A few casts later and another fish hit the lure a bit further out as I twitched it mid retrieve. A big swirl and a big flash of a decent fish and it was off! "Curses" or words to that effect! Stayed in the swim for a bit longer trying different lures and eventually she followed the lure in but wouldn't take it. At least I got a good look at her and she looked every inch a mid to upper double. I left her to calm down a bit for another try on the way back.
Fished a few swims further along but nothing doing at all then came to an opening in the undergrowth that I'd scrambled down before. It's not a swim as such but you can get down to the water with a controlled slide and a bit of luck. I noticed a small shoal of bleak in the swim which seems to be a rare sight this year as there's hardly any food fish showing at all on this stretch.
A few casts later and the lure got smashed a couple of rod lengths in front of me. Slightly better at about 10 or 11lb. Half a dozen casts later and another fish hit as I was bringing the lure upstream.. big splash as it hit it but it didn't connect. No matter as it chased it down and hit it again a few seconds later. Much stronger fish this one and put in a great fight. On the scales she went 15lb bang on.
Fished the swim for a bit longer but it had gone quiet so carried on to fish the remaining few swims in this direction. Again, nothing showing at all so turned back. On the way back I dropped into the successful swim again and after a few casts another fish hit. This one fought like a demon and tailwalked a few times, soaking me in the process. Didn't weigh her but a very similar size to the earlier 15lb'er. That made it 3 fish from this one swim.
Carried on and fished the rest of the stretch to the far end with only a tap off a jack that followed the lure in and a follow from another double which then promptly disappeared back under it's tree and didn't come back out. I've got a feeling it was the same fish that I had a couple of chances at on opening day.. she seems to live under that particular tree.
Went back to the car for lunch and decided to walk back to the swims I'd caught from for a last go as they seemed to be stacked up in the one swim.
Fished the first swim but the fish I'd missed earlier seemed to have moved on so carried on to the swim I'd had the 3 fish from. A few casts in this spot and the lure got hit yet again.. another good fight with the fish making several powerful runs and tailwalking before I could chin her out. On the scales this one went bang on 15lb as well and for a moment thought it might be one of the earlier fish but on inspection of the photo's they show that all 3 were different fish. So that was three 15lb'ers and a low double from one swim!
Fished just downstream of this spot as I could just reach the back end of the run and promptly missed another double, then a smaller one! I contemplated the day so far over an ice cold pint of stella which lasted a good 2 minutes and made my way back to the car.
I'd arranged to meet a mate at a different venue and an hour later was there. Despite fishing a few areas over a further 5 hours all we had to show for it was one small jack for my mate which was disappointing but can't complain after the mornings fishing I'd had. Another long day though.. out the house at 6.30am and back at 11pm after driving 200 miles!
Looking at the photo of the last fish I've noticed that it is the same fish I had last week at 15.07lb.