Over the last couple of weeks I have really struggled with my health and the recent results of an emergency MRI scan have determined that a pro-lapsed disc which is pinching the nerve that runs the length of my left hand side of body through my buttock right to my toes has rendered me at times completely bed ridden. I can tell you that it has been extremely difficult to contemplate.
For those who know me well will know spending any amount of time at home more than what is absolutely necessary is very difficult for me to accept, but feel that I am more at home away from home if that makes sense, my senses immersed in nature, whether it be in the deep Fenland spaces or the confines of the urban surroundings I live in. With my impairment fishing has become impossible and only since the first day of the season have I managed any time out fishing. With such a lack of angling opportunities available I decided to give my mate Brian a call and wondered if he fancied a wander around a section of our urban jungle.
Knowing that the early summer roach fishing can be easy pickings the tackle was geared towards them. A 15ft Grey's Toreon float rod, Okuma centrepin loaded with 3lb line and a light 3BB float setup fished with a size 12 narrow gauge micro-barb hook was just perfect. I chose a nice deep pool that offered a near side and a far side eddy where roach normally reside, sure enough within a couple of trots the float slipped under and a fish powered upstream in the strong flow. Expecting to see a roach and a modest gudgeon appear is always a bonus and although it was not the sort of size that would get the blood pumping it was still great to see. I often wonder what a 6lb gudgeon would fight like if they grew to that size, per ounce they are very willing fighters.
It didn't take long before my target finally came along, a roach of possibly 4oz followed by a procession of eight more in a little over an hour before the swim went strangely very quiet so myself and Brian went for a wander towards the bus stop. Before heading for our transport home I decided that a quick half a dozen trots under a favourite oak tree would yield a roach or two to add to my tally. What happened next I did not expect. As my float hit the crease I usually find roach sat a barbel shot out of the far bank cover and nailed my thumb-nail sized piece of bread flake.
Needless to say the battle was awesome and on numerous occasions I felt that I was going to lose it. Having navigated the thick, lush runs of Ranunculus and overhanging tree branches Brian managed to slip a big barbel into a rather small net! Just goes to show, even on such light tackle with snags present you can land fish way bigger than your tackle is designed to "tackle".
I was chuffed of course! 8lb 11oz of chalkstream muscle on light match trotting gear.
Tight Lines all, enjoy every minute, I know I did, but since then my back has got worse and I am really struggling physically so it will be some time before I find myself out on the bank once again.