The tide flooded in as the light faded from the day. We were hoping for grey mullet and when my rod tip started to tremble I thought a mullet had intercepted the bait. As the indications increased I decided to lift the rod. To my surprise it was not the weight of a mullet I felt but a strange gyrating motion on the lines end that could be only one thing! On bread-flake in late March I did not expect an eel,that tackle-twisting critter.
Fortunately the hook came out easily and the slippery eel was returned from whence it had come. There was a time when I would have cursed but these days’ eels are considered an endangered species and deserve respect their migratory journey is one of great mystery and awe. We marvel at the swallows that should arrive soon from Africa and the salmon that run our rivers. Non-matches the journey of the eel to the far off Sargasso Sea.
It was not long before mullet moved in and the rod tips started to tremble in earnest. Eventually came that decisive movement and a battling mullet on the line. Four came to my rod during the evening; non-gave as much pleasure as the one that took Rob’s baits after tantalizingly playing with the bait for several minutes. At just over 2lb it was no monster but a first of a species is special.
Sharing success in angling is all part of the fun and I hoped to share success with my son James when we visited the Torridge casting a line for salmon. Salmon are scarce so it was no surprise when non intercepted the fly that James cast across the river. After a while James got into some sort of rhythm with his casting and I believe he actually settled into the quest enjoying the repetitive motion of rod and line swishing to and fro as the river flowed relentlessly down to the sea.
A week later I was alone on the river with perfect conditions, the river fining down after rising over a foot. As I walked to the river a movement caught my eye, at first I thought fish. But it was instead a fellow fisher or I should say fishers. To my delight a family of four otters appeared frolicking in the river. I watched transfixed as they playfully porpoised to and fro.
I fished through the beat searching carefully to no avail. On arriving back at the bottom of the beat the otters returned climbing out of the water as I waded down casting my line. They watched me with disdain giving me a warning hiss before moving past me and on upriver.