Rain and fishing often go together; but today, at the Other Pool, I was cold and I was muddy.
have come to realise that national and even regional weather forecasts do not apply to Herefordshire! It is not unusual to fish in unexpected frosts and unpredicted deluges in my neck of the woods, for some inexplicable reason.
In this respect, today did not disappoint. I arrived by bike at 9.30am, and almost at once the heavens opened. I wouldn’t have minded, except that the latest forecast was for sunshine and occasional light showers,
and I didn’t have a brolly.
Watching falling rain can be hypnotic, - the way each raindrop opens its eye wide on the pool’s reflective surface, before rippling
away, rippling away into infinity. Yes, I was going slightly mad.
I had a good waterproof with me, but I was soon frozen and despondent, despite the sight of a magnificent
grey heron cronking overhead and the occasional leaping of a carp out in the middle, above the deep channel. This gave me hope that the session might not be a total wash-out after all.
While I was waiting for my sight-bob to move, I found myself becoming rain-happy, - in tune with the rhythms, drips and gurgles of the relentless November deluge. I started to imagine things, such as footsteps on the wooden bridge that leads to the
island where I was fishing. But I was very much alone and shivering in an alarming way that reminded me of my more extreme winter pike sessions, during the Nineties. It was more like spasmodic juddering than shivering and, surrounded by a growing sea of mud
on the little island, I started to question the wisdom of fishing on.
Four hours later, I was still there – waiting for the light to ebb a little, at around 3pm,
and knowing that the carp would probably start feeding then, icy downpour or no icy downpour. I hadn’t had a bite, but this problem was about to be rectified.
sight bob moved once inch over the surface, stopped, then slowly and almost imperceptibly it went under, and stopped again! I struck, to no avail. This happened again, about fifteen minutes later – and once more I struck into thin air. What was happening?
I realised that the carp were probably as cold and comatose as me, and I decided to give them more time to make mistakes.
The third bite came. The bob went under just a fraction, and stopped. I waited. It started to move away, at a snail’s pace, and I struck and found myself attached to a nice common, a little larger than the average for the pool.
The fight was unspectacular and over quickly, as if the fish was half asleep.
I caught another two commons, at last knockings. But they were not as large as the first. However,
the final common, as the overcast gloom really gathered round me, put up a very spirited struggle, - taking line against the clutch, running back towards me and then trying to snag me under over-hanging branches.
I left the pool today feeling very lucky to have managed three commons in such trying conditions. There’s grit or mud in my Mitchell 410a bail arm, and it’s not working properly. Tomorrow, I shall set
to work to fix it.
But right now, as I write this, I’ve just enjoyed a hot bath, followed by a steak pie and mash dinner, and I’m feeling pretty good about the
The cold rain seems a distant memory already, and looking back I must conclude - today was fun.