BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP – Snoooze once!
BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP – Snoooze twice!
BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP – Snoooze three times!
Nope that’s me done, any more snoozes and the boss is gonnaretract the permission granted for yet another fishing adventure!
So now I’m up, stretching, yawning and stumbling as usual into thespare room to get dressed in order to keep peace in peace time. Nonoise from the ankle biters (thanks guys). Yep, the kiddies slept well,the boss is still sound asleep and now I’m off down the stairs like abolt out the blue. Dodge the cat, stick the kettle on and as usualturn the kettle off again as my eagerly awaited adventure beckons.
Three fags later, and yours truly is pulling into the little laneof the ‘lost world’. My lost world! The world beyond computer screensand nagging clients. This is my domain and today, I’m gonnadominate!
The sun’s peering over the skyline whilst I’m unloading the kit,the almost overpowering odours of bottom weed, fresh air and sublime natureallow me every time to draw upon my personal memory bank of beinghere before. This is the moment to savour, the time between lookingforward to going fishing and the actual getting it on!
I’m now packed up like a work horse, counting the steps to theswim, pushing myself to get to the peg in one hit! There’s no way I’mgoing back to the car until this session is over. That’s a fact andthis is personal!
First thing’s first, unfold the chair, lay the kit on the bankbehind me, sit down, savour the moment and scour the lilies for myprey. Eye’s fixed….. nothing.
Recover my breathing from my seemingly never-ending journey to theswim. Relax, chill out and refocus. There, just on the edge of thethird lily pad out is my indication. There she is, blowing out herneedle-like bubbles, just visible as one hits the surface and onehits the under-base of the pad. And again, and again.
My old friend has returned; she is here to tease, she is here oncemore to do battle with her old arch enemy. As she flips her tail outof my view and knocks the stems of the pads she parades her militantwell being. These days, for too many anglers, a fish is a fish is afish! But not this one, this is my fish, this is my opponent and thisis my day!
As I drift into my ‘as-one-with-nature state of mind’ I once againbelieve I can communicate with the world under the surface, I onceagain start talking to my fish. We’ve all been there, we all talk tothem, mad as it seems. Call me a liar, but try to deny ever sayingthose immortal words “come to daddy, pick up the bait and come todaddy”.
Choose your weapons
She’s calling me now, she’s motioning, and she’s taunting me withher message loud and clear “Choose your weapons and let battlecommence”.
I proceed to throw in a few morsels of bread crumb, hemp andsweetcorn to my desired battlefield. Careful not to spook thesurrounding silver fish who may eventually form alliances with me instirring up the bottom and enticing the old girl to feed.
Sun’s breaking away now, mist is cooling off and escaping theclench of dawn. I slowly pull back from my position near the edge ofmy world and unzip my rod bag and reach for my old pal – the quiver.As I place my rests firmly in the ground I turn back to the water,just in time to count the ripples speedily departing on top of myloose feed. The signs are there, the time is right. Today is myday.
A looped feeder rig is my choice on a 4lb main line to a 1.7bottom and a ‘never to be noticed’ size twenty hook. Once again Iturn to feed my girl with a few teasers, and this time its redmaggot. I send out approximately five at a time in two secondintervals till I’ve reached a hundred, thus keeping top to bottomalive with wriggles. Whilst these settle, I fill the feeder. A simplebase mix of active feeder, boiled hemp, caster, sweetcorn and asplash of amaretto boilie oil for good measure and luck. Don’task!.
Getting the bait down is crucial when enticing fish out of thelilies. I cast once to the side of the pads then recast a foot to theright of this spot and continue to do so until I’ve covered about thesame area as a pool table. Firing in occasional particles across mynewly developed feeding ground.
Rod tip poised at the end of my last cast, held directly towardsmy swim and three inches under the surface. A quick loop and splashand my line in sunk. Line tight and placed firmly back on my restsnow at a 45 degree angle.
Savouring the moment, I sit back.
Knock, knock, twitch, twitch my tip is alive. My confidence ishigh and the temptation to strike is overcome. As my tip continues totwitch I decline to be pulled into a false sense of security. Theseare my allies, these are my foot soldiers these are my feeding silverfish friends getting the bottom stirred up in a frenzy.
No more knocking, no more twitching, no more nothing.
‘BANG’! Here we go, we’re off, this is my time. The rod tip knocksaggressively round in one foul swoop, stops, recovers and again takesits magnificent plunge towards the pads. As I grab the rod and reelconcurrently in a ‘I’ve done this a thousand times before’ lunge, I’mconnected. I’m in. I have her!
Once again, I speak out loud to my old enemy, “Come to Daddy, cometo Daddy”. Large swirl and she’s off, but not towards the pads, she’soff to open water. She wants to drag this battle out, she wants to dobattle the fair way.
My confidence grows, as I reposition myself to follow her path.Straight ahead. Full steam ahead. She stops, corrects herself andchanges her route towards me now. As I wind in fast to pick up myline, I pay deep respect to my extremely light end tackle and againpick up her pace. The rod bows and dips as I follow my merry olddancer in her jig towards the pads.
“No, No…Don’t go there!” Full steam ahead, lily stemssmacking my line as it cuts across the budding flowers and deep downbelow I know she’s laughing. One last tug and I’m stuck. I couldn’tbully no more, my wily old friend has left me firmly embedded. She’sstubborn, she’s smart and she knows where home is.
Five minutes later and my swirl has again appeared by the side ofthose dam lilies. I hear her calling once more, playfully laughing asonce again, I’m caught and she’s free.
“Until the next time Old Friend. Until the next time!”