freeline-22 - Page 112



In the Presence of Greatness
by Keith Jenkins
A
s I sit here, in my
bivvy, England has
just scraped past
Argentina in the
first game of the
Rugby World Cup.
It doesn’t bode too well for the ensuing weeks, and I feel that my usual
question of you will be more than
rhetorical: ‘We haven’t won it, have
we?’ My previous enquiry as to the
standing of the English team in the
world of cricket was a lot more certain, and our demolition of the Indian
Number Ones and World One Day
champions saw us rise to such heady
heights that were previously archaic.
Oh well, one’s better than none at all
(I watched the England football team
struggle past Wales at Wembley on
Tuesday).
So, back to the lake. I’m not intending to write a ‘from the bivvy’ piece
again this month; that would be seriously pushing my luck, especially as
the fish seem extremely preoccupied
on items of food much smaller than
my 15mm boilie. I’ve tried hair-rigging a single daphnia on a filament of
silk, but my eyesight’s not what it
was so I’ve given that up in favour of
the aforementioned boilie. The fish
have been showing little sign of
changing their diet for the past couple of weeks, and for every lone cap-
112 FREE LINE
ture of an unwary carp, many rod
hours are being spent with various
heads in various pairs of hands; a
quiet groaning issuing from within
the grasp. But that is what you get on
lakes like this that are healthy and
burgeoning with aquatic life – big
carp that have no need ever to pick
up an angler’s bait that may lay
amongst a soup of nature’s larder. But
pick it up they do, thank the Lord, otherwise we would surely see more
head wringing, and hear more groaning, as the requisite size of strait
jacket was offered up to the plaintive
angler.
I haven’t quite reached the groaning as yet; that’s probably only
because I’ve spent just a couple of
weekends at the lake since last writing. Those that live close are faced
with a double-edged sword. They can
be at the lake as much as they like,
which affords them the benefit of
finding the fish regularly, baiting up a
few little spots, and doing a few
overnighters. But that way, they have
more cause for head holding and
groaning if there is no reward for their
regular lakeside presence. Anyway,
that’s my excuse. I spent yesterday
walking round for a couple of hours,
ignored Si’s advice to go into New
North, then received a text from JP
first thing this morning to say that
he’d had a 22lb common – from New
North. Well done, Jenks, on the ball
again, boy! I’m on a lovely little island,
called Maxwell’s (although it should
be renamed Mousewell’s, what with
the number of tiny little rodents scurrying through the undergrowth). To
my right is an area called the Throne;
you get your own, very special strait
jacket if you succumb to fishing in
there. The carp are always in the
weed in front of there – always. But
the ratio of rod hours to captures is so
huge that Professor Brian Cox could
host a series of programmes about its
existence in quantum space. Anyway,
the carp were there – again. And they
were crashing in the night – again.
And I went round for a walk – again.
And I walked away thinking that I
might just go in there; drop one in
that little hole there, and another just
over there. But I didn’t, and the next
night I lay and listened as the odd
carp walloped over in the moonlight.
Best to ignore them – that way lies
only madness.
So, I blanked, as did the rest other
than JP. He moved into another little
swim that I’d ignored manfully and
bagged himself another common of a
similar size. Don’t get me wrong; I’m
(Above) But at least I can see the lake.
(Left) The company was welcome.

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