A few hours after the session started I was well aware of why I had to give up my 11 metre pole some twenty years ago. I was involved in a car accident that screwed my neck up and that, with ongoing lower back problems, became very apparent very quickly. I grimaced and stuck at it for a while catching lots of roach on bread, corn and cubes of meat but, although I am convinced they were on my feed some of the time, I failed to see another crucian carp.
The effect of that day was to put a crimp on my fishing activities and general mood for a while but I still went and did another ouch. I was sat in an uncomfortable swim that I tend to fish for short periods at a time. Its one of those 'if they're at home you'll get one' swims that rarely produce if nothing's shown up in the first twenty or thirty minutes. This time it took just two minutes and I stood quickly to connect with the fish banging my hip on something protruding from the hedge to my left. Adrenalin and concentration make us ignore such inconveniences and I quickly slipped the net under a listless chub. It had the head of a big five but the body of a tadpole, I weighed it and it barely passed the four pounds mark. A lot of the bigger chub look like this at present, I wonder if they are carrying a disease or parasite. There are plenty of fit youngsters coming through so I can only hope for a bright future.
Twenty minutes later and the rod twitched then bent upstream in the direction of a hefty snag, I leapt into action and completely forgot about my previous encounter with the protrusion - OW! This time I hit my waist and it fair took my breath away but not enough to prevent me landing a small barbel.
I packed up soon after and went to sit with Neil who'd also had one of each in a far more comfortable spot. I said I'd sit and chew the fat but he insisted we share the swim - as long as I sat upstream of him. I put my rod together, cast out and say back with an audible groan into my reclining chair. Three times I had to move, tutting and grunting like some geriatric as I did so. Twice for barbel and once for a chub. Poor Neil managed one more chub from the best bit of the swim before we called it Beer O'Clock and retired to the pub.
My bumps developed into outstanding bruises. When does that happen? When young your body shrugs off injury with a spot of blue before fading after a few days then, when you reach a certain age, bruises go black and purple and hang around for ever. Our bodies never miss a trick when telling you you ain't getting any younger and mine's been shouting all week.