Every now and then the fish on my local river are prepared to cut you some slack. Maybe they feel a little collective guilt for the times in the past when they have spurned all your offerings and sent you home scratching your head. Luckily for me yesterday was one of those days.

To be honest, the willingness of the fish to ingest my little nymph was most likely to be down to the weather. Change is in the air. Rainclouds were gathering but the expected downpour didn´t materialise yesterday. Instead it began overnight and outside the rain continues to drum down. The river that ran clear yesterday will be swelling now and colouring up.

I took four fish from the first stretch I tried and then wandered a little way downstream and had three more. I love catching barbel but, with a few fish under my belt, it occurred to me that it might be fun to catch a carp and so I set off upstream to a place where carp show up from time to time. As it happens I saw no carp at all but the odd barbel presented itself and I caught one almost immediately.

It was around this time that I figured I was doing pretty well and I became aware that I might be able to take my tally to double figures, which is a pretty respectable accomplishment. So off I wandered to see if I could catch number nine and then number ten.

Number nine was straightforward but number ten didn´t come easy. He shot away at speed and in no time at all he was making a nuisance of himself in a bank of rushes some 25 metres away. Somehow he managed to get in and around the rushes and I was unable to persuade it to come out and had no option but to wade out to retrieve him. When I arrived I found him tethered close to the rush around which the leader had become wrapped so I simply lifted the fish out of the water and carried it off to somewhere I could take its picture.

He deserved a portrait, that fish. After all he was number ten and I don´t get many of those.


Me and number ten


Number 6 took where the main current sweeps into this pool. I didn´t see number 7 but he was where I suspected a fish might be in residence in the little run of current tight against the far side. I pitched a little nymph in there and everything when solid. I figured I would spook the fish if I approached close enough to get a decent view.


I tend to beach the fish in the mud at the margin of the river. Sometimes they get so muddy that I need to wash them before I can take a picture!