Reading Tigger’s thread re “a few Hours”, I was reminded of the last occasion I spent a few hours fishing – back in October 2016. This current lay-off is the longest break from fishing since I caught my first bullheads at the age of seven back in 1941 (Note that by “fishing” I mean going fishing on your own or with mates of a similar age – being allowed to wind in one of Daddy’s roach at the age of three doesn’t cut it) Why the lay-off ? Read on.
AN members at the last Wingham auction may remember Norma winning the “two days charter of Budgie’s boat” item, and in October we duly turned up at Horning to claim our prize. I had decided to concentrate on trotting maggots for roach, so came equipped with a Preston Trotter and Okuma Sheffield, leaving my split-bamboos and Aerials at home. I had no knowledge of the Bure below Wroxham either, as my previous experience of that river was confined to reaches above Aylsham, around 70 years ago. So first principles and pot luck would have to take the place of local knowledge.
Thus, we set off, with half a gallon of Budgie’s finest and a few red worms. motored about half a mile downstream, and anchored up at a good-looking swim. A dozen maggots a minute were trickled in whilst I was tackling up, and when ready, I was rewarded by a roach the very first trot down. Then began the usual pattern of roach trotting, a small roach a chuck ,with gradual increase of size as better roach were attracted in . The two ouncers became four ouncers, the four ouncers became half-pounders, all going to plan. The half-pounders became.......No they didn’t, the bloody tide had turned, my float was no longer trotting, and the fish had gone right off. There’s no substitute for local knowledge, we should have started in this swim two hours earlier.
Ah well, if the fish were not feeding, I knew two folk as would. Budgie had given us details of the best riverside pub in Horning (local knowledge again !) so we went there and got outside a large helping of Beef and Guinness pie, with chips, two veg, mustard an’ all
Back down river, it was more difficult to pick a good swim on the flood – the water was more turbid, and slower. Small roach were everywhere with the occasional perch and rudd thrown in for good measure. Eventually I settled for attracting a seething mass of small roach and fishing small red worms on the edge of the shoal. That way I did pick up a perch or two around the pound mark, but no monsters.
Did I say anything about the wind ? No, and I didn’t notice it until mid-afternoon. It was cold, and eventually I noticed breathing was painful ‘cos my bronchi were getting inflamed. So wisely we packed up.
Not a red letter day, but stacks of small and medium sized fish – very much an average day.
That evening, I learnt something about fishing into ones eighties. Four separate causes of chest discomfort. The inflamed broncihi afformentioned, heartburn from the beef and Guinness pie, and a repetitive strain injury to the intercostal muscles – due to several hours continuous trotting., winding in, and recasting. All three quite trivial and self-healing in a couple of days (or in twenty minutes via the ingestion of four Rennies in the case of the heartburn). The fourth, alas, was not trivial – my angina was much worse, and we had to abort the second day.
To cut a long story short, lots of investigations these last few months, culminating in an attempt to insert stents by the senior local cardiologist, which he wisely aborted as the local facilities were inadequate for the condition he discovered during the attempted stent implant. He referred me to King’s College, and their senior cardiologist will attempt what is in effect a rebore of some of my coronary arteries in three weeks time.
So my new season will start in effect as soon as I have recovered from that .
If I shouldn’t make it, then my affairs are in order, Norma and I have caught over 500 species between us, and produced a not inconsiderable self-supporting family. I thus would leave many heirs but no dependents.
Thank you all for an interesting forum, and for those I have met for being good fishing mates,
However, I am assuming that I shall recover, and have bought all the relevant tickets and applied for my new licence. So see you all some time in April. Good hunting !