Do You Remember?
Do you remember that heady aroma of
Linseed soaked keep-nets and maggots and paint?
Do you recall the thrill of it all as you
Stepped through a forest of varnished split cane?
There, Constables, Marcos and Olivers grew
Pristine cork-handles, smooth, white and new!
Reinforced ferrules, whippings of wine
(Though not for the Chapman which used copper twine)
And what about floats?
Can you see them still?
Full-bodied Avons and porcupine quills
Perch bobs and pike bungs, Thames sliders, too
Self-cockers, bubbles, to name but a few…
And I’d be amazed if you cannot recall that
Twenty pound pike that hung on the wall
Caught around nineteen twenty three
Its captor – long gone – had been fishing the Lea
Forty years later, still doing its job of
Tempting the angler to spend a few bob……
PDQ wire, a dozen large trebles, as many lead barrels, a small tin of swivels.
And so to the spoons, the plugs and the spinners
Gazed at in wonder by naïve beginners
Mackerels and kidneys adorned with red wool
Oh for the money to purchase them all!
And under the glass, away from harm
The Holy Heron bite-alarm!
Ali’ bait cans, spiral leads
Bran and middlings…..Pomenteg!
‘Oh, come on, take me fishing!’
Samantha said to me
But as much as I’d have liked to
Her way distracted me…
Now at that time each waking hour
Was spent at Willow Lake
In search of bronze leviathans
…a girl I couldn’t take!
No doubt she’d start complaining
About the wind and cold
About the smelly maggots
She knew she’d have to hold…
And so throughout the summer
Her demands were kept at bay
I’d managed thirteen doubles
Without women in the way!
But come the snows of winter –
(A time not of my liking)
I’d often hear her whimper
‘Oh, come on, take me piking!’
Well, what’s a lad supposed to do?
With her I couldn’t reason
So I promised Sammy faithfully
I’d take her out next season…
By the sixteenth day of a blazing June
The girl had somehow changed
Curiously fuller and differently arranged
I must confess I liked it and decided to combine
Those deep primeval yearnings
With that sacred sport of mine….
I bought myself a Brolly-Camp
(‘Samantha – it gets jolly damp’)
and invited my intended to a session
She readily agreed – indeed, she took the lead…
Well at least she seemed to give off that impression…..
That evening was perfection!
She studied the erection –
It’s rigid, ribbed, distinctly bulbous form
She marvelled at its size
With disbelieving eyes
What fun she’d have before the break of dawn!
Laughing like a jackal
She took hold of my tackle
And waved its length to test its steely action
Declaring it a ‘stiffy’, she crawled into the bivvy
For a night of piscatorial satisfaction!