An angler's journal

Monday, 29 June 2015

When being there's enough

I have to be honest, it's probably been the slowest start to a river season that I can remember. My opening three sessions have only seen me snare a chub and an eel while the barbel have been elusive, well at least for me they have.

One of the bream to find its way to the bank
It was time for a change of scenery so I arrived on the banks of lower Severn at around 4.30pm. I settled into my chosen swim and set about putting some feed into the swim via a baitdropper. I then proceeded to fish a swimfeeder over the top with another isolated bait further downstream, my usual tactics on the lower. A strong upstream wind was causing sizeable waves but I could still see the odd fish topping. After 90 minutes my first bite arrived, a skimmer bream of about a pound. By now better fish were topping but identifying the culprits was tough due to the waves. I suspected bream so it was no surprise when a better bream found it's way to the bank. At about 4lb it put a decent bend into the rod. A few more quickly followed and I saw a barbel break surface not too far away when suddenly the wind vanished. The waves dispersed and gave way to a mirror like surface. The early evening sky was clear and already the moon was visible casting its reflection on the slow moving current.

Although the small fish continued to break surface the larger specimens were giving no clues as to their whereabouts in the new found conditions. The rods became montionless and my attentions turned elsewhere. Beyond the far bank, I caught sight of a white coloured bird in the distance. As it came closer, my initial thoughts were confirmed as a prowling barn owl scanned the bankside undergrowth. It then turned and headed across river right towards me before staring me straight in the face before continuing on its travels. Soon after, it returned with its mission accomplished as a rodent of some description hung helplessly from its talons. I then saw a strange looking insect fly by in a distinctive upright position. It was very fairy like in its appearance and I recall thinking how our ancestors might have mistaken such an insect for the mythical creatures of English folklore. I have since tried to discover what species I observed but can find nothing so if anyone has any ideas then please let me know.

The lack of anymore fish action was obviously not part of the plan but I wasn't disappointed. How could I be given my close encounters with the best British countryside has to offer? Whilst the priority of an angler is catching a fish, a close second is enjoying the moment. Being the only person on the river at that magical moment as day turns night is something I never tire of.

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