As the water had dropped from the high-water earlier in the week i decided to fish the fly down to the bottom of the beat and then Spin back up to the top. I fished with expectation as I'd been looking forward to getting back on the river after a whole week of no fishing. I had a couple of takes but nothing solid - maybe Sea Trout plucking at the fly. Having fished all of the runs and pools i was starting to feel ready for a coffee break so walked back to the Hut and set up the spinning gear. I decided to have a few cast at the hut pool before crossing over the footbridge over to the far bank. After a few casts i was woken from my daydream by a sharp pull followed by the unmistakable surge of a fish. After taking some line and what felt like the dreaded head shake i saw a flash and the line went slack. I felt gutted as anyone does when they loose a fish, i had a feeling that that was my chance and id blown it!
I decided to lock up the hut and head over the footbridge and walk to the bottom of the beat. Once there i started to fish my way upriver slowly covering all the likely looking spots and all of the runs. By the time i had fished about half of the beat i started to get that feeling that it was not going to be. The clock was ticking and i only had a couple of hours left at the river. To Make things worse i looked down to see Poppy, my Black Lab, looking very pleased with herself having coated her back and head with some foul smelling fox poo. After the mandatory game of fetch the stick from the other side of the river she looked a lot cleaner.
As i proceeded to fish upstream i lost my spinner in the reeds on the far bank and realised i didn't have any with me as id left them in the hut. Desperate measures were required. I managed to disgorge a long stuck 'Flying C' from inside my jacket pocket. Unfortunately it was yellow, a colour i never use. On it went, hopes were not high as it looked almost fluorescent in the clearing water. By the time i reached the big pool not far from the hut i was not really concentrating on how my spinner was fishing. Just as i was about to move on up the pool the rod was nearly ripped out of my hands by a savage take. The fish shot across the pool and leapt clear out confirming it was a good sized fresh Salmon. The fish was tearing line off the reel and i was sure it was well hooked, i saw it break surface again at the head of the pool shaking it head frantically when the unthinkable happened, the line went slack and feeling utterly sickened i reeled in the slack line. As i was reeling in the slack there was no tension so i felt sure the spinner had cone off. I realised that despite the fact i was reeling in the line was downstream of me, then i realised. The fish was still on and running back downstream and was heading out of the pool tail. once i regained contact with the fish i ensured the tension on the drag was a little tighter. The fish continued to forge on with incredible power. I could not stop its run despite my best efforts. That run was the most amazing run I've had from a salmon ever. It didn't stop until it had taken me three pools down. After continually running to keep up with the fish i managed to get below it to ensure i could get the fight under control. As the fish started to tire i unshaped the net which the dog managed to get into, not what i needed! after removing the dog from the net i finally managed to net my fish. What a cracker, a good solid fish of 33", it looked to be about 15Lb and was covered in lice. I was relieved get the hook out easily and after a some quick pictures of the fish without removing it from the water it went back very strongly.
Having had one of the best fight I've had from a Salmon i was feeling very happy and was in one of those fish induced dream like states. I decided to fish up to the hut and call it a day. I fished up to the footbridge and after crossing it i decided to just have a few cast in the run above the bridge. as i fished up the run towards the pool i was astonished to feel that unmistakable thud as a fish hit my spinner. This felt like a good fish two, a few seconds later this was confirmed as the fish broke surface and started to thrash shaking its head, i dropped the rod to try and reduce the tension and the fish stopped thrashing and took off giving me peace of mind that the hook was firmly set. Poppy was getting very excited as the fight was drawing to an end and was watching as i unshipped the net. Just as i put the net in ready and started to draw the fish towards it there was an almighty splash! The dog had launched herself off the high bank and landed next to the fish. After much shouting at her i managed to net the fish as she swam abound trying to get it the net with it. Another fresh fish covered in lice, this one was about 12lb and in great condition. After a quick hook removal and a quick pic in the bottom of the net the fish went back very well.
Poppy was looking very pleased with herself and despite my initial reaction i had to laugh at her. At least she didn't smell of fox poo on the way home. I think I'll use a yellow 'Flying C' again!