journal 2016.

loose connections.


January 2016 - Lovely day

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journal 2016.

Proving that we can catch fish from dirty water has been a satisfying experience, but not one that we would choose to struggle with too often. Just for once, we would give it a miss and head somewhere that has never treated us like that before.

It was clearly clear where we walked onto the stretch and we did as we always do, set off for the hotspot at the far end, some ¾ mile away. En route we passed another hotspot and left it for the return journey. It looked a little cloudier there but was still gin compared to water conditions we have suffered on the last two outings. We ploughed on, arguing the toss over this and that. Baits, rods or poles, whether the weather would make things harder (there was a good frost this morning), anything that came to mind, but we weren’t watching the water.

What a shock we had when we arrived. The canal had turned in just a few hundred yards, from stuff you could make your tea with, to something that looked like somebody already had. It was disgusting and one look sank all our ships out of sight. We just didn’t want to look at it never mind fish in it, but we had walked a fair way. We had to try.

Pete nipped round the corner to a guaranteed tiddler refuge by the bridge and I began methodically and morosely searching my usual reliable spots but I had psyched myself out of it before my bait ever got wet. I wanted to be further back the way we had come, where the water was nicer to look at.

What was really playing on my mind was that we had clear water and we weren’t fishing it. If the boats started before we got back there, we might never get the chance to fish clean water this morning. If it had all been muddy I could have knuckled down and just got on with it, but it wasn’t. I went to fetch Pete, but he had already got one perch of around half a pound on the bank and it felt silly not to persevere for another fifteen minutes or so. We did but we shouldn’t have bothered.

In the end we upped sticks, but although the water was much more appealing, it still took us a lot of fishing to coax anything from it. Eventually I found a nest of micro perch and stole a blank-saver, but I had given up on them and fished another thirty yards of untried canal before Pete had the next, a nice Z of around three pounds. It had been in the wars a while back by the looks of it. Huge, nearly healed, scars bore witness to an epic battle, probably with an otter, that it had escaped by the skin on its back. Fish are so very resilient.

That was our biggest fish of the morning, but we soldiered on catching, just as we have been for the last couple of weeks, one fish here and another there. No quantity of takes, just odd ones out of the blue, usually just as we had given up. It was very pleasant really, the sun (remember that) was out, the wind was slight and the fishing just the right side of ok. A lovely day, lovely day.

artificial lite