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First casts

Given that last season was pretty much a washout for me thanks to a major knee problem, I approach this morning with some trepidation. Now there's a good word for June the 16th. I needn't have worried.

The fact that our club no longer properly observes the close season meant that instead of the lake being like Picadilly Circus, packed with excited anglers keen to re-discover their piscatorial skills after an enforced absence, it was empty. Not a soul. I parked up and limped round to the smaller of the two lakes and settled into my favourite corner swim. Tackle was as simple as could be. An old 12 foot split cane rod, centrepin reel, 4lb line, a small float, a couple of shot and a size 12. Bait - small cubes of luncheon meat. As I tackled up, I could a carp crashing around under the tree in front of me.

First cast, and I caught a small perch. Then a bream, then a roach, and then the first of five tench. My total haul included a lovely 3/4lb perch, and a nice tench, just over 2lbs. All of them were in beautiful condition, none were badly hooked - even the perch! - and all swam off in good health.

What was pleasing though was that I fished like a fisherman again, even after six months away from the water. Tangles were negotiated, I managed to cast well enough with the pin and I didn't fall over.

It was a short session - I was back in the car and going home before 9.00am - but a rewarding one. As I drove back up the field, I looked in the rear mirror for a last look at the lake and saw a hawk pinned to the sky above the trees.

This, my friends, is the real world.
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