The night before, I gathered together the bait I needed for my dawn start, prawns defrosted from the freezer, lobworms barely moving from the garden, and the obligatory red maggots. Tackle was neatened, I re-tied my float rig, and prepared a few extra hooklengths whilst I sneaked a few mince pies into my belly. They might have been washed down with a strong beverage or two, though I can neither confirm nor deny this notion. It was as perfect a pre-fishing evening as you could imagine, and with Christmas day now over, I looked forward to a few trips out on river and pool. In search of chub and perch. I couldn’t wait to spend those precious hours alone, in quiet contemplation, or manic fish catching.
I awoke the next morning full of excitement, my first fishing trip for weeks, about to unfurl. Flask brewed, I decided to treat myself to a bacon bap en route, so with just the rods to load into the car, within minutes of waking up, I was on my way. Well, I should have been, except I wasn’t. I was stood on the road looking down in utter disbelief. As it turned out some kind hearted soul had decided to remove the front wheel from my car during the night, and with my spare being a ‘space saver’ (or a travel inhibitor), I could do little more than unpack the gear and sulk for the rest of the day, whilst I searched high and low for a replacement wheel.
Plenty of mince pies were consumed over the day, and on this occasion, I can attest to one or more strong beverages being consumed. Not least when I saw the price of a replacement. How rare can a wheel be? One breakers yard said in his eight years of business he’d never seen a car like the one I own in his yard. It’s not the DeLorean DMC-12 (with owner upgrades) or Herbie, honest.
In times like these, when travelling distances are out of the question, I would be straight on my local canal. However, over recent weeks a series of bridge works, or more accurately bridge and aqueduct works, has seen my four favourite stretches drained. Presumably the fish have been removed, as the inch or two of water that remained, certainly wouldn’t have harboured any fish for the time it took to complete the works. It’s hard to get your head around sometimes. A global conspiracy against my fishing? The Illuminati meddling in my maggot drowning? No, probably not, just lots of very inconvenient factors aligning at a heightened time.
This year has been a very tough one for me, on and off the bank, so to have it end on such a strange and pathetic note, well, I can’t help but feel it was more fitting than me actually getting out fishing. So it is in these final few lines that I welcome the new year in with open arms. Really widely flung out, open arms. Please make sure that this one is a better one than the last. One where precious little goes wrong. I’ve got my positive head on. Just give me a push in the right direction. I know you can do it!
Oh, and in true Lt. Columbo style, just one more thing; I only hope you can assist the courier company in being able to track my replacement wheel. It’s currently ‘on its way’ to me, though it was last seen in Watford. Five days ago.
Until next time,