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The Wrong Trousers

Not literally of course. The trousers I wear to go fishing are always the correct ones because I only have a single pair - bought for £4.00 from Primark about 10 years ago, these dog turd brown beauties never let me down and have an elasticated waist that expands as I do. No, it's a euphemism. I fished with the wrong float. Twice.

Things begin badly when Ray and I toss for swims. He wins, but hey, I'm confident anyway, because the second choice swim is good enough and I've caught plenty of fish from there before. Only I can't see the float because the sun is directly in my eyes, and no matter how I re-adjust my hat, squint with one eye shut, squat behind the rushes, turning my head on one side, I can't get rid of the glare. So after tackling up and plumbing the depth I move swims without making a proper cast. I hate that.

In the new swim, I never quite get settled. As a result, when my little cube of the Co-op's finest luncheon meat is snaffled by a carp riding a motorbike (or that's what I assume judging by the speed at which it took off) I barely managed to grab the rod before the thing has it bent double and then twanging spectacularly back and forth. Hook's come out. I reel in. The float's gone, everything else is still intact - including the hook which is bent. I shan't be using these particular Mustad hooks again.

I tackle up with another float and fish on. It's an antennae, one of those floats I bought because I liked the look of it, rather than for any perceived utility. It's OK, but I can't really see it and as a result, even this perch is a bit of a surprise. The evening becomes beautiful. A hot air balloon crosses the filed behind me, venting as it goes to get over the trees. It's a sound that's at once unsettling and familiar. More fish come and then I get snagged and the line breaks. I make coffee, then re-tackle up with a float that I recall as a favourite but that now seems to require more and more and more shot. In the end it's like casting with a method feeder and although I persevere for a few more casts, I switch in the end.

Bloody hell, this swim is full of fish. Most of them carp. Sometimes it feels like there are so many carp in this water that you could walk from one side to the other on their backs.

Naturally, I fail to catch a carp. Instead, I catch rudd, roach, perch, tench and bream. And as we pack up, Ray and are both breathless at the beauty of the evening. Driving back up the field we startle a small owl which is sitting in the middle of the track. Only for a second though, and then it's up and off and then we too are on our way home.
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