12 May 2013

The very best of times

Today has been so momentous, so utterly marvellous, that if I didn't already have a blog I'd be setting one up just to write about it.

And although I will return shortly to the wonderful morning's fishing which played a big part in that, I hope you'll excuse me just this once if I start slightly off topic with the other principal source of today's joy - football.

Although the main theme that runs through this blog is nature in all it's wonder and variety, the name The Hornet's Nest has nothing whatsoever to do with natural history. Rather it reflects my other longstanding obsession; my support for Watford Football Club, aka the Hornets.

As is generally the case with angling, birding or any other passion one may have in life, this support has bought me equal measure or joy and heartache over the years. But today, in the space of 30 seconds, my beloved Hornets went from down-and-out to top-of-the-world in the blink of an eye. It was an explosive, roaring, visceral moment of sheer joy the likes of which I honestly don't think anything but sport can produce. 

(I'll spare you a full match report, and instead put this link here for my own enjoyment as I re-read this post in years to come: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22417772).

That this moment of utter elation followed a great morning's fishing made it all the sweeter. 

Having concluded on my last visit to Jubilee Pools that the key to the Horseshoe Lake was to concentrate on the margins and edges, I arrived this time with a clearer plan in mind. Pellet and corn for bigger bream and perhaps a bonus carp on the sleeper rod, but positioned much closer in than last time; worm and caster fished beneath a slider float at about 10ft depth for a more mixed bag which would hopefully include some of the lake's chunky roach - a prize which had so far eluded me.

It always takes a little time to get a slider working properly, but once it was ready I fired in three balls of ground bait, chopped worm and caster, cast the float into position, and... struck - straight into a chunky roach which looked much bigger than the 10oz my annoyingly accurate scales insisted it was.

If the second fish had also been a roach it would've been a belter because it shot off and put up one hell of a battle. It wasn't a roach, but I couldn't be even slightly disappointed since it turned out to be my first ever golden tench.

The third fish on this line was one of its more usual, but no less beautiful, green cousins, and fourth was a skimmer of perhaps a pound and a half. A proper 'mixed bag' indeed.

Eventually the slider line quietened down, but bang on cue the sleeper rod took over as three chunky bream sent the bobbin flying, one after another. Each was a typical Horseshoe bream with the largest at 4lb 4oz.

And when the sleeper rod finally went back to sleep, the slider woke up for one last hurrah - a string of modest perch to finish the morning.

A thoroughly enjoyable morning then, with untold joy on the football field to follow.

And do you know what? Two hours after full-time I checked my lottery ticket and discovered, without any real surprise, that for the first time ever I'd won. 

It was only £10 of course, but then that roach had 'only' been 10oz and the football match had 'only' been a Championship semi-final. It mattered not;  because as I learned a long time ago, it's never, ever, about the size of the prize. Only the joy of its moment.

Here's that mixed bag, in pictures:


George Burton said...

You're definitely on a roll now! Great stuff

Hornet said...

Thanks George. I know I'm not the only angler who's been glad to see the back of that winter.