Wednesday, 25 January 2012

'Nothing For A Pair, Not In This Game!'

The work party ethos is one of camararderie, of team building. A place for men to bond whilst sloping off and dodging the hard work that the few seem to do each year. Why then did I find myself alone this cool, damp morning with a shovel and a barrow. Fact is, all bailiffs must attend a mandatory pair of work parties. I had already put in one good shift. I'd even tried to save a few trees from the bloke on every syndicate that can use a chainsaw (because it makes him a man). Alas, the trees fell in my absence. On a brighter note, the willow he 'took out' last year 'because it was rotten' has made a miraculous recovery.
 I received the text a couple of weeks ago "work party 29th jan plz atend", fact is, I can't "atend". I have a very important task on Sunday, more of which I will divulge next week.
 There I am then, cold handed, creaky backed, humping barrow loads of finest CEMEX gravel along the tracks to fill in the ruts and puddles.There's a pair of anglers on the opposite side and I recognise them as regulars as one raises an arm aloft...My toil continued, back and forth with a full load, I questioned my offer to put in a solo shift.
 After about 3 hours my body told me that enough was enough...Now it was time for the reward.
 I'd brought along a bag of bits, a landing net and The Lucky Strike.
 As I strolled round a pair of magpies flew into view, a good omen? I chatted to the anglers,they informed me that they had not caught a fish in six sessions and couldn't believe how they had just switched off.
 Oh well, I settled at a nice snaggy swim. there must be  Perch or something lurking.

The Lucky Strike, I think I will call her Lucy, looked resplendent, paired up with my trusty wonky handled Speedia. Small waggler, size 20 Drennan hook, single red maggot, pinkies as feed.
 I cast out and poured some tea from the flask, no kettle today, I was travelling light. No bites were forthcoming, but as I sat there, contemplating my surroundings, I couldn't help but wonder about the fish that Lucy had landed in a former life, many years ago, and the gentle men at Allcocks who'd cut, planed and glued, I really did get lost in another place for a while. This is the magic of cane, I never wonder or indeed care, who, or what, has built my modern rods, they don't have the same aura..Lucy, however, is alive again.
 A while later, a pair of swans paddled into the swim, why do some anglers tend to flap and flail at them? They were most welcome visitors, even if I wasn't sharing my sandwiches. One took quite a shine to Lucy.

I continued to spray a couple of pinkies at regular intervals, hoping for that first magical bob of the float. A pair of green woodpeckers flew into a nearby bush, making a right old noise. I'm not sure if they were a male and female having a row, or two males arguing over territory, but eventually one told the other to 'do one', so it did, swiftly followed by the other. They are quite splendid birds, their garish colour and gangling flight makes them proper characters.
 No bites then ? This needed investigating, I had a hunch. I climbed the bank behind me and put on the polaroids. Yep, there they were, two Jack Pike, sitting mid-water in my swim. No Roach or perch here then. I decided to move to the other side of the bush.

Now although I was away from the Pike, I did feel a tad blatant in this swim, the gin clear water allowing maximum visibility to my scaly mates. At this point pair of pheasant clambered through the undergrowth, I was now wondering if the bird population was getting that springtime feeling early.
 The two anglers walked past on their way home having not had so much as a bite. I was now alone.
 It might now be a good time to tell you that about a week ago I saw three police cars and two vans on the small lane behind the lake. Lady Sarah and I wondered what the fuss was all about. Now I'd mentioned this to my father at the time. It was only this morning, however, whilst kindly dropping me off at the lake, that he told me that a big cat, described as puma-like had been spotted in the vicinity...I WAS NOW ALONE!!
 He was driving back this way soon, so after another hour and no fish, I called it a day.
 The rod is a dream, I already know she's a goodun, I will have to wait for that special first fish though, because despite seeing a pair of magpies, a pair of anglers, a pair of swans, a pair of pike, a pair of woodpeckers, a pair of pheasants, and doing a pair of work parties. Apparently, you get nothing for a pair in this game!
Oh well, at least I didn't get eaten by a puma.


  1. Hahaha pair of magpies, a pair of anglers, a pair of swans, a pair of pike, a pair of woodpeckers, a pair of pheasants, and doing a pair of work parties, I thought you were going to start building an Ark,
    Lucy looks so at home on the rod rests,
    The name has given her caracter,
    As for the big cat, If it were close all those birds and the pair of fishermen would have past you at great speed haha,
    Top Blogging Gurn,

  2. The rod looks somehow out of place resting in shiny stainless steel rests Gurn, cut yourself a twig next time : )

    And it won't take long, rods like that just love to bend.

  3. I think you are right Dave, the quest for Excalibur continues.
    That cat sighting appeared in the local paper today, apparently the farmers and pit workers see it regularly, and say it's friendly !!!

  4. A puma, pah, wait until you hear about the Wye Valley Panther, now that is a story that has kept me awake many a long night on beat two!

  5. Maybe take a saucer of milk next time then : )

  6. cracking rod gurn, i must agree with Burr'y get some twigs for rests.. BSC

  7. cracking rod gurny old chap.... lucy very lucky eh? BSC

  8. Indeed BSC, I have been on the lookout for that perfect 'keeper' forked twig for some time now, as that rascal Burr well knows. The problem is that I have my heart set on some hawthorn and finding the perfect 'twig' is proving difficult. That Fennel fella has a lot to answer for!!