I got there, after being stuck in traffic due to an accident on the motorway, at around 10:15am and headed straight for the spot I caught from the almost a week prior. The mist was heavy and blocked out the sunlight but at half ten the sun shone through enough to make things feel quite warm, and with that, the fish started to show, not in numbers, but the odd one was visible. I watched a fish cruise in from the left which headed straight for the margin I was fishing, it hovered over the spot and dipped out of sight, my gaze transferred to the rod tip and the slack line hanging from it. In a flash it tightened and the tip arched round, I clambered down the bank, struck, missed and saw the fish swimming away. I cursed my bad luck that I’d missed an opportunity but was thankful that I’d attracted a fish early on. Looking at the rig I decided that it was probably down to the 1 ounce lead I was using and upped it immediately to a 2oz.
I baited up and lowered the rig back into position, sat back and awaited activity. Little else happened for a few hours and I saw no more fish visit my margin, mainly due to the cloud coming back and things feeling a little chilly. Rob arrived and sat down for a brief chat before heading off to his chosen swim and soon after Graeme turned up and started to fish the swim behind the old lily beds. I was starting to get itchy feet so decided to wind in and go find some fish. Around on the opposite bank I noticed a good fish mid water cruising through and spooked a couple of fish right from under my feet in the third swim from the fence. I walked away from the pool up the bank and watched from where they couldn’t spot me, then a group of four fish swam through a rod length from the margin, I’d found them.
With my things collected from the other side I readied the tackle, waited for a carp to move off the spot, fed a few pellets and lowered the rig on top. I retreated back among the bankside cover and watched. Fish swam through, only they were going around my baited spot and rig, 5lb mainline, everything pinned down and blended in and they could still sense something was adrift. A little further along there was a plateau visible from the bank around three rod lengths out, I watched four fish move over it stopping on the way for a little root around, this happened twice in the space of a few minutes so at the next opportunity I wound in and flicked my rig, baited with luncheon meat, onto where the fish looked to be feeding. Back among the marginal cover I watched as the group circled no less than half a dozen times, picking at things from the bottom but ignoring the hookbait. Just then I glimpsed another fish a further rod length out clearly feeding and sending up bubbles. When the activity ceased I wound in and repositioned the rig where I’d seen this new activity, my thinking was that this was slightly deeper water over the back of the plateau, and that without any free offerings and nothing for the fish to spook off, it might just happen. I spotted the fish come back, upend and then begin to violently shake it’s head, it took a second for me to register what was going on but a brief look at the rod tip and the sound of the spool revolving soon had me bursting from the bushes, down the bank and onto the rod. The pound and a half test curve barbel rod was a full battle cry by the time Graeme and Rob got round to me, the fish stripping off yards of line as I played it very gently. I almost steered the fish into Rob’s awaiting net three or four time but with a powerful flick of that rudder it was off on another run. Eventually I managed to get its head up and coaxed her into the mesh. I was delighted to have captured another stunningly coloured mirror, and the guys were happy to see it on the bank. I didn’t weight the fish but estimated it to be around upper doubles. Rob did the honours with the camera and we slipped her back.
I made another cast in that swim but nothing returned. At almost 5pm I reeled in and joined Rob for a half hour chinwag. The three of us left the pool together, shook hands and bid each other farewell and safe journey.