Having seen footage of rivers flowing through houses and waves too big to surf on. I have contented myself with central heating, glasses of port and Chris Yates’ excellent new book “The Lost Diary” (www.unbound.co.uk for details.) But with a day off ahead and a blue sky beckoning I hurried the children off to school and then cogitated about where to go and what to fish for over a plate of eggs on toast and a cup of coffee…or two. Outside our nine year old Labrador “Marley” (named before the film came out OK!) was skating across the decking like Bambi, in his conquest to catch the grey squirrel that was sat in the apple tree. “Pike” I rather randomly thought. Associating the icy conditions with the fact that my recently acquired old Esox slaying rod which was originally designed for salmon fishing (i think) and a speedia reel were propped up in the corner of the hallway. The rod is named “The Monnow” and also has the name W.G Haynes and Son of Exeter emblazoned on it- so it be a local bay! In truth it could use a little tlc, but with over one hundred intermediates to re-whip it can wait a little while longer (who am I kidding?)
Decision made; I set about transferring the jumbled assortment of necessary tackle from my old canvas bag to my new creel which my daughter Kim had very kindly bought me for Christmas. I announced each item aloud as it was transferred, carefully wiping off any crusty cheese paste and furry luncheon meat as I went along. All was going well until I put my finger through a rotten banana that was lurking at the bottom of the bag! With hands washed I suddenly remembered the plastic wallet with my fishing licences in. Thankfully it was in the front pocket and I managed to retrieve it, along with a rusty old sea hook that decided in it’s last throws of usefulness to impale itself into my forefinger (size 1/0 for the technically minded.)
With hands washed (again) to stop the fragment of decomposed mackerel from infecting me (just in case you were beginning to think I had an OCD disorder,) I began flicking through the contents of the wallet. Old Royalty day tickets, Christchurch Angling Club, Sturminster Newton Club permits, a few day tickets for carp pools that were either now Theme Parks or Car Parks and finally countless Exeter Angling Association annual permits…ending in 2013. The realisation that it was now 2014 finally struck me. “*** it!” I thought. Now normally this wouldn’t be an issue as I can usually rely on the gratuities that I am kindly given by the customers on my mail round. This year however most of the general public have decided that as we Postie’s are now “stinking rich” with our free shares (even though we can’t sell them for a minimum of three years, by which time they will either be worthless or owned by the French- which is probably the same thing,) from Royal mail we no longer need a Christmas tip to buy our fishing permits and the odd bottles of cider and port.
Skint, I considered my options; Sell the dog on ebay? No that would take too long and I would probably get more for him at the local Chinese- I mean, who would spend a fortune on a pedigree gundog that was scared of loud noises…? Who…? You guessed it. Maybe I could raid the children’s money boxes? No they are still full of Euros and old sixpences from last time. Time to face the fact that fishing is off today’s menu. Which is a shame because I was going to christen the new hat that my wife Rae bought me for Christmas. It’s made from an old Brazilian tarpaulin (www.tarphat.co.uk) Hang on, I think I am missing a trick here. If when you go to these links and decide to buy a book or hat could you please mention you saw the links on my blog and that I can’t afford my permits, cider or port this year and a little commission wouldn’t go amiss.
So, there it is. My first “nearly” trip of the year became my first post of the year. The next one will definitely contain the catching of a fish or two, or at the very least a glimpse of a river…please.
#fishing #traditionalangling #vintagetackle #