An early start, two trains and a long walk this morning as I headed to the Thames for a days pike fishing. And I arrived before dawn to dense fog that didn't lift all day.
The first rod was quickly set up and cast out while I went to set up the other rod, glancing back I already had a run on my still frozen sprat. Several long upstream runs and things started going my way, before she showed her teeth in front of the net and spat the hook - looked about 14 or 15 pounds... Apologies to anyone who was in ear-shot in the seconds that followed!
The trace was inspected and a new sprat was cast back out. This time it sat for about 10 minutes before another run. Another great fight and a 10lb 4oz pike was in the net - my winter pike season was finally up-and-running, and a double to kick things off.
Two casts, two runs - perhaps today was going to be my day - I need to make up for some lost time on this year's challenge... It wasn't to be, only one dropped run on a sand eel punctuated the rest of the day.
As the light was fading I was winding in a perch deadbait when there was a tell-tail thump as it was grabbed by an unseen pike. A scrappy 5lb 8oz pike was soon in the net, not the day I was hoping for after my first two casts - but I was delighted to finally get a couple pike on the bank.
Still I fished into the dark hoping for another chance, 21lb on the challenge, a long way to go - fingers crossed The Wye will be in good condition for a trip later in the month. And for a trip with Paulos and Roger in January...