Monday, 4 October 2010

Sleeping Ruffe.

Sunday 3rd October, 07:20 - 09:00. Oxford canal at Brinklow / Cathiron. Heavy rain. 15C.

This morning was the sort of early morning entertainment that only fishing can provide.

I awoke at 6:30 and could hear the rain before I even made it downstairs.

I boiled the kettle and pulled on my clothes and immediately started to question my sanity as I looked out of the kitchen window into the gloom. Although it was still dark I could clearly see the reflections of raindrops in the puddles in the back garden.

The garage was warm and there was still some heat left in the stove from last night. My gear was already in the car. I took my pre-chopped worm and compost mix and tub of maggots from the fridge.

With the car backed-out I stood in the garage doorway and pulled up my hood. The rain drummed hard against the steel roof. I turned off the lights and took a long look at the sheets of rain falling in front of the headlights. It was a 'go, no go' decision. If memory serves, I've never yet arrived at a 'no go' conclusion.

Still half asleep I turned the wrong way out of the drive onto the road.

Once again play at the Ryder cup had been suspended due to heavy overnight and continuing rain. Now committed to the fishing I could happily smile at the absurdity of the task in hand.

Andy had mentioned he'd caught a ruffe from the nearby canal and so I had a short time before a Leamington Angling work party catch five ounces of them towards this years fishing competition which I have on with my pals.

As soon as I got out of the car I put up my umbrella before shouldering my tackle. Still almost dark I needed a headlight to connect my pole rig. (You must be getting bored of this next bit....) I droppered in six lots of worm chop and compost and two of maggots.

First put-in and the float sailed under. 'Ye of little faith', I thought. It was a hybrid of about half a pound. I didn't get a photo as it flipped the hook as I swung it in, dropped onto the grass and squirmed back into the cut. Plop.

It took a while for the next bite which was from a bootstrap zander. This too fell off as I was swinging it in.

The boats started at eight and with them the water movement increased. I felt a little self conscious as the first few chugged by - sat in the heavy rain holding onto my brolly and smiling through a grimace (or was that grimacing through a smile). It was noticeable the effect the first boat had on the water colour. After all night settling, the churn created sub-surface clouds of silt emanating from the track.

Two hours, two bites, no ruffe. Manic giggling as I loaded my wet gear back into the car.

I got a new watch for my birthday.
We worked hard on the pegs at Jubilee but don't worry, it'll soon grow back. I amused my fellow workers by expressing a real love for working outdoors in the pouring rain. "Why?", they wondered without finding the need to swear at all. Well I knew had a gammon joint and potatoes for lunch and the golf and/or football on the telly in the afternoon. I also had a four pack in the fridge and so hard labour in the rain provided the perfect prelude to a wet Sunday afternoon in the warm and dry. I would also have ample opportunity to wrestle my children into the carpet. I'm convinced Leamington could market and brand this outdoor activity as corporate 'Team Bonding' or 'Colleague Cohesion', make a tidy packet and get our pegs cleared at the same time. It takes a lot of synergy and solutionising to chop down trees without getting killed and getting holes burned into your shirt without twatting the guy 'managing' the bonfire. 
I digress. No shower is as good as the one after you've come in from working outdoors all morning. Nor can any meal following that shower ever taste so good. No beer can ever quite taste like the one after the meal after the shower after working like a common dog outside in the rain all morning.

As for (bloody!) ruffe? After tonight's fishing club meeting and putting an epoch's fishing experience to work I have a new nailed-on, you cannot bend it venue...... but I first need to wait for the waters to subside.
Here are the scores tonight.



  1. Hi Keith. Either you are a brave man, or your wife is very tolerant of your worms & maggots in the fridge. I, on the other hand, get yelled at every time I put a tub of crawlers in the fridge even though they are in a tied bag.
    Guy once told me "never go fishing without a net or was it Annette(his wife)". To this day, I'm not sure which one he was talking about.



  2. Hey Shoreman, I wouldn't dare put my bait in our kitchen fridge! The missus would have my goolies in a sling. I keep my bait in the garage (prounounced ga-ridge rather than ga-rarj).

    How'd you like the golf score cousin!?

    Cheers mate.

  3. Sorry it did not bag you the point Keith I am hopefully getting up there this week, as only gone and broke my foot so can not get far! Will ask the misses to drop me with a light set up. Andy