River Witham

River Witham
River Witham near Barkston, Lincolnshire

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Fishing the evening rise

Looked like it was going to be a great evening except for the gusty warm wind that had sprung up. After a quick tea I headed out to Barkston and was togged up and in the river (we have to wade as the banks are above your head!) by 6.45pm. Tied on a home-tied olive bodied klink with a pink post #16, with 6x tippet, and waded very carefully seeking the first rising fish, which I promptly put down with a miss-timed cast into the wind! Persevering, I began to get a rhythm going trying to cast once the wind dropped, and was soon into a small brownie of about 10", which was followed by a much larger fish that tore off into the weeds, wrapping the leader around and breaking me off. Drat it!
Into the flybox to select a grey/olive klink with a white post, which was secured with a new length of tippet, on which I picked up a couple more fish of around 12". It was now around 8.45 and the light was fading as I approached the deep, unwadeable pool on a sharp right bend under a tree, a fish moved in the shadows, not exactly a rise more of a swirl. Waiting it swirled again making quite a surface disturbance, could this be the reputed monster of the deep? A tricky sideways cast along the surface of the water to avoid the tree cover was required but could I achieve the accuracy coupled with enough free drift? I waited for a lull, and the fish to swirl again, and launched my cast whilst holding my breath... swirl and I carefully tightened rather than striking, and it was on. Major acrobatics followed by several runs before I could get its head above the water and weed, and into the net, I hope you agree what a gorgeously pretty fish. Just a couple of quick photos and measured against my rod before reviving and returning it.

It measured an unbelievable 15.5", no wonder I struggled to get it in my small net.

Elated I climbed out to skirt around the pool and re-entered to see several rising fish ahead. Casting variably I put several fish down before hooking another lunker which made an almighty leap over a weed and branch jam to snap me off again. Double drat!
A couple more fish came to hand after that including one in gloom which I felt take rather than saw, but by now it was dark and being 10:15pm I hiked back to the car tired and happy, and ready for a cup of coffee. Note to self, need to do more evening fishing while I can.
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