It seems the only way I get to see a fish on the bank these days is by going out with Jak. Last week we grabbed a day and headed over to Oxfordshire to fish a big old estate lake. Not at a bite for Steve or myself but Jak took a 9lb Pike on a spinner in the morning and a 10lb Mirror Carp to a boilie at dusk.
Then, on Sunday, when the weather was really weird – sunblock on Feb 10th – Jak took me over to Cobham to fish the Mole. It was beautiful. I hadn’t seen it before. We parked up by the mill with plans to fish the weirpool but we were too late. All three swims were taken. Looked really good too. So, off we walked across a frosty meadow, following the river along the wrong side of a barbed wire fence until we came to a place where we could get over it and into a wood. It was magical. The garlic was up and as we broke the leaves underfoot the smell was amazing. We had walked into spring. Over snowdrops and quietly to the bank. There were two dream swims and within minutes I had a John Richardson quill trotting downstream. I was going to get a bite. I was going to catch a Chub. I was convinced that the float was going to bury just as it reached the bend and held back below the willow……. but, nope, not a thing. So, we walked and walked and came to here and we had to sit a while and just take it in. A million miles from the Uxbridge Road
no traffic, no people, no sound but birdsong. No fish either. Didn’t care. Getting used to it anyway.
We made it back to the weirpool just before dusk and the swims were free. Jak spotted a fish roll about twenty feet out, right beside a really horrible snag. A Barbel he said, a big one. Four red maggots on the hook, dropped right on the spot. Feed a few more and wait. It will come. And it did. A great big beautiful Barbel weighing in at 13lb. Jak’s the man with the mojo right now.
Me, I’m searching for the spirit of Brendan Behan. One day…
top two pics by Jak