Monday, March 17, 2014 Filed in: rivers
Down to the river for a final chuck before the close season. Now, unlike many modern anglers, I'm a big fan of the close season. Gives everyone and everything time to pause and reflect, sort themselves out a bit, and think about fishing instead of having to constantly do it. I know if makes no sense in terms of the original rationale - so as to give fish a chance to breed in peace - but in the broader sense, it's still an important part of my calendar.
So, bag of casters, some liquidised bread, a little stick float, the John Wilson, Leeds centrepin (God how I love fishing with a centrepin) 4lb line, a size sixteen and the Kelly Kettle in tow, I huff and puff my way over the bridge, through the fence and down to the bank. The old seat basket is still in great nick but the strap has seen better days and I need to get it replaced. For now though, it has two of my knots holding things in place and as long as I walk very gingerly, like a pantomime villain on tiptoe, all will be well.
I tackle up above the overhanging bush, sling in a couple of small balls of bread and two handfuls of casters and first cast get a good solid bob-bob-under-and-away bite. It turns out to be a small roach. First cast. This could be good.
And it is. The weather's warm and mild, the sun shines, there's a friendly chat with another angler, a good hot cup of tea and several more bites. At one point, a horse high steps over the bridge pulling a buggy behind it. But there are no more fish. Not until the last cast when another little roach snaffles the caster. I pop him back, pack up and retire to the pub for a pint of Harveys and a bag of Taytos' ready salted. There's a loud and fairly bigoted conversation going on about Oscar Pistorious but I manage to block it out by thinking of my little session, topped and tailed by two roach. A proper fish sandwich.
About the author
Rob Beattie is the other of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.