Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just like old times

Drain dawn
Arriving at the drain as the sun was rising did me a favour. There was enough light to see that the pumps were switched on and the water running off quite fast, bring down plenty of floating weed. This would have made my preferred fishing position difficult to fish as I would like. So, as it got lighter I took my time looking around. In the old days I'd just have plonked in anywhere in order to get the baits in the water as soon as possible, but I've learned the valuable lesson of picking a spot even when it means missing out on half an hour's fishing time.

As it turned out this time was wasted in terms of catching fish because I blanked. Not a sniff to the three deadbaits. However, around nine o'clock a tractor type thing with a large mowing attachment on the front went past me on the opposite bank. Crossed the bridge and proceeded to mow the bank where I had planned on fishing. So I'd been saved the aggravation that would have caused me.

Autumn is in full swing now. The hawthorns are bare of leaves on the windward side, lichen covered branches exposed, the berries darkening while on the leeward side there remain a few leaves still. All morning a robin serenaded me from the hawthorns while other birds visited the hedgerow to feed. The most autumnal of them being the first flock of fieldfares I've seen since summer ended and one or two bullfinches. I was also pleased to see a water vole crossing the drain, diving in surprise at spotting me. I have seen a few voles on the ditches which connect to the main drain system, but this is the first one I've seen on the drain proper for almost a couple of decades. Perhaps the mink have been thinned out.

Drippy hawthorn
I spread the baits out covering both margins after the pumping stopped at noon. Moving them around in the hope of dropping one near a pike. For this session I stuck to one fishing position - I'm reluctant to call it a swim. Although there was no wind until the afternoon showers were a feature of the morning, and they kept me from moving back towards the car. As did the arrival of another piker who covered the water I would have fished.

Having to pack up before two, by which time my hopes of any action had faded to zero, I had remembered a few more of the things that used to frustrate me on this drain - the pumping, the floating weed, the fact nothing much ever happened after lunchtime. All that and it seemed like the pike had stopped picking up deadbaits again. It was just like the old days when I'd roll up, cast the baits out, sit around for a few hours, wind the rods in and go home. I'll not be giving up just yet, though. Well, I'll be back as soon as I find some footwear that doesn't result in damp feet from walking through wet grass which is what my year old and expensive boots are doing. It might have to be the chest waders again.