freeline-21 - Page 179



River Carping’
the unspoilt nature, for example having to create your own swim just to
cast your rods out and see over into
the water. Then there is the abundant
insect life, with dragonflies the size of
small birds, Spitfiring through the sky
together with buzzards flying above
the treelines, and our old friend the
heron flying off, screeching like a
pterodactyl, in search of new hunting
grounds. You can also see muntjac
swimming from riverbank to riverbank, kingfishers darting by you like a
blue flash, crickets calling in the fields
and foxes screaming all night long.
You can find places away from people
for days and really pioneer your
search for river monsters. Then there
are the not so quiet swims…
I decided on what I thought might
be a peaceful looking swim and fished
alongside an overhanging tree, which
had a bar underneath driving out into
the river. I had already caught a long,
lean river common from the spot so
decided to persevere and carry on
baiting. The next morning I awoke to
a splashing sound on the far bank.
Opening my sleep filled eyes I
thought at first it was a hungry pack
of seals, but it was only the ironman
decathlon team in training for their
next event – six of them swimming
right past my bloody swim, clad in
wetsuits and brightly coloured swim
hats… and they call us mad.
A little later on that day, getting
ready for an early lunch, the weather
was wonderful, and as predicted the
boat traffic began. I was about to
spread some English mustard onto
my pork pie when a boater just
decided to stop right in front of me,
continue to do an eight-point turn,
reverse, forward, reverse forward, then
drive off in the opposite direction.
With all the commotion and water
stirring, my rigs and the loose feed
had ended up back in my margin by
my feet in the wash. Not much later I
had the pleasure of thirty-odd ramblers marching by wearing bright
white T-shirts with ”Rambling Fun
For All” printed across them. Rods
were positioned that evening, and I
waited for the night’s events to
unfold. I didn’t have long to wait, as a
long torpedo-shaped creature swam
t o w a r d s t h e o v e r h a n g i n g t r e e.
“Christ, a bloody otter. What more do
you want to throw at me?”
Now I suppose most people would
throw in the towel by then, but I stuck
at it and by 11am the next morning I
was holding up another river thirty for
the camera. At just over 34lb it was
my second biggest capture out of the
Ouse, and a stunning mirror to boot. I
have had the pleasure of an otter in
my swim before, and have previously
documented how I have tackled
sacked fish in fear of them being
stolen. Keep this in mind if you are
fortunate enough to have a capture
and try to release it as safely and as
soon as possible. Not that I think they
are all being eaten, but the sections I
have fished with otters have shown
less captures since this new predator
was introduced. I suppose it is an
added pressure just like a busy lake
full of anglers. Although many lakes
cost hundreds of pounds to join, there
are many club tickets along the Ouse
that are priced around just £20 for the
year. With a whole host of lakes that
have flooded alongside the Ouse valley, who knows what secrets this
spectacular place holds?
And on that note, via con dios, and
be lucky... n
My second largest capture out of the Ouse.
FREE LINE 179

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