Sunday 7 July 2019

Early Summer

Fishing lately has been more of the same.  This consists of going out in the punt and slowly paddling around trying to see signs of fish and usually failing.  I say usually when I could accurately say always, apart from the occasional area of coloured water and patches of bubble and fizz that could be caused by almost anything.  Sometimes I wonder if the multitudes of swan mussels are in league and are trying to confuse me?  Blanking does that to the mind…

A couple of recent trips broke the mould a little.  On the first a couple of weeks ago now, Isaac joined me for a morning in the punt.  I rowed down the stretch while Isaac held a lure rod and trolled his trusty Rapala ‘Angry Bird’.  We hadn’t gone far before the rod was thumped over and he was doing battle with a spirited Jack.  Once I’d reached over and got hold of the trace the fish shook itself off and we set off again.  We fished towards the bottom of the stretch and caught Rudd from the off whilst sitting in the sun and listening to Eoin Morgan smashing the Afghan bowlers all over Manchester.  Catching silvers was so easy we actually switched hookbaits to fake maggots to save having to change so often and made a game of it.  We closed our eyes, dropped our baits in then counted to three before lifting the rod.  We hooked fish on at least a third of occasions.  After a couple of hours we’d had enough so rowed back with Isaac trolling again.  I stopped in a couple of places to put a bit of prebait in and on one occasion Isaac’s lure was smashed as we moved off but this time the fish didn’t stay hooked.  No matter, it had been a lovely morning.

More recently I had a frustrating day and an unusually stressful afternoon before I finally made it to the lake, by which time the first rain in a fortnight was falling.  I’d already decided to forego the punt and fish from the bank for a change, indeed I had a swim in mind, one I’d been dropping a bit of bait into from time to time…  Conditions and time constraints meant looking for fish wasn’t really an option today but I settled into my swim with a little confidence, knowing it had been baited in the recent past.  Unfortunately by this time the long grass had soaked my lower half.

Once in the swim the Oval went up first to shelter me from the strengthening rain, the forecast had said ‘light showers’, it was very wrong.  By 1730 I had three rods out sitting pretty on my pod.  I swung a pop up on a chod rig to my left and chucked a few boilies around it.  Cast a dreaded ‘Zig rig’ into the middle to intercept any cruising fish, well that was the theory…  The third rod was a solid bag full of pellets and crushed boilies with a snowman rig stuffed inside.  This was swung to an overhanging tree on my right. 

After that I did nothing but sit back in my chair sipping tea and sheltering from the now heavy rain while listening to the cricket on TMS.  First up India easily defeated Sri Lanka to take them to the top of the group, for a few hours at least?  The second match was much better, South Africa set a good target and in reply Australia were struggling.  If they failed to win then India would stay top and the Aussies would face England in the Semi final.  The rain settled in and it became one of those English days when you feel like you’ll never see the sun again.  Occasionally the precipitation would ease enough for me to emerge from the shelter and scan the water but I saw nothing to get me excited.  Meanwhile the Aussies had started to make a hell of a fight of snatching a win against the odds.  Eventually scoreboard pressure prevailed and South Africa hung on to win. 

At around 2100 the rain finally cleared out for good and I was able to enjoy the last hour of the day in a little more comfort.  Unfortunately it passed without incident but at least the whirl of thoughts that had churned in my brain had ceased and I felt my usual calm self once more.