I've caught a couple of decent fish recently, and they've served to add the perfect punctuation to what proved two tip-top weekends.
The fish and the preceding fun are now intertwined as memories. Little bundles of joy in my thick head. I'm certain the context or backdrop against which we fish influences if not the outcome then at least the enjoyment of the end result.
Taking a simple shower after a weekend at a festival; a sip of whiskey after the arrival of a first born; your favourite tune coming on amongst spectacular scenery - all capable of triggering dizzying heights of biochemical release due to their context.
Wake up; drink a tall whiskey; take a shower and put the radio on is perversely my daily routine, but not all days are so good!!!
The first notable fish was preceded by a trip to Padstow by light aircraft. My best mate's friend is a pilot and part-owner of a plane so off we trotted on our jolly-boys outing; destination Polzeath airfield which is nothing more than the nineteenth fairway of a golf course.
Descent was committed and the cockpit fell silent in anticipation of our landing until the pilot set us all at ease with, "Can anyone see the runway!?"....
|Now I know why the bloody Pope looks so happy to see terra firma!|
|One pair of safe hands between us.|
Back home for Sunday I saw the female Jobling contingent run Race For Life, then whilst in the checkout queue at the supermarket with the children I saw on Facebook that a Vulcan bomber was due to fly over Coventry airport within the next twenty minutes.
To continue the aeronautically themed weekend we 'scrambled' and joined thousands of others flash-mobbing the perimeter road of the airport, causing the most almighty traffic jam on all surrounding roads.
|...and it arrived in a deafening roar!|
So why not chance my arm on Sunday night?
Kids despatched I made haste to the Warwickshire Avon at Stratford on Leamington Angling's Lucy's Mill stretch.
Dusk began to draw both the evening and weekend to a close when my rod buckled and shifted uneasily in it's rest from the force of the bite.
The fish had me skipping up and down the bank like a mountain goat in my attempts to subdue the rushes and after an enjoyable scrap I won the day.
|12lb 8oz Warks Avon Barbel|
|Here endeth this particular weekend.|
I caught up with Danny and Jeff recently on the canal. Keen to improve his lure fishing edge Danny deployed his prototype 'Zander Invisibility Cloak' he's been working on...
The second noteworthy fish followed a fantastic barbeque birthday party with beer provided by Dave of "The Midnight Brewery" Leamington Spa and a delicious spit roast whole lamb.
Now child labour was employed to serve the beer, and the 'waiters' soon cottoned on to the fact that tips were received for their prompt and attentive service. This lead to all attendees having heads like sheds the following day. I abandoned all hope of fulfilling duties of domestic drivel and took myself to Napton reservoir for a restorative evening session.
Reports of crucian carp captures from Napton are rare. I'd never caught one before despite throwing at least half a dozen of my best attempts at it in previous years. By all accounts crucian captors from Napton is a pretty exclusive club, one nonetheless with very few fussy joining criteria other than luck, a drizzle of fortune and a pinch of guile.
The afternoon was moody, a brisk wind - which given Napton's raised position is not uncommon here - and heavy showers scudded above us.
I fished a pole float in the margins coupled with a long float rod and centrepin reel.
A delicate bite which was nothing more than the float shifting an inch or two 'in the wrong direction' i.e. against the breeze, was struck at and after a circular thumping tussle I netted my first ever from the venue:
|2lb 3oz Crucian from Napton.|
Later that week I was taught a lesson by the crucian fishing master that is Keith Sale. I couldn't repeat my fluke whilst he made it look like a foregone conclusion from the off...
The absence of grown-ups whilst gardening has lead to some interesting results:
Whilst typing this morning I've had to forcibly evict a pigeon which took up residence in 'me kitchen'! It was landed using nothing more than a Korum folding landing net. Hopefully an omen....
.... as I'm out again this evening and am currently selecting my weapon of choice!