Thursday, 11 November 2010

Why Do We Do It ?

The fronds of the Pampas grass swayed delicately in front of a blue sky as I set up for the night on "Pampas Point". However, I was the only person on the lake, I knew the forecast wasn't good but I cannot pick and choose my days and that unseen, unknown force had driven me to go.
The kettle went on and baits went out over an area I'd baited a couple of days previously. A fellow bailiff, Dave, strolled around, walking his dogs. His first words "You must be f****** mad"..I laughed, but when he showed me the projections of the incoming weather on one of them new fangled phone "Apps", well let's just say I considered abandoning the session...The fact is though, that the urge to fish was greater.
 As the light faded the air became cold, very cold but as is my way I stood outside the bivvy looking for signs of activity. As my breathe took on that smokey appearance and I was just about to retire for a brew, out in the lake, about a hundred yards away, a Carp crashed. This was good enough for me, I reeled in a rod baited with a Pallatrax 'Jungle' pop-up fished on a Chod rig and cast it towards the area. I nailed the cast exactly to the spot then went for the shelter and relative warmth of the bivvy.
 The temperature plummeted over the next hour and a half, so I was surprised when a run came on the Chod rod, the cold air hit me and I couldn't believe that my rods, bivvy and un-hooking mat were now white and icy. I struck and connected to a Carp at range, after a couple of minutes the line went slack and I thought I'd been cut off, I reeled in everything, the hook had pulled. Most fish in this lake are over  20lb, some are much bigger, they don't give themselves up easily, I was gutted.
 Back in the bivvy, I made some Hot chocolate with a nip of Brandy to warm myself and retired to the cosiness of my sleeping bag.
 At 3 am the temperature was warmer but it was now absolutely chucking it down with rain (surprise!), a deluge of biblical proportions which waterlogged the ground around my shelter forming puddles and creeping upon my groundsheet, this continued on into daylight.
 It was then that the gales started......

The ground, was so sodden that the pegs of my only shelter were ripped out and flew in all directions, this wasn't fun. I jumped out to replace pegs, the futility of it all was more than frustrating.

My poor beleagured home was clinging on by its fingernails, at least the sun popped out for a while, the wind still howled upon my exposed position.
 I made the decision to start packing away, bad move, for the very second I removed my overwrap, the heavens opened..I cursed the sky in desperation. All that came back was a huge gust of wind that left everything strewn around, getting wet. Dave had actually turned up to fish by now, and laughed later at my disposition and the irony of it all.

I simply threw everything into anything and made my escape.
 Let's re-cap then, I'd been alone all night, frozen, sleepless, wet, windswept, all my kit was either sodden or broken and to cap it all, I'd lost a bloody fish.
 Why then do we do it ? What is it that drives us to go through such extremes for a fish ?
 Rod Hutchinson once described Carp fishing as "An obsession that drives a man from the arms of a good woman."..Is it primal instinct ? Surely not, as that would keep you IN the arms of a good woman.
 As I spoke later to the good Lady Sarah I said,"If I ever say to you that I'm going fishing, knowing that the forecast is bad, please, please remind me of this session." She looked at me lovingly and replied, "I will my dear, will still go."


  1. We do it because we know, we absolutely know, that despite these setbacks our next trip WILL produce that magic fish or that bagful that we so richly deserve!

  2. She sounds a very wise woman Gurn.

    My wife laughed the other evening when i headed out,"you will be back soon" she said when in the car park the temperature dipped down to minus three............. i hate it when she is right LOL

    It will never stop me going out, nor the many others who are mad like me!!!

  3. Thats great footage Gurn, Seems all of the fishermen and women i know including me are as mad as a march hare hahaha When will we ever learn,

  4. I think I must be getting old (or soft) as I now take notice of weather predictions. That's not to say that I haven't suffered in the past though.

    But just think, had you landed that fish it would have been a true red letter day, a fish from the appalling conditions is a prize indeed and you would have remembered it for ever.