It was 1:20am and I was standing waist deep in in the cool waters of the Towy River. It meanders its way through the lush valleys of Wales and remains there for its entirety. For its loyalty it is named the longest river in Wales.
The sounds of the night and the rushing water all around me. The Milky Way lighting up the silhouette of the far bank, for the brave fly fisher – a temptation that often results in lost flies trapped in the branches of the overhanging trees. Cast after cast, I tried to place the fly as close to the bank as possible. I tried to picture the line swinging round as it swings downstream, hoping the fly is fishing the water perfectly. With anticipation I pray the line will go tight. An eerie feel is in the air, as if there was a change of some sort, I can feel it around me so I pay extra attention. I feel certain that something is about to happen….. And then it did.
“The line went tight and a fish erupted from the flow.”
3 feet into the air, at least, as it leapt from the water. The light caught its flanks and it landed with the sound of thunder. I did not shriek with excitement or shout out for Brian, my good friend and companion on the river that night. I was silent yet screaming inside as the line cut the water on its way up river. I could feel the power of the fish. I was so grateful again for the great drag of a super reel, spraying water as it spun. The fish changed direction and swam straight at me; I grabbed the line with my hand and stripped it in as fast as I could, desperate to keep tension on the hook hold. Any mistakes and I knew the Towy would take her back away from me. Leaving another tale of the one that got away. The fish went past my feet then teamed off down river, all the line I had retrieved and then some. Now I called to Brian… “Brian, Big fish!” … “I know! On my way, I heard it!” Was the reply from the distant darkness.
The Fight was wonderful and in the dark, a true test of all I had learnt in the water over the years. It’s so different in the dark. You have to fight with your experience, your senses and confidence, not your sight. It’s a wonderful experience, a superb challenge and really nails the fact that I love Sea Trout Fishing.
The fish was close now flanking in the flow, I could see its size and it was a lovely fish, but we had no net. “Brian” I said, “Grab it!” ….. I have no idea how he must have felt, faced with moment, where friends can become enemies. He did it though, terrified of it slipping from his grip, no need, he executed it perfectly and the fish came to hand. Hooked, Fought, landed and we’d won. The biggest Sea Trout of my Life, and justifiably the fish of a lifetime.
I count my blessings as we released her back to the river with thanks….. she dissapeared into the darkness to continue her instintive journey up the river from the sea.
A dream come true: A double figure, fresh Sea Trout, at night, on the fly!
The sea trout safely back on its way upriver