We all hope to catch a springer, they are after all, the beezneez. The Whiteadder is a good bet especially from April onwards. At the end of April there was a nice little spate with the river up a couple of feet. By the time I got on the water the river was falling and running clear, just right. I went straight to the Allanton Bridge pool where there is a great run at the head of pool above the bridge.
It didn't take long, 10 minutes or so before I had a solid take, you know the kind. Solid, deep, confident and you just know the fish is on, then off like a rocket down the pool, but still attached.
There is a good flow here which is deceptively strong, a good fish can just hang in the stream body angled against the current and make you sweat. Or they can scoot down the pool to the deeps below the bridge, nightmare. Worse still there is an alder bush, just where my head is in the picture, with branches submerged in the stream. Cost me a cracker the year before, I still get the collywobbles thinking about that day.
On my own I got my net sorted but the fish was fresh and lively, keen to head downstream. I had a heck of a time holding it in the pool away from the bush. Net, rod, controlling my line I was running out of hands so when a fellow angler came along and asked if I was in need I jumped at his offer. Yes please!
I was desperate to land this fish, but it was a sping fish and it was destined to be returned so I did't want the fight to go on too long. Having help allowed me to concentrate my effort with a good bit of side strain. The big rod and a 15lb leader gave me the confidence to give the fish a bit of welly.
In due course the fish drifted reluctantly towards my bank and my helper moved in with care and slipped the net under the fish. A bonny hen fish, fresh as a button straight from the sea with some sea lice still attached.
A quick photogragh was taken before she was carefully lifted back to the water without delay. I held her for a few moments while she gathered her strength for the off. She didn't hang about, disappearing into the depths with a mighty splash. Perfect! (but for the fact that today I wouldn't even take the fish out of the water)
p.s. does my arse look big in these waders, comments on a postcard please?