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.


  1. Well i take my cap of to you, I was out today with a friend and that turned out to be cold enough for me, But the Owl is a good bird to see, And isn't it strange how you knew it was there, Shame you never caught a fish, But you and Steve kept each other company, I would never leave home without him haha,
    Kind regards,

  2. Ah Paddy, I actually love to be out this time of year..The lake with The Common rarely produces in Winter but I'll keep trying...tight lines mate..Gurn

  3. Are all fishermen eternal optimists or just stark raving mad.............!

    Owls, such magnificent birds and as anglers we are lucky to see them more than most.

    Keep at it mate, it will happen.

  4. You've named your kettle?

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry :-)

  5. Tom, I think it's a bit of both really.It's not something we can pinpoint,it's something deep inside that drives me. Thanks for your words of support. Dave,doesn't everyone do that then??......oh right :-s.

  6. Wicker Man......I knoweth how tho'ust felt.

  7. Next time I hope you will catch that common!
    And a trolly is not a bad idea.
    I,m dutch and i follow your blog a few weeks now.
    And i like the way you are writing.

    best Regards
    Ben van Kapel

  8. Thanks Ben, it's always nice to hear from our Dutch friends.You are very fanatical Carpers and as mad as the English.:-)