That period of time, between the moment the fish is hooked until it is landed. Half of the work has been done and perhaps, half the satisfaction achieved. I guess each anglers desires are as diverse as their personalities. For me, the take is very special – knowing that you have fooled the fish with deceptive trickery. Hooking the fish is a whole other chapter, but once it is hooked the next step is to play it out with minimal harm to the fish. Will you land it? Will the hook bust free? Will your tippet handle those head-shakes? Did your line just touch those rocks? Will the fish charge under that bank? These moments are tense. The job is never completely done until you tail-wrap that fish, or until it slips securely into the net. For me, the task is not entirely rounded off until you grass the fish, pop the hook out, snap off some images for the memory bank and revive that fish until it swims away strongly. You can relax, job done, you can squeal, you can high-five – you can exhale. That moment when the whole world stops hassling you, when the battle between your passion, desires and that fish has come to fruition, is pretty bloody good.
Image by Andy Howell.