I headed out early on Sunday morning, well 5:30am is early enough for me. The morning was misty and overcast on arrival and looked perfect for a perch or two. The float was set and cast against the raft of duckweed gathered by the overhanging branches of the tree opposite. The worm soon attracted attention from a small perch.
My gaze was soon drawn to a large bow wave that rocked the river, with very little flow it was more noticeable because of the flat calm surface. I was aware that something quite big was in the margin to my immediate left and heading toward me. The unseen thing moved closer, there were masses of bubbles moving forwards underneath my rod, then past me and to the right of my swim.
It was an eerie experience but I realised quickly what it was. I grabbed the camera and rushed quietly round to the next peg to see if I could catch the otter surfacing. My bumbling movements blatantly obvious to the shy and secretive creature as it had completely disappeared. My first encounter with one of Britain's once rare and elusive mammals. Now not so rare but still quite elusive, as an wildlife lover and angler, I couldn't help having mixed feelings about the encounter.
The top pool beckoned, so I headed up there to see if I could tempt any more Silver Bream. Another string of perch followed with this 8oz fish the best of them.
I also added to my list of species from this pool with some Bleak and the tiniest Minnow I've ever caught on rod and line, bringing the tally to 7 different species so far. The Silver Bream didn't show this time.
Bleak (but not in appearance)
A 'minnow' Minnow