Friday, 19 June 2015

Back Amongst It.

It's always there, it's a calling. The Great Ouse, sometimes I forget that I miss it, but yes, I'm always conscious that it's flowing mass somehow has this impact upon me. It's not called 'Great' without reason. I curse myself for letting life get in the way, but sometimes it must.
 Treading pathways, newly formed by the excited river angler, I stroll, focussed.
 In the back of my mind I know where I will end up but kid myself that I shouldn't be blinkered, so view other likely places through nettle and over broad leafed plantain the size of side plates, it grips at my stride. These moments have missed me too..Uncaught fish, lost memories, but now I'm here it feels cosy and correct.
 Inevitably, I'm in a swim that has been kind in the past. These days you take what you can on the Ouse.
 Somehow the fish are secondary here, though when they happen along you know that you deserve them.
 Settling in, one rod, baited, waited, cast. Instantly I realise that my once accustomed body is not as ready to sit on an old Lafuma low chair as it might be.
 The odd angler strolls the far bank, not enough to bother a searcher of solitude. I exchange an obligatory nod and nothing further..Move on, nothing to see here!
 The rod tip jags twice..why am I still lazily looking at it? jags twice again and I lift the rod and start to play the fish in a position that seems too low down...I get to my feet, eventually.
 After a spirited initial surge, so typical of the chub, he tries to ram his way beneath the near bank. He's mine Ouse fish, first of the season.

With the rod re-cast I sit back down with what I can only describe as a feeling of smugness, not because of the fish but because I am alone, at peace. Is it selfishness? No apology here.
 A pair of swans with two young arrive downstream, grazing on the present weed. They're noisy, but in a good way. I'm reacquainting myself with these once familiar sounds.
 A great heron soars above, screeching like something from the Jurassic, searching for a spot to fish and though I hear the other 'fisher I do not see his flash of azure.

It occurs to me how little I actually watch the rod tip directly, though I'm always aware of it in my peripheral vision. There's too much going on to worry about bites,  a sharp tap re-focusses the
mind for a few seconds. It may sound a bit weird, but I believe that I could actually somehow feel a bite without even looking.
 The light is beginning to fade and my swim takes on a spiritual vibe with  more than a couple of citronella incense sticks burning around me.
 The mosquitos and midges swirl in great vortices atop the trees like starlings coming to roost or the funnels of insect tornados. I've never seen this before, silhouetted trees like arboreal log cabins look to have smoking chimneys, such is the abundance of these bugs.
 With the coming of the insects, so come the bats, amongst my favourite creatures, their acrobatic displays are worth the ticket fee alone. I often wonder why they sometimes fail to detect fishing line though!

One of the many advantages of using a cane rod is that any available light bounces off of the varnish rendering the rod white...I have my own light sabre, no isotopes here.
 A Tawny Owl screeches from the trees and a large unseen flock of noisy birds passes above as dusk becomes dark.
 Just before midnight the downstream swans become agitated and the cob hisses incessantly. He's definitely disturbed, it can only mean one thing, a predator is close. Human? Fox? ..... a couple of minutes later a large dog otter swims nonchalantly through my swim..and so, nature tells me it's time to go home.


  1. Great blog mucker.... its been way too long.

  2. Wonderfully descriptive. A great read Gurn.

  3. I was with you there for a moment.
    Thank you.