Do me a favour!
I’ve only had one opportunity to get out fishing this week, but had a super opportunity of a different kind which was most welcome!
Prior to my sole angling session, earlier in the week, I received a message from a chum for whom I did a small favour for some years ago. In truth, a workmate, who, along with others, I’m grateful for accommodating my health issues on the watch when I was subject to an unfortunate illness, but one who has kept an eye on my writings since retirement. “Are you busy? I know a pond you may be interested to see, and it’s got fish in it?” Nothing more needed to be said, I wasn’t busy, so we arranged to meet for a look at the unknown pool; just ten minutes from my door!
At the farm, my chum introduced me to the landowner, a smashing chap, who offered a lift in a trailer, towed by a quadbike, to the pool in question. Swaying along the track in the trailer, being careful to avoid being splashed by a large tub full of lake water and lilies, we had a few minutes to take in the surroundings, and admire the views across acres of countryside as the sun shone down. As we rounded the corner, a beautifully picturesque oasis of tranquillity appeared, surrounded by mature woodland, dappled by sunlight, and covered with a blanket of peaceful silence, broken only by birdsong; perfect! Better still, I could see carp basking on the surface!
We walked along the perimeter of the lake, picking our way between meadow grasses and wildflower, beneath a canopy of shading trees, and watching as cobalt dragonflies flitted. Already, I could see myself sitting in the sunshine, carefully stalking individual fish, and enjoying the lake which was currently devoid of anglers, and, I was told, usually was… only a few members have access, so it was a privilege to be there. Could it get any better?
I had taken some bread with me, just to see if I could provoke a reaction from the inhabitants, so scattered a few pieces of crust on the surface, then crouched to watch the result. From the depths, dark shadows rose silently to inspect the offerings, then carefully slurped the crusts between thick, rubbery lips; wild carp, and in good numbers! We stayed for about an hour, sneaking into corners, and dropping baits to see what lurked beneath the water. During that time, plenty of beautifully marked fish had been spotted, not huge, but it isn’t always about the size of fish, more the actual act of catching them, and in a place like this, I knew it would be relaxing, rewarding, and restful…
I offered payment for my space, but was informed that my ticket had already been sorted, a return on the small favour of years gone by, and that my chum would not hear of recompense! I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am, and was truly touched by such a gesture. I hope to get chance to visit next week, and hopefully, bank a resident or two! Brilliant!
I did get to the waterside eventually, on a different venue, mainly to complete some product photography for work and review purposes, but obviously to wet a line as well. I’d got so much stuff to carry, that a ‘car park’ peg was the only sensible option, and I settled in not twenty yards from my van, in a corner swim. Luckily, the wind was behind me, and as rain was forecast, I set to work with the camera, hoping to get my shots in before the rain started. Two hours later, I was almost ready to start fishing, and whilst sat under my brolly, tying the final few turns to my rigs, it started to drizzle, so I quickly cast out, put the rod on the rests, and got comfortable as the raindrops got bigger…
The rain hardly stopped all day; the kind of rain, as my wife says, that ‘gets you wet’, a drizzle which drips constantly, swirls beneath and around the brolly, and coats everything with a fine sheen of droplets… the kind I hate. At soggy intervals, I landed around a dozen carp, somewhat smaller than expected from the venue, but still into double figures, a few bream of good size, and a bonus roach which was to prove my favourite catch of the visit, all whilst getting progressively wetter. When the time came to pack up, most of the kit was just thrown through the open door of the van, to be sorted at home, covered in bream slime, soaked through, and very ‘aromatic’, so I couldn’t wait to get home, get cleaned up, and hang the clobber up to dry; not the best end to a promising week…
The weather is forecast to improve in coming days, so my aim is to get down to the new water, perhaps with a fly rod, and try and tempt a carp off the top. I can’t say that I’m bothered if I don’t catch, intending to spend a few hours just drinking in some solitude, as I’m fairly sure I’ll have the place to myself, and do you know what? I rather think I’ll enjoy it…wouldn’t you?