My way has faltered just a little I know. Saturday was taken up by pike fishing. Sunday and the afternoon descended into a cold, driving rain which didn’t stop Enoka and me from baiting. Fishing was however a different matter. In fact, I began to wonder if friends were right and that I had been putting off the evil moment I had to actually get out and fish. Today though I had no excuse. A mild westerly wind, scattered cloud and temperatures scraping double figures brooked no excuse. 

Enoka and I set out at 3pm to bait the five swims, electing to return to the farm and fish The Rookery, the big eddying run within hailing distance of the cottage itself. I decided on the North Western tip rod, a two SSG paternoster, and a size 12 baited with flake. I hadn’t fished the farm at dusk for thirty years, or a little more, and little superficially had changed. Quietness ruled. A heron flew over ahead, death-defyingly close. Bats flitted in the gloom and an owl called close by. The rooks returned before true dark and sparked the farm dogs into a minute’s fit of barking.

Yes. All was wonder, especially as the rod flicked and twitched from the off. Of course, the crayfish curse haunted me as bite after bite fizzled to nothing. Or smaller fish? Or spooky fish? At 5.05 I struck into a heavy weight. A moment’s joy turned to disgust. I swung the cray in, squashed it underfoot as the law says, and packed then and there. 

Now, at 6.06, I’m deep in thought. Crayfish I suspected and crayfish I got. But were ALL those hits from them alone? As the night wears on, as gin warms the cockles, hope springs eternal. Perhaps tomorrow, in the day, I will take an hour out of the morning’s work and get me down to The Rookery with maggots and trotting gear. Then I will know a little more. This is a battle of the spirit, a campaign of the soul. I have to remember one bite from one fish would change my roaching world.

You’ll be the first to know.