Anchors Aweigh with Captain Williams
When I received an invitation from Steve Williams to go zander fishing on his boat, I didn’t need asking twice. So a date was set and we touched base first thing in the morning at Steve’s home in Shropshire, and then travelled together down to the Warwickshire Avon where we launched Yamyam. Or to be more precise, Steve launched the boat and I did my best to get in the way. But we got there in the end and soon found ourselves gently making our way downstream trolling baits behind us.
It was a really cold day and in spite of the tactics and the technology available to us, courtesy of the on-board underwater scanner, by the time we had reached the point where we turned round, all we had to show for our efforts was Steve pulling out of a small pike and me having a dip in the float that may or may not have been a fish. But we moored up for the afternoon and added a couple of zander – well Steve did, I blanked!
The initial impression of being in the boat was that it was very different to fishing from the bank. I have fly-fished and sea-fished from water before, but this was my first time in this particular situation. To be honest I didn’t really get into it at first and if I could use one word to describe the way I felt I fished, it would be clumsy. In fact it was clumsy all round, as at one point, as we began the journey back to exit the river, I made the mistake of grabbing the wheel. I thought I was doing Steve a favour, as he was at the back starting the engine and so I wanted to keep the boat pointing in the right direction.
However, I ended up crashing poor old Yamyam. Watching it on a collision course with something that will remain undisclosed (!) was one of those moments that haunts you. But the severe potential consequences did not materialise, and fortunately we were soon on our way. It was with more than a sense of relief that we edged our way upstream away from the crime scene. As for Steve, he just thought it was all hilarious!
I thoroughly enjoyed the day though in spite of the ‘incident’ and the minimal activity on the fish front. After all, angling is more than just catching fish and I had a great day out with Steve. And always with one eye on the wider scene, we flushed several snipe from the water’s edge as we made our way downstream. And finally, for those of you who are regulars on my Angling Journal, I hope you like the new format for 2010, tested on the last couple of articles of 2009. A change is as good as a rest and all that, but above all it gives me greater flexibility as opposed to being tied to a weekly article on a particular day.
The photographs on this page are from left to right Steve Williams, Yamyam, Steve Williams, On the River Avon, sunset over the Avon.
(Originally published January 2010)