Guido Richard: A premiere in Saint Cassien (4)

Guido Richard: Une première à Saint Cassien (4) | Hammer Tackle

Like every morning, well before sunrise, we set off for the water to the famous pointy point mentioned in the previous blog. In the morning we have a very precise routine to load the boats without wasting any time. We each have three large hammer bags that we place on the bottom of the boats like Lego bricks. This forms a second floor where we stack the rest of our belongings. It takes us less than three minutes! This is a very big advantage for changing positions regularly without getting tired. In rainy weather, there is no need to set up shelter as all belongings in the bags will stay dry while you plan your fishing trip.

When we get to the point, we spread out the rods like we did the day before, baiting very little, just a few wrists, in the hope of being able to trigger a bite very quickly. The weather forecast promises good weather, at eight o'clock we are already hot and we use the wonderful blue water of the lake to cool off. Luckily the wind should pick up in the morning.

Just before the wind picked up, around 9am, one of the poles we had placed directly at our feet as we descended the headland unfolded.

Laurent and I rush into the boat without putting any pressure on the fish to prevent it from getting stuck in one of the many obstacles on the bottom. When I arrived more or less directly above the fish after a few vigorous strokes from Laurent, I decided to make contact. The fish is free of all obstacles and begins to walk gently around us for a few moments, then suddenly everything stops. At the end of the stick I no longer have any sense of life, just an enormous weight that I cannot move. We try to get around the obstacle to apply pressure from different angles. It's final, nothing changes. It's a feeling of déjà vu from the day before when we lost a fish in the same way. There doesn't seem to be any help in freeing the fish, so I pass the rod to Laurent, who manages to free the fish with a few tries. A real battle begins here. The fish runs around the point for many minutes. Every time we regain the upper hand for a few seconds, the reel starts whistling again. After another powerful rush, the fish seems tired and returns to the water layer. We see a huge dark mass in the transparent water of the lake and when we manage to counteract it and throw it into the landing net, our joy is immense. In addition, its size is imposing, its scales form an almost perfect zipper.

Back on the bank, while Laurent changes his leader and the completely skinned leader, I take care of putting the fish in a bag to prepare it for the photo shoot. Given the condition of the leader, we were very lucky to get this fish out. For the first time in Cassien we are really satisfied and happy with our small results. Even if I had dreamed big, I wouldn't have dared to dream of a fish like that the first time I came here!! Certainly a big piece of luck, but in my opinion also a reward for our efforts. The numerous position changes and weather-dependent pre-starts in positions where we really weren't sure whether we would get the place in time paid off. Since neither of them managed to take photos with the self-timer, we each took a souvenir photo of the fish. Maybe this isn't to some people's taste, but as I said in a previous blog, fishing is just the result of team fishing, putting everything together to maximize the results.

It's warm at home at the moment, but outside it's almost minus ten degrees. The memories of the photo session with my feet in the water and the dive that followed the release of the fish encourage me for the few weeks of cold that remain before I can return to more comfortable temperatures.

The rest of the day was very quiet, apart from capturing a small mirror before dark. Given the temperatures forecast for the next morning and the weekend ahead, we decided to leave the lake to spend the two remaining days of fishing somewhere else, away from all the tourists. We were very happy with our fishing and catching that last big fish was kind of our final testament to us!! See you soon, Saint Cassian!!!

On the way we first mentioned the Rhône as our destination, then without much motivation the Saône and then a big blue dam where we had both fished before. After several long hours of driving, we reached the start. We load the boats, without combustion engines and almost empty batteries. Our options for this fishery were very limited. We ended up on one of the first edges with some flooded bushes and a small cove with dead wood to our right. The rods are placed on site in very little water to intercept fish feeding in the bushes and tall underwater grass. Laurent and I enjoyed the evening in silence.

When we placed the rod in front of a tree stump at daybreak in almost 80 cm of water, we were able to catch a beautiful mirror carp with an atypical shape.

While exchanging messages with a colleague, I learned that another colleague was on duty on the lake. After a call from me, it took an hour for them to come to us at the train station!! Kudos to Alex and Alban, it was really cool.

The next morning the same rod as the day before caught another nice mirror carp. This marked the end of this journey before tackling the few remaining hours of the drive home.

See you soon for new adventures

Guido and Laurent.

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