June 22, 2011

An overnighter.

I arrived at the lake just after lunch and set about sorting my gear and the thousand and one things that I carry for a session. Hot and sweaty, I sat back to make a cup of ..... a cup.......a cup? Oh bugger! I always forget something. Ah well, I sat back for a bowl of coffee.

On my last visit the lake didn't 'feel' right and I caught nothing yet here I was, sat in the same area but brimming with confidence, I just knew I'd get a result. The first call was from a bream of about 6lbs which deposited slime all over me and my gear but I knew that more was to follow.

I sat back and waited, restlessly. The trouble with hopping between rivers and lakes is the mind set that is required between bites. I see the two disciplines as the difference between driving a car and riding on a train. In the car - the river - you are constantly making decisions, changing course, reacting. Even at the traffic lights you are looking at what is coming from behind and planning your next move forwards, it is completely absorbing. On the train however, it is possible to sit back and just think about the destination. Sure there are things to see outside the window but you have little influence over them. On a train I become stupefied and just doze or read. Bored may be too strong a word for it but it can come close.

I had a visitor, a kingfisher that sat on my rod. I tried to slowly move into a better position to watch it as it fluffed its feathers and bobbed up and down, alas it spooked but I took it as a positive omen. Its been a while since one landed on my rod. The last was when I was touch legering and the surprise from both of us was transmitted through the rod and the visit was far too brief.

As dusk reluctantly fell a carp rolled over one of my baited spots, it was just a matter of time. I lay in my sleeping bag unable to get comfortable. I cannot sleep in my clothes and they came off layer by layer until I wore just a T shirt.

At 2am I was woken by a run! I hit a solid object that begrudgingly came through the weeds until it got its head down and stuck fast. I gave it line but it refused to move, I could feel it throbbing through the line. I put on some more pressure, as much as I dared and with a reluctant kick, it came free. It rolled in front of me and I smiled - job done. In the weigh sling it went 20.01, a common and a fine fish that I slipped back after a couple of snap shots.

I wonder what it thought of the half naked angler it had met?

It was cold and I was tired. I didn't even recast that rod but settled down and tried to sleep. The rain, rhythmically pattering on the bivvy sent me into a light sleep that was again disturbed by the strident demands of an alarm. This was a smaller fish, a common of about 12 or 13 lbs but I was happy to make its acquaintance.

I slept like a bird, waking and opening an eye at every splash from a turning fish or bleep from my last rod. At about 8am I met another angler on the lake, the first I have seen so far this season. Soon after he left to set up, I missed a stuttering take from what must surely have been another bream.

Tired but happy, I decided to call it a day. I had thought about staying for another night or two but I was more than satisfied and packed up straight away.


  1. A kingfisher landing on your rod?! What a beautiful thing to be witness to....a good omen indeed, I'd say! One of my favorite birds...

  2. Every anglers loves and respects the kingfisher :-)

  3. I suppose his name demands we do, eh? ;)