When you get an invite to fish for free, as long as you like, in a stream packed with brown trout and in the company of a very good friend you just don't say no!
So when my very good friend of 20 years, Rasmus pulled me aside at his very own wedding and invited me to that special spot of his, I instantly cleared my calendar and said yes. Well, usually I would clear these things with the wife, but this time I answered in the affirmative before I could think. Whatever the consequences might be!
We met after work on a friday at Rasmus' place and drove in his 4wd to the spot. Rasmus had been kind enough to shop for the trip, so we quickly got there, opened a beer and set up camp.
Itchy to get to the stream, we rigged our gear and made our (very short) way to the swim just behind camp. Beers in hand, we got straight into some quiet time and watching several splashes right in front of us. Both of us fished with flies on a short-ish leader under a standard float.
As the dark crept in, the bats in the old beech and mixed forest kept flying into our lines and making it feel like there were fish nibbling on the flies. I nearly got hit by several bats, but felt confident that the bats had more of a sense what was going on than I.
And then it happened! Rasmus got one just after dark and about 4 beers in. Magic. Strange panic in the dark and I got the headtorch out. We were both slightly drunk at the time, and the fish was strangely quiet which made the whole thing somewhat more surreal. A lovely brown trout of about 45cm! Not bad at all.
2, maybe 3 more hours passed with lots of splashes and friendly bats but no bites, so we got back to camp and cooked up some lovely tinned stuff and powder mash. Chat, beers and a fire. It was like proper outdoors time.
Got up some time after the crack of dawn with a dead arm, but soon after some fresh coffee and food, we got to the swim again. I felt determined to catch something and sat in my chosen spot.
Now, I'm sure fish aren't the most intelligent beings on the planet, but I am absolutely certain that they were mocking me deliberately on this very fine saturday morning in the forest.
Sitting about 15 metres further upstream from Rasmus, I saw several trout moving to the pool where I had strategically placed my fly and either ignoring it entirely or splashing demonstratively as the swam past, casting only a fleeting glance at my very fine hometied fly. Bastards.
Rasmus just sat there in silence and looked up like something might happen, then brushed it off when it didn't. The man had his fish. He never said a word. He did assume a contemplative pose at one point, but it lead to nowhere.
Lack of sleep, no fish and the iktyological mockery got the better of me and I snapped an old animal skull I found. Very cool and the opportunity to try and get some photos of stuff.
But it was like a dream, there in the forest. Our private spot in the late summer, where woodpeckers, squirrels, buzzards, bats and owls got a bit closer than usual and provided us both with a sense of having been accepted into their world.
Safely back at Rasmus' house, I instructed him in the cleaning process. Just before we got down to it, we realised there was no photo.
Thanks for the trip, Rasmus. Yes. I can go next time:)