Sunday, 25 September 2016

Bewilderment and Delight.

Blackberrying swans
Poised waiting for a blaze of colour to lift through the ripple following the first wave of flashing silver, thoughts turned to the ingenuity, and downright usefulness, of the tools at hand.

Not having in the slightest a mechanically-inclined mind, I wonder at the complexity and longevity of our angling fathers' inventiveness.

Surrounded by evidence of it, it falls under analysis.

The engineering skill of the balance, power and, 'tween times, rigidity of the rod itself is something all angler's appreciate and covet to suit their needs but the smaller points, the stand off rings for instance, to keep the line off a wet blank, holding it parallel and in perfect unison with its curve. I could never have thought of that.

The float I understand. It is quite easily possible to understand how, over time, by tweak of twig and finesse of feather, they appeared and evolved into today's myriad options. Historically what made the tackle shop akin to a sweet shop of course. No more however.

Even the very simplest of ideas, the slot cut into individual lead gun shot for attachment to line, or gut as it may have been then, is quite beyond my own perception as a concept.

Of course the ubiquitous 3/8" thread and it's perfectly matching socket, so widely used and recognised as standard by default, is in itself pure genius. Simple but effective, as they say.

For me though, the peak of the mesmerising array of imagination beyond my most bizarre of dreams is the reel, and while the fixed-spool reel, and perhaps indeed the closed-face version, represent the most advanced and intricately engineered equipment available to us, if aesthetics and elegance are factors in that pageant, then surely the centre-pin epitomises the ultimate in inventive beauty.

Where would we be without such advancements? Propelling the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune blindly into the murky depths and starved of release from it all no doubt.

How lucky we are.

Anyway, enough of this fanciful tripe...

Canal and small river roach have been calling this week.

The Leam, from which four over a pound have been enticed these past 4 years (is that all?) played it's usual clear river game and offered up nothing bigger than seven ounces or so.

Rain required.

The Grand Union however, while being awash with bream at times, almost to the exclusion of all else it regularly seems, bore spangled fruit in the shape of four roach that hit the 1lb+ target, topped by a beauty of 1lb 7ozs 6drms.

This, the second largest so far from this increasingly potent canal, was taken, as is the way of things, early morning, on a large chunk of flake having plundered a nearby swim at dawn for 8lbs of thickly mucus-basted bronzes.

I confess to allowing myself just a brief, though admittedly slightly guilty - being alone - beaming smile of delight.

This very Sunday morning a slightly better overall catch of 13lbs overall, including a bream of precisely 3lbs, included a jewel of 1.4.2 first cast.

Thankfully the big roach nearly always come to the bait first while the bream hang-off, pondering the prospect. After that though I do fear they get bullied-out.

The Big Canal Roach list (all GUC) thus far, after two weeks, looks very much like this:

The game is afoot with a vengeance. Roll-on the next break in play.

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