freeline-23 - Page 186



A Tale of Two Sessions
to John and waded back out into the
drink. I started on the first branch, cut
through it then bought it ashore, followed by the next. It had made a dent
but I still couldn’t fathom what was
going on, as I couldn’t see far enough
due to the mist. So the next and bigger branch came. As I was slowly
pulling it into the bank Jon mentioned
that the line had gone slack, so I got
him to take up the slack so I could see
what had gone on, and it had just
caught a sprig of leaves, the type that
you catch when you’re going from
bivvy to swim sometimes.
That was it! I took the rod, wound
down and waded back out. Once at
the remaining branch, I realised the
fish was still behind that one. “Oh
no!” I thought, it was as thick as my
forearm and I was cold and tired, but
all this work was warming me up! So
after passing back the rod to Jon, I
waded back out for the final mission.
I took the branch and started sawing,
and after a few moments I was over
half way through! Great – quick
The Round Brown, 38lb, 25 June 2012.
186 FREE LINE
breather, then the rest! It took three
times as long to do the second bit; it
seemed I was sawing it for ages.
Eventually it dropped and I slowly
lowered it in to the lake. Most of this
branch was void of foliage as it had
been hidden under the other
branches I had moved. Once near the
bank, with Jon taking up the slack, I
saw my line, so I gently lifted it off a
twig and followed it into the lake. I felt
it kick!
Now I wasn’t going to let go of the
line and scramble over a tree to get
the rod off of Jon, as I might risk
spooking it, so I called Jon to throw
me the net, which he duly did. I then
sunk it at my knees and kept pulling
the fish towards me. I then saw the
lead, followed by the unmistakable
shadow of the Black Pig. In the weak
torch beam she bolted, straight into
the net. Up to my waist in water, holding the second forty that I had caught
in a week, I turned to Jon and said,
“Ha Ha! The Pig is mine!”
That was it; I couldn’t stop laugh-
ing. It was like a joke! Such unbelievable luck! On the scales she went just
over 40lb; a tad smaller than I
expected, but they had been spawning, I guessed. Last time out she had
been the same weight as I had caught
Colin the week before. I was cold, wet
and had spent almost two hours out
in the lake, but I didn’t care. The Black
Pig was in the net, at the first
attempt... just like the Lady all those
years ago!!
The week after having the Pig I
went straight onto the Meadow Lake
at St Ives. Everyone was saying I
should have a go for the St Ives hat
trick; the three biggest known mirrors. I thought it was worth a go but
on such a vast and intricate lake as
the Meadow and Fjords I thought it
would keep me well occupied. I
hadn’t planned on fishing this pit at
all. The stunning looking stock fish
that are in there are really growing
well, and to be honest I have no desire
to catch them when they are small, as
in a few years from now it is going to

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