Fly fishing for Carp has always been on my list of angling things to do. It has however always been well down on the list, somewhere below my first double figure Rainbow, a 20lb plus Salmon and that elusive first Grayling I never seem to get the time to fish for. I can now however now chalk off the achievement of catching my first Coarse fish on the fly without ever intending to go fly fishing for Chub.
Last night I set out with hope more than expectation to the river Ribble looking for an unsuspecting Sea Trout or more than likely two hours of casting practice. Things got exciting on the second cast of the session when something took my fly with a bump and set off down the river Ribble like a steam train. Within seconds the fish had me on the backing before turning on a sixpence and heading back up stream. My heart was thumping out of my chest and my arm shaking with anticipation of landing the monster Sea Trout that had taken a size 12 Peter Ross fishing fly.
The fight went on for twenty minutes with my quarry zig-zagging the Ribble with the speed of Usain Bolt. I never saw the fish once as I kept the rod held high and a tight line. After what seemed an age the fish began to tire and I begun to reel in whilst backing up to the banks of the Ribble.
Then I saw it.
It certainly wasn’t a Brown Trout, Sea Trout or Salmon. This fish looked like nothing I had learned of whilst growing up in the North Tyne valley. Was it a Chub? Lancastrian anglers have told me of the monster Chub and Barbel that lurk in the depths of the Ribble as she meanders towards Preston. I had not intended to go fly fishing for Chub.
The mystery fish was soon landed and photograph taken before putting it safely back in the river. The fish was as wide as my fist – I estimate a weight of about six pounds. Was it a Carp? My mate told me it was a Carp after texting him a picture. Carp in the Ribble – is he having me on? I had not intended to go fly fishing for Carp either!
Another mate reckons it was a Chub due to the presence of red fins.
I still don’t know and I don’t care.
What I do know is that:
- I had a memorable fly fishing trip.
- I had a great fight for twenty minutes.
- I landed a species I have never caught before.
- I returned a beautiful fish to the river to fight again.
- I have a new angling story to tell the world
What do you think it is?