Sunday, 30 January 2011

Phone Wars

Today, for me, was one of the most important days of the angling year, for it is on this day that I rose early, made sure I consumed a hearty breakfast, sat myself down with a fully charged phone (plus a spare) and awaited a certain time.
 The good Lady Sarah, who has always been an important part of the operation had strategically whisked herself off to her father's home to commandeer his phone.
 Why the need for this military mayhem? Well the reason is to obtain an angling date on a farm pool in the heart of Herefordshire, it seems mad really doesn't it? Well, it would be, if that pool wasn't my beloved Redmire.
 Every year I read the horror stories and sour grapes that exude from those that haven't been able to secure a spot. It's simple really, "Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail".
 Thanks to the magic phone fingers of the good Lady I will once again tread the historic banks in early October, less weed then and the fish will be 'aving it'..perfect.

On a different note, as the weather hasn't been too angler friendly of late I have taken to one of my other passions, painting. Have a look at the shop link if you fancy something cheerful, fishy and inexpensive to put on your walls.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Fishing At Last

It seems an age since I was last blessed with time on the bank, the freeze, festive season and illness all conspiring to keep me away from my quest for "The Common".
I knew I had to get out in the relatively warmer weather, not knowing if another freeze is around the corner.
I'd tied rigs the night before even though I'd had more than enough time to do them previously, it's a chore to me, but, of course, a necessary one.
It was dark by the time the wonderful Lady Sarah drove me up to the lake, it is wiser to be dropped off than park a car there overnight.
 The gate lock took some mastering, the tumblers in the lock groaning, suffering from the coldest of winters.
 With all the gear for the night unloaded, I bid the Lady farewell and set about the task of carrying everything to my chosen swim. Not for me, one of those barrows, oh no, I'm far too stubborn to acquire one of them. I'd much rather put my back under immense pressure and yomp through the slippery mud with all manner of things hanging from every available appendage (well, almost !!),  arriving at the swim knackered, although, at least I didn't fall on my arse this time!
 I was the only die-hard on the lake, it was mine for the night and even though I'd not cast a line in anger for over a month, I was able to put the bivvy up, set up and cast the rods into known areas and make a brew (with the merest hint of a brandy) with no real drama.
 "Oh how nice to be back on the bank", I thought..I could wax lyrical about the lake and paint a romanticised picture, however, the truth is a somewhat different matter. It's an absolute nightmare to fish, with the occassional 'erbert prowling around and pretty much everything stacked against you. I'm sure I'll be writing more on this subject as the year progresses.
 As I looked out over a flat calm lake with no sign at all that it contained even a gudgeon, I sensed something behind me. Turning around I was welcomed with the beautiful sight of an owl silhouetted against the moonlight, silently searching out its prey. I wondered how I had been aware of it, I certainly never heard it.
 Retiring to the bivvy and making another cuppa I felt as calm as the lake before me, the moonlight, the quietness, it's why we do it really, isn't it..The Owl broke the silence as it hooted from a nearby tree.
 This calm was not to last as some time later the obligatory rain started and deluged upon me through the night for many hours waking me from a half sleep. On one occassion I awoke and could clearly hear music, a "rave" I though at first, but no, on closer scrutiny, I came to the conclusion that the tunes were akin to those sung in the film 'The Wicker Man'....I sunk my head into my sleeping bag.
 Morning came all to soon, no fish, I hadn't really expected to catch. The cold, the moon, the was still nice to be out.
 A couple of 'friendlies' paid visits during the morning and drank "Steve" (my kettle) dry as the reluctant sun tried to suck up the moisture from my rods and bivvy.

I looked out over the lake, she'd beaten me for another night.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Caption Competition

Here then is the caption competition for this month and from now on there will be some weird or wonderful prize for the best caption. This months prize is a selection of handmade (not by me) floats, two fluted trotters and some rather whacky vaned river floats.
Please write your caption (one per person) in the comments section for the following picture and the one I deem best will be the recipient of said prize. The winner will be announced on February 15th, so you have until then to enter. Good Luck.

Back In Business

After the big freeze and spending all of Christmas suffering from a perforated eardrum (which saw me spend three hours in A&E on Christmas Day) I am now happy to be returning to some sense of normality. I can't wait to get back on the bank in pursuit of "The Common".
 I've pondered that what I'd really like to be doing is getting back to a more traditional form of angling and sometimes I long to get the cane rods back out.....but...I know deep down that I just have to catch this fish. It's under my skin and I'm up for the challenge.
 I'd also like to thank the fine fellows at Bedfordshire Specimen Anglers (soon to be British Specimen Anglers), for sending me the rather fetching hat (above). Check out the site, it's well worth a look.