From the minute the bite alarm announced her presence on that beautiful late summer morning to the bitter sweet moment I watched her great, golden shoulders slide back into the pellucid depths of Marsh Lake, I knew I’d been in the company of one of nature’s rarities, a real gem.
Despite my reservations about modern-day carp fishing, I still find them a fascinating fish. It’s their propensity for huge size, wiliness, sheer power and, let’s face it, breath taking beauty that attracts me to them.
So off I went with my new Shakespeare 10ft trotting rod, (great for small rivers), a pint of mixed and my dog Indy. It was a bright day with a brisk easterly wind but the river itself had some colour and a bit of pace so I was hopeful.
I’m drawn to weir-pools, from boy to man they’ve always held a fascination. It’s their differentness, and the fact they add mystery and potential to a river that for the majority of its course flows evenly and true and then there’s a weir, like a twist in a novel you didn’t expect.
There is something compelling about pike. Of all our freshwater fish their call, for me, is the most insistent. They are the black-eyed death-dealer of our fresh waters, the equaliser, the remorseless destroyer without whom natural balance would falter.