August is a funny old month isn't it. As a kid August was the peak of the year, we had the whole month off school and I could indulge myself by roaming the fields, playing football or preferably fishing. It was the height of my summer and I looked forward to August more than any other month. This continued into adulthood and it became the time for family holidays to the seaside. But nowadays August has a very different feel to it.
For a start, far from being the pinnacle of summer, August denotes its end. Just today I felt a coolness in the air that had a whiff of autumn about it. For me Summer is May, June and July albeit this year a very wet one, August is the start of the slippery slope toward winter. The summer birds have largely flown back toward their winter homes. I saw a couple of swifts the other day, they are stragglers and I hope they catch up with the throng that departed a month ago. The sand martins left early this year and the house martins were not long behind, its just the swallows that remain for a little longer before the air seems a duller place without our aerobatic visitors. Not only are the hedgerows quieter due to the loss of the warm weather visitors but the winter crowd have yet to arrive so, all in all, a dull period for bird lovers.
The fishing is usually pretty dull now too. By August my misanthropic tendencies are usually on full beam and I am fed up with all other anglers and their antics but, to be honest, I've not met that many this year what with being mobility inhibited so I'm not quite as bad. But the river does seem crowded in the summer and that situation continues into October nowadays. There is little solace on the lake as August is a a notoriously difficult month to fish for carp. On a recent trip I saw nothing moving at all so reverted to float fishing with little bits of bread on a size 16 and caught a bunch of roach. It was fun for a couple of hours but I was trying for a crucian carp and although I had little bubbles in the swim, tiny dips on the float and a nice fish roll almost on top of my float, I failed.
I notice that my fellow bloggers are keeping quiet at the moment, maybe they too are either finding the fishing hard or perhaps they are sitting on a sea front somewhere, trousers rolled up, knotted hanky on the head and dribbling ice cream down their string vests.
I've become more interested in the 'traditional angling' set up and see it as a perfect place to be at this time. I've been unable to fish 'flat out' this season and let's face it, the weather has been bloody awful making it a continuous round of high water tactics which I find boring. So, the idea of fishing old school methods and having a more casual view of results has been a welcome venture and one that will keep me happy for a while. Yes, I'll be on the lake soon with three carbon rods and all the electronics ready to pounce on the unwary fish but I'll also spend time stalking and trying to get my cane bent. I even visited a sale room today and left a bid on a couple more cane rods just for good measure - fingers crossed, but Nicky wouldn't let me bid on the stuffed pelican or the elephant's foot.
Roll on September.