Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shallows thick with roach and rudd

I tried and tried to get a sharp picture of the roach and rudd as they flashed across the shallows. The backwater was black with them when I peeped over the top of the rushes. But as soon as I took the extra step or two I needed to frame a shot with the camera, they dashed off for the safety of the main river.

Hand-sized fish that made up the main shoal were dwarfed by the odd larger specimen that might have gone a pound or so, bright red dorsal fins breaking the surface. They hung back once they'd spotted me, leaving the younger, rasher members of the shoal to chance it.

The water's so clear, this summer's end, that fish are very easy to spot. Perhaps an early steer for the winter ahead makes up for the lack of pike as autumn rocks up. The roach and rudd crammed into the tiny side channel are a sight I've often seen over the last few days, when I've spent as much time looking as I have fishing.

The little backwater leads on to a reed-lined bend, where the river deepens. As I gave up trying to get a decent shot of the fodder shoal, I pictured the pike rods fanned out around it, floats waving in the gentle winter flow as the river colours up and the predators move in to take advantage of the well-stocked larder.

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