One of the advantages that I have in my work as an ordained minister is that I have a good deal of flexibility in terms of my work-load commitments. Of course the benefit there as far as my angling is concerned is obvious, and it’s one of the reasons why I get to fish a reasonable session most weeks. It does mean though that I often burn the midnight oil prior to getting away, and so it was this week.
I found myself not getting to bed until 2.00 am, rising again a few hours later and then finally setting off for the Severn at lunchtime. Not that I’m complaining, far from it. It’s my own decision and I actually love my work anyway, so I never feel that it’s a hardship. And the incentive of a fishing trip is surely a guarantee to soothe even the most trying of circumstances beforehand anyway.
It does mean though that I am often tired once at the water’s edge, and in this case, after I cast out the small perch deadbaits, I dozed off and snatched a few hours sleep. The rest of the first night was pretty much the same, although I was in the land of the living as the sun set, which was great as I was able to not only get a photograph but also to capture it as a video shot. As you will see from the photograph included in this article, the sunset looks great, but I’m sure you will agree that compared to the running film it is firmly in second place.
The first day and night of the session was dry and mild, so much so that I actually felt quite warm in the night and opened up the sleeping bag to cool down. And this is how the second day started until the wind blew up a storm and the rain started to fall. It was a totally different day, hence the title of the article. If it wasn’t pegged down, it got blown away; hence if you find a Drennan net bag, it’s mine! Although it’s probably somewhere in the Atlantic ocean by now I guess.
I have recently ordered a new bivvie, and funnily enough on the first night of the session I was wondering if I really needed it. But my single skin and open-to-the-elements Fox Evolution soon dispelled any thoughts I had concerning the necessity of my purchase. In fact all I could think of was that it couldn’t arrive quickly enough. Spending the amount of time that I do at the water’s edge, particularly in the winter, it’s important to at least be dry. I’m not an angler that expects home comforts, but in order to fish well you do need to have a certain amount of basics in place.
The local farmer paid me a visit and asked me the question that is often on people’s lips – ‘What do you do during the long dark nights?’ I certainly make the most of the time, and read. Particularly as I am usually chasing just one or two fish, there is plenty of time to get into a book. I’m a quick reader anyway and so I got through a couple on this session. And it was even beneficial to my work as both were Christian books. One was about the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the other was about people who bark like dogs amongst other things. Don’t ask!
The second night was again blank, and I think it’s true to say now that the eels have finally done a disappearing act. I didn’t catch a zander but at least my baits were there ready and waiting as opposed to being stripped to bare hooks within minutes. As the day wore on I gradually packed everything way, leaving the rods till last. I don’t know if you are like me but the worst part of an angling session is when you have to call it a day. And with just the rods to go, I had the one and only fish of the trip, a zander.
It was only a small fish but because I had resigned myself to a blank it actually felt really good. The journey back home was the usual analysis of the session – what lessons have been learned, could I have done anything different etc. But above all, it was a case of looking forward to the next trip. In the meantime there is plenty of work to be done and so I needed to get on with that once I got home.
This week’s video clip – A beautiful Worcestershire sunset
(Originally published November 2007)