Chris Yates one of the first celebrity anglers once said it is more important to enjoy fishing than to catch fish,a sentiment I only grasp as I advance in years.When I was a lad it was all about the number of fish,then it became the size of the fish,now it to me is as Chris Yates admonished,enjoy your fishing,I can remember some memorable fish over the years perch ,grayling,roach and tench to name but a few but the days i really can see vividly in my minds eye are the perfect days when the score didn’t matter,deep red sunsets over a pond stalking carp in the margins,trotting for Grayling on the Hampshire Avon on a crist February morning with the hot sun on my back,and the night session on Summer solstice seeing the sun rise over a lake shrouded in mist swans appearing and disappearing as the mist wistfully drifted by ,mallards shouting claim from across the water unseen but not unheard.
Today was a different day,little did i know but the day would see little in the way of our friends from the deep,but it was one of those days i will remember.
Charlie and I arrived late to the water today,it was shortly before Eleven in the morning and a good hour later than I had hoped for.This was our fist time fishing this lake,a warminster Angling Club water.
The weather was good,dry warm sunshine but a stiff northwesterly wind steadily moving round to the southwest as the day proceeded,sat on the lake side facing south the sun was beating down on us,the trees sheltering us completely from the gsts of some 16 mph.Both Charlie and I were down to our shirt sleeves within 20 minutes.
The lake itself was a bit coloured but give the heavy rain the previous 2 days it was not really surprising on a clay bottomed lake like this one ,to the right of us was an almost mangrove in the shallows at the end of the lake, a place i thought would hold some perch ,in front of us the open lake ,good banks level ground and a swim ideal for a son and his dad to fish.
Charlie is getting to be a dab hand at setting up these days,can tie his own hooks on etc,understands how rigs work and how to make them,this frees my time up immensely to set up quicker and drown a maggot or two.today we had our lines in the water in no time at all,both feeder fishing on the bottom with lobworm hookbaits,to have a more pro-active method too we both set up for float fishing too,Charlie on the roach whip and me on my split can and mitchell 206,and of course we both had home made floats.
We baited our swim with hemp,micro pellet and a home made groundbait,adding some dixed spam for good measure ,surely a scent no fish could resist along with a good amount of chopped lobworm in the mix.
As we settled into our seats and awaited a bite,we together sat bathing in the warming sun,listening to all around us,behind a woodpecker ratta taping on a bead pine interrupted by the chiff-chiff-chaff of the male chaffinch in the now budding hawthorn bush.to remind us it was still very early spring a robin appeared to our left sat on a log,twitching as he does and then darting ten feet or so to the base of the oak to grab some poor unsuspecting morsel of bugginess.Hovering rearby was a huge bee checking out the wild primroses growing on the dappled sunlight.
A stick snapped behind us maybe a roe Buck making his way to better grazing on the far meadow,what ever it was it threw a male blackbird into a fit of rage,my Blackbird linguistics are a bit rusty but it wasn’t the kind of thing one should be shouting in good company for sure.
In Front of us over the opposite hill was a group of buzzards all catching a spring thermal and making their magnificent cry as they make their sky dance,the lower birds being mocked by a corvid,I have never thought of corvids as being particularly brave but this one was mobbing for all it was worth,I am sure he made contact more than once,the buzzard carried on trying not to notice the insult hoping the loudmouth would get bored and bugger off and pick on someone else,after all didn’t he have a bin to knock over somewhere or a bi bag to pull apart?
suddenly our attention was drawn to a more piscatorial rucas,a sizeable carp launching itself out of the water making a huge slash and sending waves in all directions,Charlie was quick to point out the merit of long distant casting,something i managed to dissuade him from,filling trees with tackle is not my game for sure.
We changed our baits and just enjoyed fishing,chatting and laughing whilst keeping a hopeful eye on our floats,seeing some fizz on the surface but not as much as either of us would have liked.
My bits and bobs set in easy reach ,i like a bit of organisation even if others do not see organised!
Amongst my newly acquired bits and bobs is an early Milbro ‘maggipult’ a bait catapult that certainly didn’t get the numbers made that the better known milbro greenhouse breakers of my youth and is subsequently a bit desirable,here’s my catty:
Charlie noticed a steady stream of ripples from the bank of the swim to our right and went over to see if it was a nice fish supping on emerging flies,Charlie excitedly called me over to ‘see what he found’. Well i guess it must be spring then,in the margins were a dozen or so frogs laying spawn,along with our rarer Toads,all the spawn was returned once it had been poked and prodded gently.Charlie managed to get a fantastic photo of a frog:
Charlie with some fresh Frog spawn:
Charlie with Toad spawn:
As the sun made its slothful journey to the west it became clear that today was not a day of fish,in fact 3 bites between us,but what a day,one of those days that its more important to just’enjoy fishing.