I new something was different when I started fishing just upstream from the motorway bridge and I bumped into a couple of chaps coarse fishing; I don’t usually see a soul on the river but two – and coarse fishing as well! very unusual. Anyway, after an exchange of pleasantries and mutual checking of membership cards I set off to find a lonelier spot. I hope you did well Eddie.
I was soon into a good trout which turned out to be a 16 incher – my best on this river. This was followed by my smallest – in fact I think it is probably the smallest trout it is possible to catch on a size 10 hare’s ear – no longer that my thumb to the first knuckle. I must have been fishing well because I don’t remember the slightest indication that anything was nibbling the fly, I simply lifted on intuition and there it was. How it managed to gulp down the fly I’ll never know but it did and, even more surprisingly it shot of up-stream when I released it. I thought it was a gonner.
Then I took a tumble. To be more precise I stepped onto a bit of river bed that wasn’t there and I went right in, over my head. This is where I discovered that the waterproof pocket inside Wychwood waders isn’t – waterproof that is. Mobile ‘phone and a new pack of Bensen & Hedges finest ruined. At least our two course fishing friends were nowhere near to witness my embarrassment.
I fished on in this soggy state for a while and connected with a couple of decent grayling but it soon became apparent that the magic had gone, so I called it a [very strange] day.
….as much as I used to. Oh, I’m going fishing as much as I always did but, these days I find myself taking more and more time out just to be there, to soak it all in, to absorb that intangible something that makes fishing such an important part of my life.
Try as I might, I cannot hear the sound of one hand clapping but, at will, I can hear the murmur of the stream, the call of a dipper. I can feel the sun on my back and I can see the shade of the canopy swaying over a calm pool while olives dance in the evening light. To be able to call up these images and feelings at times of stress or sadness is a great benefit to me – to get that charge of tranquillity, that sense of peace when I should be fretting about this or that, to be able to go fishing without going fishing must do wonders for my blood pressure and hopefully make me a better person to be around.
I’ve neglected these pages for too long so, to get back into the swing; here’s an update of what’s been happening in my fishing world.
Firstly, the new rod [see picture below] works just fine! I was invited to fish a short, very private section of the River Churn at the fag-end of the Mayfly season. I took 2 fish in the first three casts so I know that we are going to get on. Once again, thanks Bob, she’s a beaut!
Like most anglers I’ve been staring in despair at the weather forecasts wondering when things would change for the better. Sure, I’ve managed the odd snatched hour when the rain’s held off long enough to make a trip out feasible but, even then, the cold gusty easterly has made things difficult and not exactly pleasurable. I did have a more pleasant experience yesterday morning when I fished the Kennels beat of the Charfield section of the Little River Avon. On Friday evening the water was starting to fine down but there was only about 6″ of visibility but, by Sunday it was greatly improved and just about perfect. In the short time I had I managed to winkle out a brace of 10″ brownies still sporting feint parr marks – a very encouraging clue as to the health of the river.
I hear that the Monnow is still completely washed out so, until things improve I guess I’ll be staying to the east of the Severn.
Whilst I may have neglected this blog I have not been entirely idle in the world of on-line fishing. I have been asked to give a much needed makeover to the Charfield AA’s web site. Though it’s still in it’s infancy you can get a sneak preview here – any comments, criticisms or suggestions would be most welcome.