Saturday, June 27, 2009

Veni, vidi, blanki

Coincidentally Martha Reeves is in the UK - just as the radio weather forecasters say we're heading for a heatwave! The last few days have been pretty warm, but it's supposed to be getting hotter still. I managed to make my getaway on Thursday evening and was set up well before dark after a red hot sunny day. After a warm night, when I didn't need the bunny suit or sleeping bag, just lay under the bedchair cover, Friday dawned dull with tench rolling and tail slapping, both in my swim and well out of casting range. Hopes were high. Alas they were to no avail. When the afternoon grew sunny there were fish splashing about near the inaccessible reedbeds. Some were probably carp, but I have a feeling some were tench spawning. Whether they were spawning or not they certainly weren't picking up my baits.

I spent a fair amount of time watching a pair of grebes building a nest, diving down for weed and even twigs, dragging them quite some distance. I also gained a new friend in the shape of the mallard duck that had visited my swim on another occasion but now was much more bold. No messing about, straight on the bank to mop up my spilt hemp then waddling over to my bivvy with a greedy look in her beady eyes. After peering over the bedchair she ducked (cough!) underneath it for a look around, then a circuit of the outside of the bivvy and back again. I tore up a slice of bread and she had no qualms about taking pieces from my hand. I then placed a whole slice on the edge of my bedchair. This was soon snatched and taken away to be devoured.

Later in the day she returned. I hung on to my bread this time, but threw her a couple of dendrobena worms. These must have been a bit dry or spicy, because she had to go for a drink of water after devouring them before coming back hopefully for more.

Where's my lunch?

There was a little more visible tench activity in the evening, again failing to be matched with bobbin activity. Given that I had seen more tench during this session than the previous two I decided to stay put for a second night. There had been rain in the afternoon and the evening and night were muggy. A couple of bleeps to the margin boilie rod awoke me at three, but I managed to focus my eyes just in time to see the bobbin dropping back. Liner. Out with the last of the hemp, rebait the rigs and recast.

Saturday morning was quite still, the sky grey and a light mist blurred the distance. A couple of tench showed over the bait and even closer in. Still no pick ups. After breakfast I caught up on some sleep then packed up at eleven. As I hit the road rain arrived. With nothing better to do, and with thoughts of tench fishing starting to fade I set off to look at a couple of fisheries for a new challenge.

One was reputed to hold crucians and tench. It looked a bit of a hole in the ground to be honest, but it might be worth a chuck. The other was an ancient pool deep in the countryside holding a stock of wildies. I saw one carp caught, and another angler who had a load of carp (many small ones) cruising and crashing out in front of him. This was a much nicer place to be, especially on a damp midsummer afternoon with rain beginning to clear, warm drips falling from the trees and mist over the fields of wheat. I could see how carp fishing appealed to people when it was all carried out on waters such as this - but with fewer anglers about.

A vision of the past

My nostalgia isn't shared by everyone. I'd been prompted to seek out this pool by a conversation with a carp angler who had said it was a lovely place. He then went on to say that if it was his fishery he'd drain it, remove the numerous native carp and replace them with thirty big fish. Why do people want monoculture fishing? What's wrong with a bit of variety?

I've got a bit of work to get done this week, so I'll be playing it by ear dependent on the weather. I might have one more desperate try for a tench or two, or I might give those wildies a try, there's also a rudd pit that's come back on my radar. Then again a certain river I called in at looked rather enticing. If it does turn hot, with muggy nights I suppose the eel rods could get some use. Thank heavens all waters aren't chock full of twenty pound carp.