freeline-28 - Page 176



The Gnarly Pit
All characters.
even feeling the hook pull, as they
buried in the thick weed and spat the
hook. I’m sure they do this by sucking
and blowing mouthfuls of soft weed
to work the hook out.
Two weekends later saw me back
again, fighting the scratching comfrey and cutting brambles to get to a
swim. This time I went on the High
Bank . At least from here I could walk
up and down and not feel like I was in
prison. I chose the more comfortable
Reedy Point. From there I got a good
view of the main lake, and it was only
a short walk from the main bulk of
islands which separate Royal Box Bay
from the main lake. So I could keep
my options open a little easier. It is
probably due to this fact that I spent a
lot more of my time fishing on there
along the High Bank rather than the
arduous treks to those spits that
never gave you much room for
manoeuvre. Spying a couple of decent
fish that were mooching around the
reeds in the margin helped matters
too!
That trip was memorable for one
92 FREE LINE
reason more than any other. Once I’d
set up and put up my makeshift
mosquito net, which was made from a
bit of brown viol net curtain my sister
had donated to the cause. I could sit
in the confines of my shelter in the
humid summer air stark naked if I so
wished. Those skeeters wouldn’t be
getting me today! Around midnight I
had a bite and had to get out of my
cell to go and deal with it. Once in the
net I noticed how much of a mutant it
was, like it had swallowed a football.
The poor thing looked fit to burst.
That’s a funny thing with the Gnarly
Pit; it had a fair few oddities swimming about that you would see from
time to time. A mirror I saw twice that
was around the upper double mark. It
used to swim along on its side. And
there was another common around
16lbs that looked like it had swum at
a hundred miles an hour into a brick
wall and crumpled up. It was more Sshaped than fish shaped. It almost
had to swim around in circles to get
anywhere! But it lived on, as I saw it
on more than one occasion, as I did
with this poor thing I had in my net.
I unhooked it, unclipped the rig
from my rod and put the loop
between my teeth so I didn’t lose it
while I navigated my way in the pitch
black of darkness into my bivvy
through the makeshift mozzie mesh,
as I needed to tie a new bait on and
re-sharpen the hook. As I was entering my bivvy, I saw a mosquito fly in
front of my eyes, so with my free
hands I clapped it to try and kill it. The
only thing was, a mozzie it wasn’t! It
was my dental floss loop that was tied
to the back of my hook that had
deceived me and the size six had
gone in the base of my index finger on
my right hand. In the darkness I tried
pulling it out, but it wouldn’t budge. I
reluctantly put the torch on for a look
once in the confines of my bivvy. The
hook had gone in well past the barb. I
sat there in a state of minor shock
wondering what course of action I
was going to take. It wasn’t really an
option to pack up, get my gear up the
bank, walk the mile to the car and
drive the fifty-odd miles home, unload





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