Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The curtain call

Final casts, the sand from this seasons hourglass slipping away, packing a light amount of gear I decided to spend the final day out on the Blackwater roving about, seeking that last river fishing fix until June and where better than this wonderous little river, since the very first time that I had wetted a line on it, fascination for this waterway has never left me, condensed with features that would raise a smile and warm the soul of many an angler. There is beauty in the shape and form that a river makes as it winds its way, seeking, surging with an urgency that it and only those who are connected to it can feel and understand.

As anglers what do we seek, to catch fish might be one answer, I would agree to some extent, but let that not fool you, we also seek a peace and to be at one, fishing allows this in many ways outside of all the connected and at times dysfunctional electronica, it is what helps to earth us, a steadying hand if you will.

Such thoughts were racing through my head during the afternoons roving, the sun playing a game of cat and mouse between the clouds, it was a very pleasant day, minnows playing with the bait in most the swims I had fished, no real bites with what to connect with, yet I was content, kept company by natures theatre which was unfurling before me, a kingfisher was darting up and downstream, wings low to the water, a blur of electric blue, a kestrel was perched on a nearby tree and had seemingly taken to following me upstream, perching near me on no less than three ocassions and with the aid of a local birdwatcher I was introduced to a Pallas's Warbler.

On the fishing front however it was a quiet afternoon and one which was slowly but surely melting into evening, after trying a few spots upstream I decided to make my way back downstream, covering other spots that I had either skipped or planned to fish on the way back, but try as I might, a fish was far from forthcoming in any of these. I wondered, should I beat a path downstream and try an area that I had not given much attention to? The answer was a resounding yes.

Making my way to this area of the river, the flow faster more certain with an almost arrogant assurance about its pace, the sun fading away in front of me as I cast lobworm and now cage feeder  downstream, it was the perfect evening, the scene completed when a violent bite shook the quiver tip to life, rod rudely awakened as it jerked to life. The angler strikes, hoping to feel a comforting resistance and dash for freedom from the other end and sure enough I did, the fight was intriguing as fish and current joined forces to aid and abet in its mission to escape.

The net slid under a welcome fish of 2lb, no signs of it having ever seen a hook before, clean unblemished, such is the beauty of rivers like this, the forgotten creating its own security and peace where fish can thrive.

I made my way back to the car, but not before trying a couple of other spots into darkness, but deep down I was whole and sated, at least until June and when the new coarse season beckons.


  1. Excellent piece Mark, I thoroughly enjoyed sharing your day and the Pallas's Warbler was a special treat.

    1. Thanks Dave, it was also nice to see some sunshine for a change too, certainly made a change!