Monday, 8 April 2013

Foiled Again.

Amidst the local upper class homes with their optimistic solar panels, lay the ashy remains from burners of long gone boats in this short pound of the Grand Union Canal.
 Tucked below a sprouting hawthorn hedge, my only shelter from icy gusts, I sit.
 My mind, really lost to future fat tench, this carpy distraction just a stop-gap until warm arrives.
 It's been some time since I cast a rod for carp here, though I live just minutes away.
 This morning has been the usual disorganised affair. My search for one of my many forceps has taken me to the shop for a new one. It is now past midday.

 Sitting here behind my two Shimano Twin Powers, I wonder what the coming season has tucked up it's sleeve for me.
 I lack interest for carp, yet here I am, filling the conditions. It has to be said though, that my interest could be re-kindled in mere minutes.

 Fishing towards a rather large growth of bamboo has a certain irony. I'd thought about bringing the MkIV., maybe another day.
 A narrowboat travels left to right, I wind in and it heads toward the lock. There it waits, another boat coming from the opposite direction. There's no point recasting just yet.
 As I drink some tea, mothers push their children, and cyclists zip by, donning their hi-viz fish scarers. None notice the moorhens furnishing their new home with the bamboo leaves.

 The lock gates swing open, pleasantries are exchanged and I wait for the boat to pass before replacing my baits. The boatman pessimistically conveys that, "An angler in this spot yesterday caught nothing all day" "Cheers for that" I reply, "Oh, and there's another four boats coming through"....."Nice".

 What followed can only be described as a convoy of narrowboat traffic, the likes of which I have never encountered. They were queuing up at the lock in both directions and I was unable to cast in nearly two hours.

By the time the fifteenth boat had passed, I'd arrived at the end of my tether. "Caught much?" The chap asked, "Just a cast would be nice mate, fifteen boats in under two hours, I'm waving the white flag and going home" and home I went, somewhat less relaxed than had I stayed there in the first place.


  1. Gurn,

    That made me laugh "Just a cast would be nice mate".I hope you spat those words out in a caustic manner.;-0

    1. I was a bloomin' gibbering wreck by then Monty. As a rule, I treat the boaters with respect. My thoughts being that the canal was built for boat traffic. My ancestors worked the boats so I do also have an affinity. That said, I do pay to fish the canal, and bloody well didn't get to today. My retort could've been a lot worse mate.

  2. Aah, the pleasures of angling midday when the schools are closed Gurn!

    1. Yes George, much of it was holiday traffic. I have learned now. the time they leave the marina, and which direction they all go...;-)

  3. Gurn, don't give up, fish the wee hours — those secretive invisible carp they contain are the toughest challenge but when you find yourself attached to one, in the first few minutes you will not know if you're pulling it from their world into yours, or you're being pulled into their world by it. The fight I had after midnight last year was probably the most astonishing tussle I have ever had with any fish I have ever hooked.

  4. You're not wrong Jeff. I cut my carp angling teeth on the Grand Union many years ago. I think the reason they fight so hard is because of the confined space and relative lack of depth. I remember reading of your canal carp exploits last year with a knowing smile. I'll be back.

  5. So, next time the check list goes ..... forceps, bait, piano wire, landing net.....

    I think you'll return mucker, those canal carp are a worthy opponent.