There were 7 intrepid anglers who turned up to fish the winter league match on the river Huntspill at Gold Corner. The conditions were far from idea, the weather was cold and the wind was almost none existent, to use the old adage it was like a mill pond. The river itself was about 3 foot down from its normal level. This was helpful because it made it possible to get right down to the waters edge and fish reasonably comfortable. On the other hand if it was at normal level it would have been almost impossible to hold a match here because the nature of the steep banks.
The 7 anglers which included yours truly of course went through the process of doing the draw, of going to ones peg, of setting up, of settling down and waiting for the whistle.
Now from a personal angle the peg I drew out of the hat was number 1 which was closest to the bridge. Now people who know Gold corner will know that the bridge houses the pumping station whose purpose is to pump flood water from the south drain in to the Huntspill which then carries on out to sea.
Owing to the configuration of my peg and a rather large bramble bush behind me it was nigh impossible to fish the pole, so the waggler was employed instead. The fishing box was positioned appropriately, ground bait was mixed, waggler rod was set up, the depth was plumbed, an area was decided to fish and the float was shotted exactly right, I was all set ready to go. With a few minutes to spare I surveyed the water in front of me. As mentioned before it was like a mill pond. I knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, but I was quietly confident that I would catch something, even a Ruffe or 2. My mood was optimistic and blanking wasn’t deemed an option. The whistle was blown and I casted in. Almost straight away Dave Colley in peg 2 to my left spoke “crikey what’s that” and pointed towards the bridge. Now they say a picture is worth a 1000 words.
The water in front me became a swirling mass of eddies, vortexes and whirlpools. The chances of me catching fish now went from an extreme form of maybe to the same chance as me becoming pope. One would cast in and to dampen down my, shall we say annoyance would play a game, the game in question was guess which direction the float would go. Would it go to my left, or to my right, would it come back towards me or would it go out to the middle. it was now like fishing in a bloody washing machine. A plan of action was now needed. A plan was concocted and implemented. In terms of the Borg in Star Trek The Next Generation. Resistance is futile. So the white flag was raised and a despondent yours truly did not pack up immediately but had a good old chin wag with good old Dave Colley from peg 2 who was also affected. In fact as time elapsed every one fishing would become affected. Dave Nash came to visit about 20 minutes into the match, he was on his way back to the car to get his coat as the temperature was falling. He informed us that no one had had a bite. Me and Mr Colley carried on with our quality gossiping. Come 11.15 I decided to give Dave Nash a visit who was end pegger on peg 7. As I passed every one, there was familiar body of words emerging which can’t be repeated here.
Dave was wearing a face of defeat. He reeled in his waggler to show me how much depth he had, it was barely two and a half foot in the middle. The prospect of fish obliging was grim indeed. Then the cracks started to appear. ” we have to tell Alan ( match organiser and beloved match secretary) it’s no good carrying on, we should all pack up and call it a day” Well with what was happening in my swim I was in total agreement. Walking back and passing everyone again it was plain to see that there was a mood of low spirits and a loss of hope. To cut a long story short, with the full agreement of every one. It was decided that all should pack up and bugger of. At 12 o’clock the bank was completely devoid of anglers as all had upped sticks and went on their merry way. No one but no one had had a bite.
Now I can look on the bright side and put forward an element that the glass is half full. Here I will install a bit of subterfuge, a bit if you like, a slight deceit, some form of creative accounting. Here goes.
The saying goes that a good angler catches ten percent of the fish in his swim. I go with that. Now the conclusion is that there was no fish in my swim what so ever. Not one, nothing.
Ten percent of nothing is nothing and that is what I caught nothing. Enough said.
The unsung heroes of Bridgwater Angling Association who slog their guts out improving the swims and foot paths and delve in to the art of litter picking at Dunwear ponds have added a touch of finesse to their handy work. That of naming of some of the swims and putting up well crafted signs as part of the process.
I can well understand how certain swims have come to have certain names. But for the life of me Grey Tailors. I been scratching my heads guys and still none the wiser. So it answers on a post card please.
Well that all folks on the day after one of Watchet Anglings blackest days.
Tight lines Pete C