Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Forgotten Pool

I have not had much time of late to get back down the rivers,something which I plan on rectifying very soon.

So with a short session fix in mind,I considered my options and my memory served me with the option of stalking on a small stream,plans were made,rod,centrepin,landing net compactly wrapped together with two rod bands,all was needed was my landing mat which would double as something to rest my rump upon,perfect....

Upon arrival to the stream,my plans were thrown into disarray,as I found that the water had been diverted due to building work and was also very low,ankle height in places,I had another option,fish another stretch of the same stream,but given how long that would take it was not a viable option this time round,I made my way back to the car,heart sunken and despondent.

It's times like these that you realise how often such wonderful people can be taken for granted and I have been guilty of this many times in the past with my mother Maureen,despite her not fishing she has always shared a very deep interest in angling and my fishing trips and has always spent time to being able to ferry me back and forth at some of the most ungodly hours that most parents would simply refuse to do.

I got back to the car and shared my heartache with her,her reply came swiftly "do you have anywhere else in mind?"

Baring in mind that time was limited,my mind raced fervently for options which did not include commercial waters.
Somewhere in the back of my mind covered with the cobwebs of many memories was an overgrown pool,murmuring the words "You always promised you would fish me one day,but you never ever did".

I had found out about this small lake from a friend of a friend,as you tend to do with such places,but I never got round to fishing it,I suppose it is around half an acre in size,if that and condensed with snags,overhanging trees and generally abound with beautiful features to cast a float to whilst whiling away the hours in peace.

I had three hours of fishing time available to me,so wasted no time in picking a likely spot with a part fallen tree to one side,deciding to present some loose fed maggot and caster along this spot and fished the lift method with it.

It was not long before the tell tale signs of fish activity were showing,pin prick bubbles soon began appearing and fizzing,but no bite was forthcoming,was this quaint pool perhaps a dark moody mistress? I pondered a moment longer than I should have,in doing so missing the most obvious of bites.

The float slid back alongside the tree and the fizzing continued anew,nearby a Heron caught my attention as it waded into the shallows,barely causing a ripple as it silently hunted a tasty morsel or two.It really was a place that time and the heavy hand of progress had forgotten,fish and fisher melting as one into this green overgrown pool,where one might relive a childhood dream or two.

Thirty precious minutes passed before the next bite,this time I was met by an angry fish that made the centrepin reel crackle with joy as it made several sprinting runs for the nearby snags,after a very spirited fight I slid the net under a very pretty looking Koi Carp that I estimated at 3lb+.

I began to wonder what other suprises this lake held in its depths,it was very close to the end of my limited time when I netted a lively,nice looking,dark Common of a couple of pounds.

A nice way to end a trip to a pool that had remained stored in memory only and for far to long at that.I look forward to revisting it sometime soon,but cannot promise that flowing water will not come between myself and the ivy and bramble entwined paths of this beautiful forgotten pool.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Crayfish Dance

I had not got down to the river till evening,spotting the light coloured derriere of a deer as it bobbed away into the undergrowth,it was a nice still evening except for odd scatterings of showery rain mixed between the blue sky,the sounds that link evening to night began in earnest,the howling call of a vixen setting off a rather rousing cacophony of barks from nearby dogs.

The silhouette of a Pipistrelle bat skipped in and out of view between the reed beds,flitting about to and fro collecting a feast of insects,the scene was set and completed when a couple of owls sat in a tree nearby me and duly began their hunting routine,which was keeping the mice at bay to say the least,I could have done with the owls growing some gills and hunting the crayfish which were out in force and giving me nightmares,stolen boilie stops,chewed up anti ejection sleeving,you name it,they were doing it.I decided to place some loose feed just a bit further away from the main centre of crayfish headquarters,so as to give me some breathing space and this worked for a while and two or three hours later,I had a resounding,thumping bite and it was not long before the silvery back of a summer Chub of 5lb 5oz was sat in the net,a fish I am pretty sure would go bigger come winter time.

The night sped on,as ever it does when you wet a line and the battle for the land time forgot,the tale of fisher versus the crayfish legions began afresh and unabated,I eventually opted to change my boilie rod for some extra hard freezer baits,in the hope that I would sustain the clawed onslaught for longer,perhaps long enough to allow the fish a chance to pick up this tasty snack,although I wouldnt have blamed them if they had opted to go for a nice fresh crayfish instead,I mean after all who wouldn't?

Time passed,the rod tip responding every so often with a reply of,tip tap tap,these crayfish were really on the ball tonight,wait what was that,thump thump,the rod tip looped over and relaxed again, "crayfish darting backward with the bait damn it" I muttered to myself,not so long after the rod hooped over again and the tightened baitrunner decided to clock off at the rate of knots,it was at this moment I was sat thinking "ye gods,that must be one very big crayfish".

I told my legs to get up and strike this run,they moved but were seemingly not connected to me,my torso wanted to go to my rod,however my legs walked on the spot with me still in the chair,I cannot quite describe what had just happened but eventually I some how managed to get my brain to tell my legs that this was simply not what I had in mind and scrambled for my rod,in the fashion of something akin to a clockwork teddy bear.

I was met with a surging powerful response as the fish kited upstream trying to head for numerous snags including some thick pads and reed beds,it hugged the bottom bullishly,I felt the line tripping over unseen obstacles,before a torpedo shaped flank appeared in mid river,it looked a solid summer Barbel,the thoughts of "please don't slip the hook" played many times through my mind.

It was eventually greeted by the waiting net,a lovely summer fish,one ounce under 12lb and a nice reward considering the amount of crayfish activity that there had been,I went home early morning a very contented chap,I am still trying to fathom why my feet walked on the spot but didnt propel me out of my seat when I had the run,whilst I packed up I came to the only possibly logical conclusion that I had in fact been doing the crayfish dance.