Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Flip Side

It's Monday evening, the weather is good so the shop has been busy and I'm the only fellow serving and giving advice. It seems that everyone needs my attention but my mind wanders, meandering off to the banks of a nearby lake, a lake I will fish tonight for Catfish. My feet ache, my eyes are strained and the day drags long,long....Hmmm Catfish, big Catfish. The very fact that I am discussing this wonderful pastime of ours all day, somehow makes the longing to fish more acute in my mind.
 It's two minutes to five, a chap walks in, picks up a basket...I am polite and pleasant, but in reality I wish the fellow had come in an hour ago. Fifteen minutes later (that's thirteen minutes after closing time) he pays and I close up the shop.
 I have now caught the traffic of the factory workers leaving the nearby industrial estate, oh to just be at the waters edge right now.
 Home, grab a bite, quick bath, change to angling the room of The Intrepid Piscator, "Catfishing, now where are the rigs I spent an hour tying last night?, large forceps?, beefy rods? Have I forgotten anything?....No...Yes!!...bait...anything else?, think.....No, lets go fishing.
 I load the car, backwards and forwards four times with so much stuff for a comfortable night then off to the lake.....more traffic...come on...otherwise someone else will be in the swim.
 I reach the gate, get out of the car, unlock the gate,get in the car, drive through, get out of the car, lock the gate....this procedure I repeat another two times before parking up.
 Tackle unloaded, no barrow for me, they are for cisseys, right?, I should be able to do the trip to the other side of the lake in one journey. Off I set, laden with Holdall, Rucksack, Unhooking Mat and Bedchair's a killer, but I'm not ready to barrow yet, of course!
 There it is then, the view I've longed to see all day, except when I imagined it earlier there wasn't another angler bivvied up there, just there...I continue around the lake and settle for the next best..grrr.
 Ah the relief when that rucksack slides off the back...time to construct camp.
 The air is muggy and the sweat drips from my brow as I try to insert bivvy pegs and banksticks into a ground reminiscent of concrete with a modicom of stealth. After another forty minutes the rods are baited, cast and I can finally relax, even though I cannot find my headtorch and fear it may be at home. I sit back at last, for the first time today...I am fishing.....then something happens, something so predictable these days that it is truly, truly beginning to get to me. "Was that a Rudd topping, there's another...No...not Rudd..Rain....AGAIN".....the heavens open, I dive for cover.
 Confined to barracks I stare out into torrent until, finally, it abates. It's nearly dark now, twilight, that time, on a warm, humid eve, when our friend the mosquito comes out to play. I'm alright though because I am now in possession of that stuff that sounds like a ladies moisturising product from a well known door-to-door cosmetics company. You know, that stuff the British Army uses in Belize and every Highland Ghillie uses to deter the midges, the stuff every angler that knows about, gives that knowing nod....I'm sorted..quite lucky really considering that my all singing, all dancing, all year round sleeping bag is still too hot at this time of year even though I have removed the winter inner section, and I will have to sleep on top of it.
 Into slumber then....deep sleep, I dream of a large moggy, but hey,what's that noise? A buzzer screaming out?, nope, that noise is rain on my bivvy roof, relentless until daybreak when I get to look at motionless bobbins instead of motionless isotopes.
 My one salvation is a delivery of food by the good Lady Sarah, I look at her,after my fourth blank in a row, through sunken eyes, my skin akin to a 'dot-to-dot' such are the amount of insect bites............."Any Luck?", she asks!

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh fishing. You gotta love it ;-)

    Get yerself a barra' mate, they really do make life easier.