Caught by the River


16th July 2008

With the new season coming to the end of it’s first calendar month, I tempted fate and wore this T shirt on a visit to the Kennet at Aldermaston.

As I stated back in March, as last season came to an end, I was still yet to catch a chub from a river. I’d had a couple from a lake and a few chublet from the Stour but not one ‘proper’ chub. Seeing as I’ve been fishing for seven or eight years now and in that time I’ve put hours in on the Trent, Thames, Kennet, Stour and Mole – all recognised chub waters – well, I wasn’t just questioning my skills I was becoming embarrassed by my lack of them.

So, on this seasons first visit to the mill I left Jak at the weir pool chasing barbel and I disappeared onto the back water with a 14’ float rod, a loaded up Speedia, a John Richardson ‘special’ and a bucket of maggots. Oh, and the T shirt.

Now, to be honest, even with my degree of image consciousness (vanity), the shirt wasn’t entirely deliberate. It’s been on the bank before and I’d never thought about it in terms of glory (just a little bit Highway 61 is all), but as I walked through the trees and as the point became pointier, I had a feeling. One of those that us anglers get every now and again when you just know that the day is gonna be all right. The water looked good, quite high and pushing through some, but entirely manageable with my gear. I’d fished this spot several times in the past but that day it was shining. That was the moment that the penny dropped. With the shirt. With the photo that Jak was gonna take of me holding my first ever river chub beneath this powerful word that summed it all up…..

So, I chucked in some bait and then I cast. A gentle throw to the far bank, just where I wanted it. The current pulling my float in to the faster water in the middle and taking it away downstream, ‘cept it didn’t get far – a couple of rod lengths maybe – before the float buried and I struck and I played and I landed a fish. My first chub. Weighing in at 5.5lbs which is not bad at all and it felt great. I’d bust my duck and I went on to get five more including one at 5lbs.

Jakub ran round to witness this historic moment and to assist with the weigh in and the pics. As I held up the fish, Jak looked through the lens and uttered the immortal line, “you fucking poser”.

What? Did he expect me to dress like a tree? (JB)