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A mixture of coffee and adrenalin is coursing through my veins as I find myself in a kind-hearted members’ heavily laden fishing mobile. It’s 5.30 in the morning and we are hurtling southwards.

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I’m after predators today as on my last visit to Throop I lost a large pike. By large I mean LARGE. I’ve been after a 20lb+ esox on the fly for some time, but to date they have eluded me or managed to escape, rather like a 3lb grayling, which in most people’s books would indicate a change in tack was needed!

It’s now 7.30 and we screech to a halt outside Davis Fishing Tackle shop in Christchurch. Still groggy, with the caffeine now kicking in, we pile into the shop, purchase our day tickets and disappear again in the time it takes to say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

The river looks stunning. It’s a glorious balmy mid-summer’s day and the fish, like everyone else in the country, are feeling lethargic. What’s worse, lethargic is a kind word, as they are not even moving. They are tantalisingly there, clearly within reach, yet immobile.

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I literally wash, nay scrub the faces of a good number of large pike with my fly, but try as I might, I can’t get them to take. I end up targeting other species and manage to catch trout, bream, roach, rudd, dace, stone loach, perch and barbel – the biggest of which might have hit half a pound!

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A good yet hard day’s work in my books, though not quite the monster pike I was after. Next time…

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