Sunday, 26 February 2012

Hot To Trot

With the arrival of the cusp between winter and spring, the time is nigh for the concluding chapters of the traditional river season.
I always use this most special time of the year to just get out and enjoy getting out, I actually don't even care if I catch any fish, which sometimes is just as well!
 Arriving at the little plot of a farmer's field that the controlling club would have you believe is a car park, I carefully took out my gear.
 On closer inspection I realised I'd brought along my Chapmans 500 instead of my, as yet, unchristened Lucky Strike. I was intending to do a bit of trotting, oh well, 'keep calm and carry on'.
 I was on the bank of a little river that has a big place in my heart, the Ouzel, a tributary of it's more famous bigger sibling the Gt. Ouse.

With so many swims looking like they should have a sign saying 'A Big Chub Lives Here' I was almost tempted back into specimen hunter mode and to chance my arm.
 After a short walk I found myself sitting aside a nice trottable stretch with a nice snaggy area downstream. "That'll do nicely", I thought, and the sun started to rise up enough for me to feel a little of its heat.
 These days mean so much to me, I talk to anglers all week at work, about baits, methods and product, each has so much to say. Today I'd hear nothing about angling, I'd just be angling.
Having baited the swim with a few maggots and a tiny bit of crumb down by the 'killing zone' and being reluctant to fish straight away, hoping to give the fish some time to find the free offerings, I made tea.
Up and away from the swim I gathered up some of last years dead nettle stems for kindling and. with the help of some firewood I'd brought along, within no time at all the Kelly kettle was starting to 'rattle and hum'.
I wasn't too far away from home and work, but my mind was.
 Laying on my  back in a field looking up into the welcomed blue of early spring, what a treat. Things just happen at times like this, memories are made, so how delightful that four Red Kites soared above swooping and rising on newly found thermals.
Truly majestic birds, they really seem to making a comeback in the Chiltern Hills area, I felt blessed to see them.
 Back in the swim with tea beside, I tendered a first trot. That first cast is usually one I send out with trepidation as it gives a clue to way the day might progress. Today, to be honest, I only really cared that I might not happen to find that overhanging branch with my end-tackle.
 After a satisfying 'plop' the float set off on it's merry way and it was not long after that it bobbed under. A first cast fish, a lovely little Perch, he looked at me, as if to say, "Nice to see you, thanks for the free maggots, can I go home now".

He was soon back home, none the worse for his excursion.
 Then, suddenly my first Kingfisher of the year arrived in the swim, shouting about like an adolescent punk rocker, he even snaffled a small fish from my swim,
 I didn't mind sharing, and neither did he...I went on to catch quite a nice amount of Perch and Roach, none of them big, all of them welcome and appreciated.

These days have a grounding effect on me, they calm and recharge me..What more could we ask from a pastime. I fed my remaining groundbait to a lovely pair of Swans and headed off home.

After such a fine day, feeling the heat of the sun on my face and not  speaking to a sole,  I felt that it couldn't get much better. It did though........I found Excalibur...Some of you will know what this means, I'll write of it in a future blog.
 As I strolled back to the car, I pondered that I was a lucky man and that I might be back next week, with Excalibur....and the Lucky Strike.


  1. How lovely, beautifully written. Felt I was there and satiated my appetite to get up and go.

  2. Very engrossing and passionately written Gurn.

    The Red Kite is one of my favourite birds,they
    glide about with such ease and their prowess is without a doubt jaw-dropping.

    It certainly looks like you had a splendid days fishing and to also have the king of fishers grace you with its presence, made it that bit more special.

  3. Trotting on a spring day and Excalibur found - the perfect day.