Saturday, 20 February 2010

Wide Eyed and Restless

There are times and places that set the mind wandering,I'm not one to be afraid of the dark and all manner of night time wails and screeches are like water off of a ducks back to me.There have been visitations from ancient long gone anglers on old historic pools,gunshots in the dead of night,big cats,invasions by aliens from another planet!!! I've had them all and not batted an eyelid.Sometimes though,not very often,I have gone to that murky area in the old grey cells that says"Here mate,Do you realise that you're sat in the middle of nowhere,miles from your nearest and dearest and you haven't a clue what's out in the darkness,right there....right here."
It's the Summer,I'm sitting alone on a remote stretch of the Great Ouse,the baited rig has been cast and it's staying there until something happens,darkness is upon me and the river now has different sounds to the ones I heard just an hour ago.The reeds I sit amongst suddenly have all manner of bugs crawling around their upright stems and every now and then a bigger beast walks through,Mink? Otter? Tiger?? An Owl hoots,I stand up and look in the field behind,nothing but black.
It starts to rain and on goes the coat,all the nocturnal noises drowned by the torrent of a summer downpour,weird,wet,but warm.I sit watching the isotope on the rod tip,is that a twitch?Something hit the line..About half an hour later the rain has stopped,the air is fresh,my hearing is now more responsive,I look behind into the field.....nothing.
A rather large splash in the water directly opposite my position,a fish?...a big fish?Then something very strange occurs,the water in front of me,right above my bait rises about 2 to 3 inches in a bow wave as if something rather large is travelling(quickly) just under the water.My first impression is that a dog Otter has jumped in the river opposite and swam directly towards me and has now veered and is rapidly motoring off downstream,it unnerves me,I've not observed such an event before.I stand up look around,behind...nothing.
I sit and begin to think"Oh well,any fish in the vicinty are long gone" then,round the tip goes,twice in quick succession,the strike is met with resistance,I'm in,Barbel? the dull headtorch..Chub,a good Chub fighting so hard,as if he's thinking"That Otter had better not turn up now"..After the usual hairey minutes of madness and mayhem I wade out enough to net him,he's mine.
I leave the fish in the net whilst I set the camera for self-take,it's started to drizzle again,I find the sling and scales and do the honours 5lb-11oz,I'm happy with that.One quick shot of the fish,perhaps the worst self-take I've ever managed,release him back to his home,stand up,look around,behind..BULL !! GREAT BIG WHITE CHAROLAIS BULL with a ring through his nose no more than six feet away and staring straight at me,he's obviously been beamed down from somewhere not of this world and he is BIG.
OK,all I hear now is my heart beating..landing net pole ..yep..that's my only defence.I'm stood there wielding a landing net pole at 40 odd stone of prime beef and it's a stand-off.Maybe a little tap on the nose?,nothing...a bit harder? nowt..Ten minutes,ten long minutes,before he decides,on his terms, that I'm not worth the hassle and slowly plods off into the dark......the dark that I now have to walk home through.

1 comment:

  1. Blimey I beat you S@*t yourself those Charolais are huge. He was probably just checking you out seeing if you had a bucket with some food in. You know it's not wise to walk around in the dark in a field full of hungry bulls, dressed as farmer Barley mo Gurn ;)