It was a nice fish, over four pounds but one that should have gone much bigger. There have been quite a few like it this season, the head of a five or six but with the body of a tadpole.
The fish that was lost was Neil's. He appeared behind me with a face that I at first thought meant he had broken his beloved cane rod. But no, he had lost a big barbel at the net. A fish that was undoubtably an eleven, probably a twelve........... maybe even bigger.
The circumstances of the loss were due largely to Neil using my old Mitchell 410. I had told him at length that old reels were ornaments not tackle but he wanted to get one on it and it bit him in the bum.
There is nothing you can say to console someone who has lost a big fish. The sensation of loss, sickness and despair is familiar to all of us yet, I've always said that its the fish we lose or fail to catch that bring us back to the river. After a period of hurt the Boy will be back and will fish with a renewed sense of determination and hopefully, he will meet that fish again.