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Silver Scales Fly Tying›

Moonlight Battle

Like a great searchlight, the not quite full Moon glowered in the night sky just over my right shoulder, illuminating the back of my right arm and hand, and extending it’s ethereal glow along the blank of my rod. Lights on the mainland and further along the coast peppered the dark shadows of distant as well as not so far away civilisation. All was still and calm save for the slightest hint of cool breath from the south east. Waist deep now, the water pushed past my companion and I, left to right as the tide flooded inwards. Standing a yard or two apart, my partner and I covered two slightly different areas of the black liquid salt that we hoped would yield the silver prizes we coveted. No words were exchanged at this point as we were both lost in deep concentration, extending our senses out into the night, from our fingertips, along the rods and down through the braid to the soft lures being carried along by the current, feeling for our chance to make contact with our quarry. A cast had been made and now I was feeling my lure along the drift line, whilst slowly turning the reel handle to keep a balanced contact, My soft plastic swung across in front of me two thirds through its trajectory, when I sensed a changed in the weight of the rod tip, followed by the gentlest of taps, and by another, and then a second slight weight shift, then the rod tip slowly began to tilt downwards ever so lightly. This was it, a fish had picked up my offering and was making ready to swallow its meal. With my grip on the rod being light I allowed the tip to tilt further down towards the water all the while preparing to set the hook. All this happening in just a few seconds, waiting for absolutely the right moment to make my play. With a tightening of my grip and a turn of the reel handle, I uttered quietly, “ I’m in..” to my companion, who turned to watch just as I made a sweeping strike, setting the hook. The rod buckled over and on feeling the resistance, an unseen beast set about making the reel concede line, tearing off on a powerful run, I braced against the forceful pull, praying the hook had set properly. Bass had been hard to come by this night, compared to previous forays, the bright lunar lamp in the sky keeping them out in the deeper un wadeable water, only the odd braver fish venturing into the shallows to hunt for prey, whereupon this one had encountered what it thought looked a suitable victim, but by the time it realised it’s mistake it was too late, and now, here we were, immutably tethered in battle, two warriors clashing swords by the light of the moon….

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