Friday, 23 December 2011

A winter warmer

The total of my last couple of trips can be summed up quite easily with only a few lines and a couple of pictures.

On Sunday all I netted in four hours of fishing on the gin clear canal was about fifty pounds of ice!

On Wednesday myself and Andy had a ten hour picnic next to a massive wind swept gravel pit!

I think everyone still mental enough to be fishing here in the UK will agree that the fishing has certainly taken a turn for the worse since the winter has set in. And I for one will be re-evaluating my approach for the next few months to counter for this dramatic change.

- No more messing round on lakes, unless pike are involved.
- If I even suspect a venue may be frozen I ain't bothering.
- Stick to the rivers at all costs.
- Target only the species that can feasibly be caught (no chancing a rare catch)
- Use the two pound block of  stinking cheese paste that Jacky's been trying get out of the freezer all year.

Being a little bored I have been looking back trough my blog and dreaming of easier days gone by. Whilst looking through it I discovered that of all the posts I have done in the last few years, one has been the most popular and  most viewed ever since it was posted. This in turn reminded me that a while ago I had written a little tale which I had extracted from this post and expanded on it a little. And in this time of little action to blog about I felt this short may hold a little interest and warm a few cockles.

A knock out Barbel

A few years ago whilst targeting some very respectable Barbel on clear shallow section of the upper Warwickshire Avon  I went through what can only be described as a unbelievable run of comical disasters whilst trying to land even just one single Barbel, leading up to the crescendo that I will never forget. 
I endured numerous problems including; having a close friend spoil my best chance of the entire summer through a morbid fear of wasps, a rod snapping like a twig whilst playing a very nice double figure Barbel, which I subsequently lost; and having a mink dive in where I was fishing sending every resident of my favourite swim off for days. 
But by far the worst and final disaster happened on a surprisingly hot and hazy autumn afternoon. 
One of the best swims on the entire stretch of river had a mouth watering willow which had slumped over into the river. All summer long a huge mat of debris had built up around it making the perfect hiding place for a resident shoal of Barbel which ranged from three pounds right up to oh my god. 
Perfect as it was this swim had one major drawback. One of its bows supported it perfectly from the bed of the river and just happened to be dead centre of the entire hidey hole, which made casting baits under the raft from upstream absolutely impossible. In fact the only option was to cast a bait as far under as you dared from the side and then try and tempt the residents out slowly by trickling hemp under it from above. 
On this occasion I had crept into position being very careful to keep myself well hidden behind a small mound fringed with tall dry tufts of grass. I had for once made the perfect cast first time and after being cramped up against the trunk of a tree for two or more hours my gradual baiting had finally tempted a few fish to the edge of the shadows just under the mat where my hook bait lay visible on the bottom on a fantastic gravel run. 
Just as I moved back to my position after again peering through the grass, another angler very considerately crawled up behind me to ask how it was going. Whispering back to him I explained that they were just starting to come out to play and I had seen at least two good fish move out and then back in again. Both of us sat transfixed by the tip of my rod as it began to tremble. Knowing full well what could happen next I readied my hand hovering just over the rod just before it jerked violently over. I was to my knees instantly applying maximum side strain to keep the beast from the snag. With my heart thumping I somehow blurted my belief that it felt like a good one just before the rod sprung back violently as the hook pulled.
I just looked at the river with that forlorn look all we anglers get in that situation and waited for my companion to maybe utter a few words of condolence. But he was silent. Turning round I realised why... He was no longer beside me but was instead lying flat on his back about five feet away in the grass with little birds fluttering round his head and an Adam Ant style red mark straight across the bridge of his nose where my rod had connected with his face. After I helped him up and dusted him off and he stumbled off and downstream cursing me as he went. I didn’t even get the poor blokes name never mind apologise. So if he ever reads this “I am very sorry and I hope it didn’t have any lasting effects”. And if that was not bad enough I never did actually land one of those Barbel from that very special swim.

I hope that warmed you up. And if anyone else has any amusing stories get em posted on your blogs cos we've still got two or months of this freezing weather left and we could all do with a chuckle.

1 comment:

  1. Daniel,

    Briliant, reminds of the time i stood behind someone whilst taking an interest in golf? The black eye soon taught me to stay a safe distance from the guy playing the ball? I was only 9 or 10 though?