Day Five

Carpworld - - THINK TANK -

This was a game of two halves. There had been a flurry of big fish to al­most all the group dur­ing the morn­ing, so amongst all the smiles and back­slap­ping there were a few photo shoots to take care of once ‘bite time’ had passed. It was whilst squat­ting down for one of these that I felt an all too fa­mil­iar twinge in my groin. I say fa­mil­iar – one I’d thank­fully not had the ‘plea­sure’ of for a few years, but there could be no mis­tak­ing it. One or more kid­ney stones were about to wreak havoc on my poor pipes.

A freshen up and a quick trip to a patis­serie and my old mate, the colonel’s and things were look­ing up. The strange sen­sa­tion had eased and I thought I may have dodged a bul­let. No such luck. While hav­ing a quick toi­let visit on our re­turn to Abbey and prior to go­ing back to the swims for the night, I ex­pe­ri­enced the sear­ing pain that only a fel­low suf­ferer will know. The sweats started and I just wanted to curl up in a ball on the floor and maybe have a cry. Sadly, I also knew that wasn’t go­ing to help mat­ters ei­ther.

I shan’t go into too much de­tail but with one of my bod­ily flu­ids not be­ing a par­tic­u­larly pleas­ant colour, the hos­pi­tal staff wasted no time in whisk­ing me into a side room. The mor­phine was suitably forth­com­ing and I was sub­jected to a rel­a­tively pain­less pro­ce­dure that left me with a hand­ful of mini as­ter­oids to deal with, in­stead of the ini­tial planet-sized 12 miller that was threat­en­ing to make for mis­sion im­pos­si­ble! As I sit and write this from the com­fort of my sofa, many of them are still in or­bit some­where within my sys­tem but oc­ca­sion­ally the sweet tin­kle of cal­cium on porce­lain af­fords me a wry smile.

Upon re­turn­ing to Abbey, Sean saw my head­lights cut­ting a swathe up the far bank and rang to in­form me that I sim­ply had to get the rods out as fish had been show­ing over all three baited ar­eas in my swim. I re­ally wasn’t in the mood but per­haps due to the last rem­nants of mor­phine cours­ing through the veins, I went through the mo­tions and got two rods out just as the last rays of the sun dis­ap­peared be­hind the trees.

As I sat down to tie up a fresh rig for the third, the rod fished close-in to the right let out a flurry of bleeps, hooped over against a tight clutch and I hob­bled out of the bivvy to­wards it as though some­one had tied my shoelaces to­gether. The fight went the same way as those be­fore. A bit of give and take in the weed just my side of the spot and then a tus­sle to con­trol the fish and pre­vent it go­ing through the other lines at the front of the swim. Thank­fully Jak had moved off Heron in my ab­sence and was now sat a few yards be­hind me, fish­ing on Fox. A quick call saw him hop into the mar­gins armed with a net to deal with “an­other bloody 20” – that grew, a lot, as he rolled it over in the net. It was a fish that Ash had caught on our ear­lier trip in the sum­mer – a lovely, thick­set com­mon with stun­ning colours. It was just the sort of fish that has made Abbey a stand­out fish­ery amongst its peers across the chan­nel. We didn’t bother to weigh it, I rarely do, pre­fer­ring to get a few quick stills with­out the ne­ces­sity of a flash, but it had cer­tainly filled out and I was happy to set­tle for a mu­tual guessti­mate of 50-some­thing.

ABOVE TOP The doc­tor will see you now! My largest of the week came just 20 min­utes after I re­turned from hos­pi­tal

ABOVE BOT­TOM Ash was in­ter­cept­ing a few as the passed from one end to the other. This was his big­gest of the week at 57lb

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