopping the heads off a pair of the old silver darlings left me with two 10-inch, oily baits that made the size two Owners look small. I dropped one in the margins and cast the other to the other side, where it landed with a huge splash.
If anything picks that up, it's going to be a decent fish, I thought as I put the rod in the rests and tightened up to the oil slick flattening the ripple. As I'm setting up the last rod, the alarm goes and it's away like a good 'un.
I shut the bale arm, give it a pop and find a really decent eight pounder on the end. I'm not sure how it even got that in its gob but both hooks are in its laughing gear so who cares.
I slip it back, get the rods nicely spread and park myself full of fish first cast smugness. Nothing else happens all day, despite a couple of moves and a few half-hearted stabs at doing different stuff like popping the baits up and fishing one at half-depth.
As the sun starts sinking, a fox comes ambling along the far floodbank. We stare each other out before a dog barks in the distance and it's away into the undergrowth.
I'm starting to feel relieved the season's almost over. It's been a long old slog. Today might turn out to be my last trip of 2011/12, depending what happens work-wise over the next few days. No big deal, the way things have been going.