The one that got away

The one that got away


In the scorching heat, a 15-minute trudge through towering grass leads me to the river’s edge. The journey is a struggle against the sun’s unrelenting blaze. At last, I arrive at the water, eager to cast my line. But a bitter surprise awaits – the river is a battleground of overgrown weeds.

With determination unyielding, I step into the water, hoping to find a pocket of flowing water amid the tangled green. The river’s width, two to three meters. Fallen branches lay strewn like nature’s traps.

Seeking elusive prey, the larger trout, I venture forth, each step sending ripples through the water. They scatter, wary of my intrusion. I cannot cast more than a mere meter ahead. The frustration is palpable.

Time stretches on, a good 40 minutes of perseverance pass before a clearing – a spot to finally cast my line. A mere five minutes later, a triumphant tug on my Komachi 45F lure rewards my determination. A trout, splendid and iridescent, breaks the surface. The battle is swift.

The current carries me downstream, casting near a fallen branch. A trout emerges from the shadows nudges my lure, but no hook up. Changing tactics, the Bassday sugar minnow SG 60F becomes my weapon of choice. A cast to the same spot – a trout’s domain – yields immediate results. A magnificent 40cm brown trout.

Further downstream, a familiar patch of water comes into view. I cast. A colossal figure emerges, a professorial trout of near 50cm, stalking my lure. A strike, a fight, a symphony of splashes – victory seemed imminent. But… A silent hush descends, leaving me with the echo of profanities.

The landscape transforms, a shift from open fields to enigmatic forest, mirrored in the river’s widening and shallowing. Two modest pikes offer themselves as tokens, a meager consolation for the earlier battles fought. Lunch becomes a solitary interlude, a contemplative pause amidst the day’s struggles.

The journey homeward is shadowed by thoughts of the one that got away. The trout, a phantom of the mind, dances in my thoughts, a reminder of nature’s capriciousness. The sun dips below the horizon, casting long shadows across my path, but it’s the shadow of that uncaught trout that lingers most, a testament to the ever-present allure of the river’s mysteries.

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