It was a beautiful morning when I set out alone from the cottage around the corner to a swim on the small WASI Lake that I had ground baited the day we arrived (4th August 2006). I had decided not to fish this swim for at least a day .
When I arrived there, I could see that the swim was alive with activity. For a change there was no wind, and the lake was like glass. I had seen a couple of peacock sitting on the far bank early that morning, and Sandeep Menon and Vishal who had arrived the afternoon before had just seen a stag while walking around the lake.
For tackle, I used a very light telescopic rod, with 8lb line, on a Shimano 3000 reel with rear drag. The line was tied direct to a tiny rohu hook, which was weighted down with 3 lead shots and a handmade float of the “Wagler” design (courtesy my brother Robby).
I cast towards a cluster of lily pads, but my float drifted ever so slightly to it’s right on a light morning breeze. After a while, the breeze died down, and it did not take long for the first bites to start. These I assumed were from small fish by the way the float bobbed and trembled, but did not go down.
Things went very quiet for a while, and then quite suddenly a small continuous stream of bubbles made an appearance near my float. I thought to myself that the small fish had probably fled due the arrival of something bigger.
Presently Sandeep joined me with a rather huge rod, and did a "Plonk" nearby, when suddenly I saw my float come up and lie flat on the water. I knew that a fish had lifted my “aata” ball laced with Vanilla essence off the lake bed. In a few seconds the float started to disappear sideways under the water, and it went right out of sight. That’s when I struck, and all hell broke loose. The Rohu (or so I assume because of the way the float reacted) took off at high speed for the center of the lake, taking with it at least 30 feet of line. The guards had tied a rope across this portion of the lake to prevent floating weeds from collecting in the corner. Well the fish stopped for a few seconds under this rope, and then took off once again, for the center of the lake. I had set the drag quite loose as I like to control the tension on the spool ever so lightly with my index finger while plying a fish on fixed a fixed spool reel.
The fish stopped once again, and i could hear Sandeep exhale with the tension at the side of me. I thought about the rope, and the damage it would cause to the very light line I was using and decided to increase the tension on the spool a fraction. Thinking back, I should have taken my chances with the rope instead. That’s when the tiny hook parted company with the fish, and I reeled in swearing. Nothing had broken, just the tiny hook had come free.
We had planned to leave for Forbes Sagar at 8 am to try for some masheer, and kept to the schedule, though my heart told me to stay on and fish this very same swim.