The final day of the season, still as special as always despite the close season rule changes on stillwaters. A last chance to sit beside running water for a whole three months. My chances to fish of late have been extremely limited but there was nothing that was going to get in the way. A whole day away from the business for which I owe my wife a large debt of gratitude. She will make me pay I'm sure!
I arrived late, the joys of getting three kids sorted for school but the whole day was ahead of us so I did not fret. Martin was already well settled in a swim, the first stage of his plan to fish the early morning for predators in full swing. I hadn't even finished tackling up before I was commanded over to his swim for photography duty. An excited Martin had a pb Zander in the net. At 9lb 9oz he had smashed his previous best by over six pounds, his half smile hiding obvious delight.
My tactics were different, my target was Barbel and I intended to fill a swim with maggots and hemp, wait a while and empty the river of its slippery residents. A few Chub and a solitary Perch fell for the tactic, but they weren't exactly crawling up the line as I had hoped.
Between bites I amused myself watching the lumberjacks trimming the tree opposite. With my vertigo I felt sick just watching!
On Martin's advice I chucked a second rod upstream with pellet and a pva bag and it finally gave me the prize I desired, not a monster but a Barbel landed and I was happy.
A Jenny Wren gave an opportunity for some playing with the camera.
Eventually as darkness fell the fish started to feed in earnest, Martin had sveral Chub and a solitary Barbel and I managed an Eel and a Chub of 4lb 5oz...
and finally a Bream of (strangely) exactly the same weight.
And so the sun sets on another season and I have just one target for next, to get more time on the bank!