Just recently I received news that I had been successful in gaining membership of a syndicate that controls angling on a water I regularly visited as a boy. My interest then was largely ornithological and being, then, of an age to permanently capture vividly fruit-centred memories my recollection is fond in a quite dewy-eyed way
Sanderling and black tern there remain my only sightings of the species, in the company of The Old Duffer, but it was the rattling voices of reed and sedge warblers that stick more clearly in the mind combined with finding a frog inside a tuft of rush, owl pellets and a jack pike being caught on a spinner which contained 90-odd tiny roach fry and a single sucking leech. I recall the pike tasting like very mild trout and remains, thankfully, the only time I have eaten it from both a culinary and conservation orientated perspective...there'll be none of that going-on this time around!
In angling terms it is something of an enigma to me. I never had a proper bite there as I recall, just a couple of liners on a swing-tip and yet I know that with concerted effort it was capable of producing roach around the magical weight and held at least one shoal of hefty bream plus odd tench, a group of which I once had the pleasure of viewing in shallow water as they queued up to spawn in a channel, perch and pike. No doubt there are other species but I distinctly recall a lack of small fish among the catches elders and betters then took. A friend of The Old Duffers' claims to have caught an inordinate number of big roach over his long angling career and it is mainly this possibility that draws me back
Approaching this completely new challenge 'safe' in the knowledge that this is very hard water, harder than any canal, currently spurs me on and yet in my previous angling life pre-1990's I wouldn't even have entertained such a prospect. Now though the prospect of the odd blank in pursuit of the incredible is an attraction and, having lost impetus with canals for the time being, it also comes at an opportune moment when seeking a contrasting and varied angling portfolio, so to speak. Yes, I can see the mix of small stream, very difficult stillwater and occasional canal will suit quite nicely for the foreseeable
The syndicate does not permit publicity and although the pro's and con's, well mainly the con's, have been debated in blog-world recently I can respect that view on venues which would otherwise be vulnerable to the down-side of literally 'broadcast' news. While I would generally take the view that the more open and transparent we are the better I am not averse to a touch of secrecy from time to time if it is necessary and in this instance I strongly believe it to be so therefore will have no qualms in being very careful about future information and how it is presented, for that I apologise in advance. That said I yet need to even set foot on the bank and cast a line into the fondly remembered waves before I can even dream of reporting anything even remotely interesting but at least the enthusiasm and confidence in the challenge are well-set.
With The Lady Burton back in the real world the prospect of an early sortie might just present itself fairly soon. The prospect of high winds, rolling waves, the tempting bird life, a type of angling I have never before sought to understand and perhaps even the occasional bite is really quite appealing