Thursday, 12 October 2017

Looking over my shoulder...

It's that time of the year.......the turning process which makes each season so mystical. A turning time for us too I guess when we do familiar things. For me it's apples, cider, fires and generally preparing for the colder months. This year however my Summer fishing has been extended. The crucians are still feeding and the pond is looking like it will have a few more weeks before they all hunker down for the dark days ahead.

The weather changed dramatically the other evening.....I was just staring at my float, willing it to twitch when I heard Chris shout "it's coming, here it comes" and the wind charged through the trees and brought an absolute deluge with it. Now, I always tell myself that I take too much gear with me on my trips, but I was mighty pleased to have ye olde faithful (my canvas fishing brolly) and a flask of tea as all raged about me. I kept looking up the path, for this place has its strange moments. I had started my MR James short story viewing early this year, the night before in fact, so I half expected to see a dark shadow move through the trees and be gone before I had actually caught sight of it properly.......this time he was there walking towards me through the herbage. Luckily it was Garry reporting he too was fishless and I was thankful it was not Abbot Thomas. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Neolithic nonsense?

Every time I go fishing these days it seems to absolutely piss down. I don't mean just a shower, but really thrash it down.......oh yes, and you can add a bit of wind too for good measure.

I don't mind really, but as all anglers know it is a real chore drying everything out at the end of the day. This particular trip was one I was looking forward to. Not that I don't look forward to fishing, but going to this place not only brings me the anglers joy but it does something to my soul - I have been at one with this particular landscape for a big chunk of my life. At times we were not on good terms, but now I just sort of roll into its folds and take it all in. I don't want anything especially and certainly do not take it for granted. 

I left the car in glorious sunshine and just as I joined the fisherman's path the skies darkened and all hell broke loose. The walk to the nook that I wanted to fish is treacherous at the best of times, so I must have looked like an old boy in his carpet slippers wending his way........unscathed, I arrived at where I thought the ancient carp would be.

The bird song here is mixed - the usual chik and chak of rooks on the wing coupled with the occasional woodpecker were all that I heard. Sometimes there are surprises, but not today. Who ventures out on such a day? A fool? No, not I. I have a brolly, a brolly that has seen better days but under the canopy of oak and beech it will help shelter me a little.

My simple bait is fished so close to the bank that I dare not move, so I am thankful to have a screen of bramble and sallow to shield my movement. As the rain and wind get louder I see the odd vortex, then bubbles which betray the location of feeding fish and so the wait........the float twitches, hands shaking, hovering over the rod should the float rise and sit flat on the surface or slide's gone and all hell breaks loose.

The wind keeps spinning in the trees high above and the rooks keep calling and all too soon the light leaves the day - I could be anywhere at any time in this ancient and spiritual landscape, but I for one will give thanks before I leave.