Guido Richard: Carefree and only when it's worth it

Guido Richard: Unbeschwert und nur wenn es sich lohnt

Mid-March 2024: Back from New Zealand. After around two and a half months of fishing and enjoying life on the South Island, it was time to return to Europe. I had spent the last fishing trip deep in the mountains on a huge river, where I normally only fished the tributaries, primarily because of its blue water colour, caused by the melting water from the glaciers.

Now it was quite clear due to the low water level and allowed me to spot the fish and fish on sight in sunny conditions.

It was the best possible way to round off this trip and I wanted to be back in Europe in time for the start of spring, full of motivation. The 35-hour flight back was far too long, uncomfortable and when we finally arrived at Frankfurt Airport, it was pouring with rain. It was also cold and when I tried to take a shortcut on the way to the car park, I stepped straight into dog shit ... welcome back!

I spent the first few days recovering, tidying up all my stuff and, as the trout conservation period in France was coming to an end at the weekend, I went fly fishing on a river with a friend. It was cool, but after my experiences in New Zealand it also felt kind of boring. So the desire to go carp fishing came back ...

Thanks to the experience of recent years, I was soon drawn to an area of the river where I had always been able to catch fish in March. I can't really give an exact explanation as to why this area in particular, as there are plenty of them in terms of structure - but most of them are unproductive. But as already mentioned, I had positive experiences here and this good gut feeling alone is often enough to be successful. I fed three kilos of baits with the casting tube and just one day later I was on my bike heading for the spot with ultra-light tackle.

In New Zealand, I had resolved to change something about my carp fishing: I wanted to prioritise only going out in small windows of time in good conditions, fish much more actively, with the lightest tackle (if possible, especially without a boat!) and thus keep the effort significantly lower! The times when I let the carp stress me out should finally be a thing of the past, I had to take the pressure off and take a more relaxed approach. After all, I wanted to have more time for other things, work, social life, other hobbies.
When I arrived at the spot, I cast my two rods, each with a Snowman as hookbait, plus a handful of boilies as supplementary bait.

The perfect spring atmosphere prevailed. Small white fish were active on the surface, the birds were chirping and you could see the first leaves on the trees. It was great to sit on the sleeping mat in the bushes and enjoy the evening atmosphere. I even saw a carp rolling near my right-hand rod.

At around 22:00, the right-hand rod fired off and I managed to catch a small scaly. Nice, first carp of the year!
Just two hours later, the same rod was fired again and a fat mirror found itself in the mesh shortly afterwards. As there is no shipping or current in this area, I was able to let the fish sink and celebrate in the first light of the next morning.
The night had brought another small scaly and two chub. As dawn broke, I was able to photograph the sacked fish from both sides, an old warhorse weighing exactly 19.2kg, which I released back into the river shortly afterwards.

I stayed put until midday, but nothing more happened. The weather got worse again over the next few days and I refrained from going out again. After all, I had resolved not to force anything and only be on the water when it was worth it.
See you soon for new fishing adventures!
Your Guido

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