FREE LINE 03 - Page 117

Wellington Boots and Waders
Caught on an overnighter.
rods had been wiped out in one go by
our white-feathered friends. The second incident happened in the depths
of winter when I was fishing off Boathouse. I had my extended two-man
wrap on the bivvy, and was tucked up
properly in the bag when again in the
early hours I had a buzzer go off, in
fact I had all three buzzers went off. I
ripped the bag open, and as I swung
my legs round off the bedchair I
kicked something. I couldn’t quite
make it out in the confines of the dark
bivvy but it was making a sort or
grunting noise, and I knew straight
away what it was; it was a bloody
swan. I stayed calm as I didn’t want
to scare it, having no idea what it was
tangled up with. I put my head torch
on and switched it on expecting the
swan to go mad, but it just sat there
looking bemused and a little stunned.
I don’t know what had happened,
whether it was being chased by the
Cob or whether it was coming in to
land and just hadn’t seen me, but
somehow it had come straight into
the middle of the swim, taking all
three rods off the buzzers, bouncing
up the steps, and ending up inside my
bivvy right up against my bedchair. It
had its legs stretched out behind it as
well as its wings, and it was sort of
stranded, not having enough room to
move within the confines of the bivvy.
I couldn’t see any line around it, and
assumed I had escaped getting tangled up, so all I had to do was get the
sodding thing out of my bivvy. I can
remember sitting on my bedchair, and
pushing its head and neck away from
me to try to get it to move, but it
c o u l d n ’t b e c a u s e i t s l e g s w e r e
stretched out behind it. I couldn’t
even put my boots on because the
daft bird was on top of them - I kid
you not, it had come that far into the
bivvy. In the end I decided to turn my
head torch off and wait for the thing
to make its own exit in its own time.
Eventually, after what seemed like ten
minutes or more the bird managed to
get to its feet, flopped around, and
turned around inside the bivvy before
waddling out of the door and slipping
back down into the water obviously
very embarrassed. How it never managed to get tangled up with one of the
lines during its attempt at landing I
will never know, but after I got the
rods back on the buzzers I made
myself a cuppa and sat and reflected
on what had just happened. I can still
see the look on this swan’s face as I
put my head torch on only to be a
couple of feet away, and I can laugh
now, but I didn’t at the time. The next
time you complain about a swan
swimming through one of your lines
just be thank full they don’t want to
share your sleeping bag as well like
they do at Welly.
So, back to the actual fishing for
this session… The first night fishing
off the side of the Boathouse I had
numerous liners which pulled the
bobbins right up to the top of the rod
only to hold there for a second or two
before dropping back down. I had
given up getting off the bedchair
every time this happened and trying


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