Article - Coarse

I suppose the finest day fishing...

By Paul, added on 03/11/2008

I suppose the finest day fishing, for me, was spent on the River Kennet, a few years ago. It was spent mostly in the constant rain, that started mid morning, and continued all through the afternoon into the early part of the evening. From that point, the rain ceased and I was still crouched there, on the river bank, rod in hand.

It seemed a good idea to be fishing with an old Lucky Strike along with a fifties Aerial, as I was targeting one of the most pretty of fish, the old stripy sergeant, Mr Perch. In my tackle box was a small paper packet of hooks that I was determined to use, they were size 6 Crystal Perfects. The label on the packet was B.James, Ealing. With a juicy lobworm in place, I made my approach to the pool, and in no time at all, up from the depths came this stunning creature, a 3lb 8oz Perch.

Chris Lythe was further down the bank, and he suggested we celebrate with a cup of tea. Which we duly did.

With the rain starting up again, we used the cover of the trees behind the hut.

As a complete optimist I had brought along my virgin Kelly Kettle, hoping to give it a good go. After collecting the kettle from the creel in the car, I made the offer of a cup of tea and some cake to Chris. It was one of the newly available Yorkshire Tea cakes, so with the rain and cold , we were somewhat looking forward to this.

Could I get smoke, flame, heat? Not on your Nelly, Kelly.

Chris watched on, and then from the back of his car came another Kelly Kettle, and a bag full of Oak wood chippings, that was like tinder.

I had made the mistake of not being prepared, which left me foraging for damp twigs, which simply do not work. Newspaper alone only makes flame, and blackens the chimney, without boiling.

So there was Chris, effortlessly boiling up the water and making the tea, with a big grin.

By now it was time to get back to the fishing, and after we said our farewells, I went off into the opposite direction, while Chris headed off toward the Pike in the nearby pool. I caught a number of sizeable Roach, which increased in size as the day went on, and then everything went quiet. I went back to the car to collect some more maggots, only to find that I had left another bait box on top of the old metal tin of maggots underneath, and had turned them into a foul smelling, sweaty mush.

I threw the contents into the top of the swim, and carried on fishing into the dark. To finish off the day, I started to use up the slices of bread that were in my pocket, and caught brown trout after brown trout. Every cast a trout. I continued with this while making my way back to the bridge, where I would cross to get to the car, only by the time I made it to the car, it was total darkness. While I was busy reflecting on what a beautiful day it had been, fishing on into the darkness, with the swifts darting about, until I could barely see the can rod tip, it occurred to me that it was Halloween.

Then the darkness lost all of it’s charm, and put on it’s sinister shroud, making me look over my shoulder right up until I was packed up, and in the car.

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