Holiday-fishing: adventure along unknown waters
A morning’s fishing at the river Arroux Singing of birds slowly enters my head. Rustling leaves, murmuring water and a French voice far away further complete the picture. A new day in the land of Burgundy has started. I stumble out of the caravan and walk towards the river. A bucket of hemp and luncheon meat in my hand. Carefully I peer over the edge. The clear water reveals blinking flanks of fish busily rummaging the bottom. Barbel and chub searching for the last bits of bait that I dropped in yesterday evening. Our luxurious rental caravan is including over a hundred tins of luncheon meat and 25 kilo’s of hemp so we can bait up a decent swim. Not that it’s necessary to completely dam the river: for a handful of hemp they keep turning over every stone for hours. Yet I find myself in a bit of a hurry walking back to get my rod. The float is already set at the exact depth. The first piece of meat finds its way over the baited track. Nature is stunning here but my eyes are caught by that one red tip in the current. Where I expect it to disappear, I only get a little touch. Quick retrieve for the next drift. Bit of bait with it. After a few yards the float suddenly is gone in a flash. At the same time I feel the fish at the rod tip. It’s on! Drops of water sparkle in the morning sun as a chub of about 12 inches unwillingly comes in. The swim is full of life. I take four more chubs and miss one and thoroughly enjoy myself. When the float disappears for the seventh time, for a second I think I have hooked the bottom. A nice barbel rattles downstream bending double the light matchrod. The fish puts up a tremendous battle but finally ends up in the net. Yes! A couple of minutes later I strike into another fish. The incredible power of this fish makes me think I’ve hooked a record barbel. The fish heavily sticks to the bottom and the thin line is whistling in the wind. After a few exciting minutes a familiar silhouette appears in the water. Bream! Amazing, what a bit of current can do with a fish! Time to visit the boulangerie for the best French invention ever: French bread. This time I resist the temptation of croissants and pain au chocolate but that’s certainly not the rule. When I get back my wife has already made a pot of tea. The kids are running accross the playing-field in pyjamas. A table!