I had no time to go fishing yesterday but went anyway. I figured I needed to be home within an hour and that the journey to the river would take 10 minutes, then another 5 minutes to tackle up, and then another 5 to reach a broad shallow where you can find the odd carp. And of course the return leg would take just as long. All of this mental arithmetic was carried out on my way to the river and the upshot of it all was that I would have only a few minutes to try to catch anything. It didn´t matter a jot though. I was going fishing anyway.

I guess the fishing gods smile on those acting on a whim. Christ knows, they are pretty whimsical themselves. In the event they allowed me a shot at a carp, just one, and I was lucky enough to catch one.

The river at this point is broad, muddy and shallow. Take a step into the shallows here and your feet will disappear in a cloud of disturbed sediment and your footprints, when they finally appear, reveal the darker anaerobic sediment under the river´s thin skin.

The gap in the rushes on the river bank here has been made by wild boar pushing into the river. There is a little unkempt grassy island nearby where they like to forage at night and the mud there is deeply pitted by the actions of their feet. I landed my carp next to this little island and lay it right on the mud that the boar had scarred while it was quickly unhooked and photographed.

This fish was one of three carp that had casually swum upstream. I saw them first almost as soon as I had settled into the river, close to the opposite bank, and waited as they worked their way up to me and then a little way upstream. Four or five times I put the nymph in front of the little group but each time they moved on with no sign of interest. It is often the case that fish moving in this way will ignore an offering and I wasn´t optimistic when, again, I pitched it in front of the little group, now upstream of me. This time though the water bulged and one of the fish turned and took it.

Sometimes a fish released into the water will stay right in front of you. They will even sometimes rest against your hands, but not this one. Our little encounter was short and dramatic but he east´t one for outstaying his welcome. He was off like a bullet and I will probably never see him again.