Once the water had been surveyed, my seat was set down, line quickly passed through rod rings and the depth plumbed; familiarity and oneness ensued.
My first trip out for such a long time, and I choose to pit my wits against them, those remarkably frustrating, but beautiful fish. I convinced myself that fishing for them was fun but four missed bites later, strikes perhaps a little rusty and met by little more than thin air, had doubts forming in my mind. Maybe I should have fished for bream. At least they have the decency to take the bait at a leisurely pace. I persevered. Another two bites came and went. Zilch. I felt completely unprepared. Like taking an exam without doing any revision. But all it takes is one fish. I clung on to that notion.
Quite farcically, the very next cast was rewarded with a fish, one that went about seeking sanctuary, running hurriedly out into the lake. I smiled, more out of disbelief than of pleasure, for I still had to win the battle. On light lines the battle was turning into tense one, with terrifying lunges and plenty of tail slapping, once on the surface. My first fish for months had no intention of being that particular statistic. The bout ended in my favour. My favourite species, laying on the mat, caught on a favourite method, on a warm summer morning. Once admired, Mr Crucian was soon returned to its delightful home amongst reed and weed beds, and for some reason, I went about trying to outwit a second.
I stared intently at the glowing orange tip feeling that much better now I had opened my account. The float was dotted down; a crafty anglers’ attempt to fool this equally cunning opponent. I say cunning, but that is probably inaccurate, as cunning implies some kind of deceit. There is none on their part, just delicate feeding, super quick actions and powerful fights. The only deceit comes from my presence. From the bed of bait and my hookbait hidden amongst it.
More missed bites. Words uttered in hushed tones. Words much better staying as hushed ones. Words that after a further hour were as far away from the tip of my tongue as could be. As with many things in life, as soon as you relax a little, as soon as you accept you are doing all you can, become less coiled spring and more Buddhist monk, things seem to fall into place.
The crucians became less testing. It seemed they didn’t want to give me the run around anymore. They couldn’t resist my bait, now risk free additions to an already too good to be true buffet, and picked off positively. I managed a grand total of eleven quality crucians before dinner time. It was a brilliant session. So good to be back after much time away. Sat under pungent flowering trees, their lush green leaves set against a deep blue sky, whilst the finches sang in their branches and the heron stalked the margins. This barrage of crucians really was a bonus. Just their cautious bite and casual rolling in my swim was enough. Though of course, you are never going to pass upon an extra scoop of something, if one comes along.
Thanks for reading and until next time,