Sunday, 13 July 2008

Mr. Greenmantle Goes Fishing.... **

** With apologies to Bernard Venables!

Mist rising off the river just after dawn, cattle coming down to the water to drink, swans gliding past like white ghosts, and later on, as the sun climbs into the perfect blue sky, a peal of church bells from a distant village.

Sounds great doesn't it. Good enough at least to inspire me to go fishing again for the first time in many an old donkey's year.

Since getting over my operation, and getting back to work, I've been itching to do some proper walking, shooting, or play some golf, or do anything to get outdoors. But the truth is I'm still struggling a bit with secondary foot and achilles related complications, and whilst much more mobile than I was, there are some things I just can't risk, and may indeed have to give up altogether I fear. So it struck me that fishing might be a good outdoor hobby to resurrect, involving as it does, a good deal of sitting down.

I used to fish with my Dad as a youngster, but haven't been seriously in about 20 years. A bit of old tackle migrated up the M1 with me here to Northampton, and some additional, rather more modern kit was acquired from a good local shop.

So, despite it being somewhat after dawn when I arrived on the riverbank this morning, more like 7 o'clock in fact, it was still early enough to feel like I was achieving something, and getting in touch with my wild side again.

I've joined the local Northampton & Nene Angling Club and am accordingly now allowed to drown maggots in a huge variety of lakes , canals, and rivers all within about a 20 minute drive of my home..... And it was very idyllic. And if I can think of a few more sentences I can pad this out for ever, and won't have to answer the obvious question.

Did I catch anything?...

No I did not.

Despite trying all sorts of bait, and dimly remembered rigs and tackle set ups, I could not catch a cold. (Well I did get two small perch, but I don't really count these are they are like a pest on the Nene, and were no bigger than a fairground goldfish)

I could see decent sized carp rolling, and some roach; and other anglers were keen to tell me of shoals of bream, and whole colonies of dace. But catch them I could not. Depressingly, it was exactly the same when I went for an unblogged "practice" session last week!

As I can't go anywhere without a camera though, at least I have a pleasant watery picture for you, which you can look at whilst imagining all the fish down there, doing fishy things.

Either they have got smarter in since the 1980's, or I need to buy Bernard Venables iconic book "Mr Crabtree goes fishing" which...Ahem...more seasoned readers, may recall being serialised in the Daily Mirror way back when, when summers were longer and shorts were shorter.

I am encouraged to learn however, that Venables was actually the gardening correspondent, and only persuaded the paper to let him write about fishing one winter when things in the garden were a tad quiet.

So perhaps there is hope for me yet.... I can almost hear the fish shivering in the deep.


Anonymous said...

I love that photo of the lake! It's beautiful.

lilymarlene said...

Just caught up with my blog reading today and lo and behold yours is all about fishing. And...what's more....I ordered a book for my husband last week from arrived today. You've guessed it...."Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing". DH had this as a boy and goes on about it a now he has his own copy!

Allotment Lady said...

Oh how wonderful - I just got 'lost' in your prose - and was sitting looking at the view in your photo.

Brilliant - and oh - was surprised to read that you have a 'wild' side

Greenmantle said...

Ah, I be a true Countryman at heart Lottie.... I lived on a farm for 30 years, and have always been connected with country sports and agricultural work.

It's in the blood y'know.

Frankie @ Veg Plot said...

Oh God - not another Fisherman.

Greenmantle said...

No Frankie. Fishermen trawl the sea in grimy boats, with nets, and cable knit sweaters.

Spouse and I are "Anglers" altogether different, and more eclectic breed...

Petunia's Gardener said...

Nice catch of the scene, though. Hope the fish are biting now.