After a break from Blighty (more of this another day) it was a joy to return to my favourite crucian pond and watch the comings and goings of all that live on, in and around this haven. I, of course, spoil the whole scene as I bimble through the undergrowth, brew tea, eat inordinate amounts of pie and pork products whilst watching a float which remains motionless for great parts of the day - the general public if they were to view such a scene would probably think I was mad.......I know otherwise, I am in heaven.
Not much has changed in the few weeks since my last visit. I was pleased to see, if anything, it was more overgrown. Obviously very few other anglers have been to fish and the weed growth was a tad dense and the lily pads were still in fine fettle. I have sensed a slight change in the season these last few days......you can sniff autumn is in the air and as I settled down the wind was blowing in the trees around the pool and the leaves are just on the turn. I love these subtle changes and they make the year of the fisherman all the more memorable.
The crucians had obviously had their breakfast as my float did not stir for some considerable time. This does not matter in the slightest as there is much to observe and take in - the dragonflies were active as were the birds around the pond - long tailed tits were on the wing and having family arguments about the insects they were consuming on a sallow. It always surprises me when the float stirs. When it does it is like a little electrical charge which makes me almost jump from my idle thoughts.
The first crucian of the day is a perfect little bar of gold, a delicate delightful fellow who is handled with such great care as in my eyes he is worth far more than gold. He is admired with wet hands and gently returned to the pond.
My tackle at these two Saxon ponds is delicate - for there are two, one upper and one lower and both completely different in appearance and atmosphere. A small quill float which is gently shotted coupled with my 1950's Hardy General rod and Overend's Speedia reel. That's it - I keep it simple and it will not change for the summer and early autumn here.
I have not caught a single tench all summer although today I lose one in the pads as my mind and eyes wandered - there was the most amazing spectacle of a Brown Hawker dragonfly chasing his lunch through the trees, the most amazing acrobatics I have seen of late. Just as the afternoon moved towards evening I continued to catch a few more of these little chaps and was joined by another angler (Stephen) who fished a little further along the path.
The time the float moves and you are coupled to a larger specimen always surprises me, it is one of the joys I guess, and at a tad over 1lb 8oz I was really pleased. Another chubby one graced my landing net and it was soon time to leave.
Stephen and I discussed the atmosphere here, it can be strange and is not surprising for such place of antiquity.......you just know when it is time to pack up and the silence and darkening skies told me now was the time.
Stephen was at the gate and had come with the most welcome of gifts....a jar of his home made jam which, like the crucians, was worth more to me than the price of gold.