Tonight was definitely a case of the one that got away as the title suggests. My face dropped as I pulled into the car park on a granted popular stretch of the Avon, mine was the tenth car to arrive! I wandered upstream to where Martin had set his stall out opposite a tempting run of overhanging willows.
A brief chat and a mooch about and I dropped in three pegs below him. Despite the amount of cars there was still plenty of choice as five anglers were all blanking around the weir pool. I baited the swim liberally with hemp and pellet and settled in for the waiting game
It was slow to say the least with the magnificent summer possibly to blame but as usual I played with the camera and was entertained by the ample variety of wildlife. The damselflies were particularly active flitting and dancing around each other in the fading light. Also the Kingfisher was extremely busy flying up and down and up and down, catching fish and then returning them to an extremely well hidden nest. I tried to get it to pose for a photo but they are way too fast!
When the sun had set and the light had all but faded I finally got the bite I was waiting for. The rod instantly bent double, almost leaping from the rest and it was fish on. I slowed down the initial run only to have it make another equally determined bid for freedom and this time the Barbel got its wish. That gut wrenching moment when the carbon straightens out is heart-breaking to any angler. It happens to us all and the pain never gets any easier to bear. The only consolation I have is that I don't think it was a big fish, the run from a monster is generally more deliberate but of course I will never truly know.
You win this time Mr Barbel but I will be back for revenge!