So....First rule of fight club.....blow that!
It was blustery this morning and I chose to take the UUL set up rather than the fly rod - haven't done it for a while and decided to pick a better day to get the timing going again .
It was a beautiful mild and hazy morning.
Lure de jour....a minnow spinner.
I had a few nice little trout from this fast water.
This fast water is at the top of the beat and as I walked downstream to some slightly deeper water I decided to try a 70mm Fiiiish Black Minnow This little beauty duly mullered it.
Having returned this fishI noticed the body had torn near the hole where the hook goes through - I was going to change it and save the body for some mend it treatment later. However a quick swim in the margin and it looked OK so I thought what the hell... Next cast and half way back I hit a snag and it just locked solid - at the same time a large fish exploded out of the water in front of me. One of those moments when you are not sure what the hell is going on. It was a fraction of a second later when the fish shot off and the drag started to sing that I realised I was attached to the thing! I thought I've got no chance of landing this on 3.4lb mono and a tiny 3g rod but hey-ho we can but try !The fish just tore off upstream on an absolutely ballistic run and I thought I'm gonna get spooled here so I set off running up the bank - inevitably I fell over but managed to keep the rod above the vegetation and the fish was still running and kept the tension on. I managed to get back on my feet and out of the brambles and set off again. The second time I fell instinct took over and I dropped the rod completely - I felt sure I'd lose the fish. I jumped up and grabbed the rod and was gutted to find the line slack. So I kept reeling expecting to have either been broken off or snagged if the hook had pulled. As I got the line under tension I realised the fish was still on. It must have stopped its run as I dropped the rod and took the tension off the line.
It was a fair way upstream so I moved a bit closer and then the fight really began. The pencil thin rod was at full compression and with the drag on as much as I dared it weas hard to even move the fish. I wanted to keep it above me as I knew I had no chance if it got below me in the flow. I played it to my feet several times only for it to shoot off again. I only had a scoop net with me and I knew there wasn't a chance of it going in so it had to be tailed or lost. The bank was steep and the margin deep and with only my wellies on I was perched precariously. It took me a while to manouever the fish above me so that I could use the current to drop it back into my grasp. Eventually it was in the right place and I grabbed the wrist of the tail and hauled it out. I must admit to screaming Yeeessss! at the top of my voice and scaring all the wildlife for miles around!
I wasn't sure whether it was a salmon or sea trout at first but after better look it proved to be a fresh run salmon - my first ever !!!It must have run up the river on the high tides of the last couple of days'
The head of the beast....
..and after what was undoubtedly the most amazing fight I've ever experienced the trophy shot...
Long and slim I was suprised it only went 7lb 3oz - but unbelievably strong - it was a real handful to unhook even after a strong fight - I've never held such a powerful fish !
I was buzzing and fished my way back to the car......when I had another arm wrenching take and I thought not again!
It didn't go tearing off and although powerful It wasn't acting like a game fish. When I got my first glimpse I thought it was a carp. Only when it was in the margins did I realise it was a huge chub. Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a possible PB and it's out of season ! . Do I weigh it or not :? - well I just had to know and was mightily relieved when it fell a couple of ounces shy of my PB- phew. I know it's out of season but was accidentally caught whilst targetting trout but I thought I'd share it anyway - a fantastic, mint fish (5lb6oz) that is not aware of the stupid closed season !
What a day - beats decorating eh!?