As cars go by I cast my mind's eye
Over back packs on roof racks
Beyond the horizon
Where dream makers
Working white plastic processors
Invite the unwary
To reach for the pie in the sky
Go fishing my boy !
Today, I had pretentions of catching myself a fine Perch from my local river with cane and pin..I didn't., but, I did have a splendid couple of nostalgic hours.
My Chapmans 500 lissom wand of cane does not have the correct rings on it. My old Speedia centrepin, rescued from someones shed when seized up and neglected, now runs free and long. It does, however, have a wonky handle. I find these imperfections endearing and they have far more character than my modern gear.
What better tools then for a couple of snatched hours on the river ?
Not today, the mackerel'd skies of yesterday after the wind had blown, instead, blue and clear, though the winds had left their mark.
I hoped that the Crack Willows had completed all the cracking they had to do this week!
The walk to the river from my front door took exactly seven minutes, it acts as a boundary between town and country, on one side a factory with noisy fork-lifts and lorries, on the other a protected water meadow.
Having tackled up with a small drilled bullet and large Lobworm I nestled myself amongst the invasive and alien Himalayan Balsam, it's a plant that the rangers around here have an ongoing battle against, I actually quite like it, and so do the Bees.....and I like Bees, a lot.
The first marginal cast is usually a hint to the way things pan out on this little haven...nothing happened.
I was soon distracted by a Treecreeper searching out grubs and insects from a tree on the opposite bank, then, a Great Tit gave a 'Tweet Tweet' from a higher limb...Still the rod stayed static.
On a short river session I will stay in an unproductive swim no longer than fifteen minutes., so I was soon on my way.
The next little pool I visited had me sitting a little too precarious for my liking, on the opposite bank I could clearly see pram-faced teenagers pushing their offspring and elderly couples on matching disability scooters, but they didn't spot me.
A knock, yes, a definite knock, then again....strike....a perfect Chublet, so small that the worm really was longer. The river does need at least another foot on it for decent Perch action, only, I just couldn't wait any longer.
Moving on then, the bridge, surely a stripey marauder lurks here.
In the fifteen fishless minutes I sat in this swim,ten people crossed its span, only one stopped to look and stare, a small child hanging from her Mother's hand waved at me as her parent hurried on thinking about food shopping and the electricity bill. It would seem that many have lost that youthful awe at ones natural surroundings, I'm happy to not count myself amongst them, how else would I have noticed my friend the Kingfisher as he shot past at speed along the winding flow.
As the sun shone through the willows, I saw my final swim in a different light, it had previously seemed unassuming, but now became an interesting place to sit, even though I was now on the factory side by the the path and had received a least one glance from a passer-by that seemed to say, 'What's that weirdy beardy up to ? There's no fish in there.'
Then, just when I thought it wouldn't, the tip juddered around, I struck to solid resistance, and a fight ensued that led me to believe I'd hooked that elusive three pound Perch, for they do live here.
It was not a Perch though, it was a right old character of a Bream, battle scarred, it had clearly been in a few scrapes in its time, a few chunks missing from its tail, maybe a narrow escape from an Otter.
He certainly fought like a fish that knew how to survive, and as I returned him I felt happy to end the day right there, not wanting to cast again, so I strolled the short way home and back to present day life, happy with my lot.