Friday, December 19, 2008
Well that's me finished work for a couple of weeks; and with Santa just around the corner and an opportunity for a few snatched hours on the Ribble, I suppose I should have been filled with Christmas spirit.
Somehow though, I just couldn't be happy with my lot this afternoon. Still weary following my tussle with the flu virus recently, I struggled to drag my neoprene-clad legs along the sheep-muddied banks. And as I stood gazing into the apparently lifeless, flinty grey depths below, I couldn't help but yearn for spring and the miraculous burst of new life which it unfailingly brings. Where recently there was luxuriant bankside growth, now only dead balsam stalks (and the bare, erosion-prone earth they reveal) were left. Where only a few weeks ago, myriad sedge and olive spinners skittered over the water surface, now only a forlorn dun or two braved the foul weather to emerge on the pool tails.
And the weather man was right: by early afternoon the wind and rain had arrived to blow away any shred of vigour which remained in my tired limbs. I beat a hasty retreat at around 3pm and will probably not even think about fishing for the next few days at least.
The afternoon had started with promise though. A team of bugs was fished through a favourite pool and within a dozen casts, a small grayling and then a better fish of around 12" had been landed, giving some cause for optimism. This soon waned though as the weather deteriorated and further efforts went entirely unrewarded.......
When it comes to angling, I am usually quite easy to please. Merely being out in the fresh air and lovely north-west countryside is usually sufficient to send me home revived, and the landing of a few fish only adds to this enjoyment. The fly fisher's constant movement, casting rhythm and the quiet whisper of the fly line through the air, can in themselves bring about a satisfying feeling of well-being such that the capture of fish in itself is not always essential for the day to be viewed a success.
The are however, inevitably days when, for any number of reasons, it is difficult to gain much pleasure at all from being out on the water. Such occasions are mercifully rare.....but for me, today was one of them.
Hopefully the holiday weather will be kind and I will have chance to venture out again and redress the balance. The Lower Eamont and Yorkshire's River Ure are both high on my agenda for a grayling fishing session.