Previous posts have alluded to the fact that when I go fishing I like to have a plan – even if it’s only there to boost my confidence/self-esteem, or to convince the wife that my hobby doesn’t purely consist of aimlessly wandering up and down river banks scaring wildlife. I normally supplement my Plan (notice that it now has a capital ‘P’ – that makes it more official in my view) with a backup plan – Plan B (more capitals) as I like to call it. Plan B normally revolves around the eating arrangements for the trip, so we’ll skip that for now.
The last two weekends have seen me down at the local farm lake. It’s only small – just over an acre. So maybe I should call it the pond. That aside it’s a lovely spot. Sheltered, surrounded on two sides by trees and most importantly, peaceful. Hardly anyone goes there. The nearest footpath is about 100m away so walkers rarely trouble you with enquiries about your success (or lack of success in my case).
I’ve fished this location on quite a few occasions now. When I said it was local I really meant local. It’s a 5 minute walk from my front door. The fact that it remains under the radar of almost everyone else is also a bonus, as it offers me the opportunity to practice all those essential skills such as casting tight to the margins, plumbing the depth and perfecting that whole ‘fishing without moving’ thing that the experts seem to be able to do. Recent visits have seen vast improvements when it comes to the all-important dead-on cast. I can now get within a foot of the opposite bank every time. The problem is that it’s always a foot the wrong side of the bank. Still, it’s progress.
No-one really seems to know exactly what’s in the pond – it was stocked in the late ’90s and has been pretty much left alone since then. I’ve acquainted myself with some of the occupants – the hordes of tiny Roach and Gudgeon that you can catch by the bucketload just by lobbing in a hook with a maggot on the end – but on my last visit with a friend who wanted me to show him the ropes (a classic example of the blind leading the blind) we optimistically put out a carp rod with a chunk of Spam on the end. After spending several hours laughing at each others ineptitude and reminiscing about how good the music was in the 80’s we suddenly had a honker of a pull on the aforementioned broomstick setup.
Now at this point I’d love to tell you that the title of this post refers to the monster specimen that I subsequently expertly played and eventually landed after a thrilling fight, with me using all my skill and knowledge to keep it from hiding amongst the sunken logs and breaking me off on the various snags.
I’d be delighted if that were the case.
But it isn’t.
It got away.
Somehow though I find this to be an equally satisfactory outcome. I now know He’s In There. Somewhere. I don’t know what He is (note the caps again) or how big He might be. But I do know He’s there.
And that, for me, is the essence of why I go fishing. I may get Him next time. I may not. But in the meantime it’s a lovely spot. Sheltered, surrounded on two sides by trees and most importantly, peaceful.
As a postscript I should add that no Sausages were harmed in the writing of this post.
Musical inspiration was provided by: