The wonder of modern technology amazes me - I was just settling down to my first brew of the day, the air was still and there was a quiet murmur of bird song above the increasing wind. I could be anywhere, any time. Nestled in a quiet fold of Wiltshire, just over the border from my home county of Dorset are two ancient ponds that I am coming to love very much. I had completely removed myself from the outside world.....for the time being this very place was my world.
I heard the gentle buzz of an incoming text message. It was from The Captain "where on earth are you?" - it was before seven and I had been here, staring at my quill float, before five. An unearthly hour I know, but somehow in my excitement I had forgotten to tell The Captain. All was well.
There is not a great deal that will get me out of my bed at three thirty in the morning, but a last minute day off work and a last minute thought of fishing for crucians got me so excited to a level I had not experienced in a long while.
The journey is memorable, the day just beginning and the odd sign of creatures returning home to bed after a night on the prowl are the perfect prelim to actually arriving and casting out. I open the gate quietly and, lights off, free-wheel down the hill.
The weather has been lovely this summer, a true mix of everything and after some really hot days it was pleasant to feel the wind in my face and only the odd spot of rain.......not enough to make it unpleasant.
The top pond was the order of the day after spotting, in the half light, fizzing, churnings and movement of the lily pads which made the water the colour of a Caramac bar.....this is where I would fish. The weather had made the fish active and hungry.
A small handfull of "secret" bread mash, some "special" bread paste on my barbless hook and cast out, just a very short distance on the edge of the lily pads and wait.
There was no dawn chorus today, it does get significantly quieter at this time of year, but just the odd gentle warble here and there. This magical place is noted for its dragonflies, but again there was no sign. The resident moorhen family kept me amused with their busy breakfast gathering and family goings on.....one of my favourite birds on a fishing trip, they exude a quiet waterside happiness.
Crucians can be notoriously difficult to catch. Clever, delicate feeders they can fiddle about with your bait driving you crazy as you miss bite after bite. This was the order of the morning coupled with quiet cursings from me, but still ever so happy to be here.
I managed to catch six lovely little bars of gold - I adore them and, as I may have posted previously, I now understand what all the fuss is about. My friends have been bewitched by crucians for some time and I kept my distance until last year when, I too, came under the spell of the golden vision.