The Colours Of Spring…
Taking on extra responsibility becoming a bailiff for a local club has seen me visiting the banks of the local canal on a much more regular basis to complete checks and boy has spring come with a huge bang. The daffodils that stood proud of the grass are now suddenly coming to then end of their time and are slowly being chocked and overwhelmed by the grasses and dandelions that now compete with the daffs for their fair share of the suns life giving warm rays.
Areas that where once a canvass of browns, oranges and yellow ochre’s during the winter months are now transformed fully into all the beautiful bright colours that come with the full arrival of spring. A recent fishing session for carp it was noticeable that the change of wind brought with it a degree of warmth and like the awakening carp around me cruising the surface so the other wildlife has sprung into life.
The Ospreys on the Dyfi project page I follow on Facebook have arrived after their long migration from Senegal. A great page to follow if you love wildlife and I am sure the arrival of that other African jet setter, the swallow, is soon around the corner. We truly are spoilt in Britain with the vast array of wildlife that visits our shores.
From a fishing point of view for myself this time from the closing of the river season until the first good bit or warm weather when the canals awaken fully is filled with trips to commercials and trips to the local ponds in the area. These places really can be the forgotten gems in an ever expanding urban jungle, we all are only a stones throw from our own little pond oasis’s and time spent on Google Earth can soon reveal your local piece of tranquillity.
One local pond to me holds a wealth of memories for myself, going back 15 years I remember myself and my dad working in partnership with Halton College to regenerate this run down and unkept little pond. Clearing the pond and building the fishing platforms that are still their to this day earned us both a lifetime membership to the club that owned it at the time.
I can still remember myself and my dad walking to this pond, our blue shakey baskets on our backs and a black rod tube with red stoppers encasing out rods and landing net handles. It was a walk that seemed to last forever but our arrival at this pool was a more than enough reward for the journey.
A small secluded pond situated in the ruins of an old monastery it holds a wealth of history and the pond itself is part of that with it being a stock pond for the monks when they inhabited the local area. How times change now someone taking carp from this pond for the pot would be seen in such a different light.
So with only a few hours in the evening we decided to give this little pond a go. The margins lined with toads it was one of those typical early spring evenings, a warm breeze and intermittent sun and cloud, i was interested to see how the fishing had changed.
My Drennan acolyte, a perfect match for this most tranquil and delicate of waters, I began feeding red maggot over the top of my light waggler float soon saw some roach coming on the drop. A decent pouch of hemp from the off would guarantee some feed on the bottom when the maggot arrived. A deep swim for a pond at 10ft i fished a rig full depth with little shot to catch in all the layers as the bait fell. Roach where soon coming steady on the drop.
As with all truly wild fish that need not our baits to sustain their existence their natural instincts soon kick in and caution outweighs the need to feed. Changing feed and depths can fool the stranglers but keeping the fish coming can really be a game of cat and mouse. My uncle was also getting steady bites and had actually landed a few small carp, distant ancestors of the very fish this pond was created for, the history of this place as i have said makes it so special.
A solemn silence soon came over my peg and it all felt very atmospheric as the float sat lazily dancing to the ponds tune as the slight ripple lapped up against the float. A rhythm soon interrupted by the slightest of line bites, a fish moving on the bottom was the obvious culprit and when the float finally gave in the ever excited angler on the other end of the pole and sunk into to depths i knew little of what was going to be on the other end.
Through the depths appeared a vivid array of bright orange and white, a golden tench I thought at first but upon closer inspection as she came to the net its true identity was a lovely golden orfe.
The swim settling and the roach dispersed from the upper layers I began to see some tiny pin prick bubbles starting to appear around the float. Little dips on the bristle gave the game away as to the culprit some few feet below. A crucian, the most delicate of feeding fish was at the bait. A fish that requires a really sensitive set up so shot was added to the rig so the tip of the bristle barely broke the surface of the pond.
A gentle dip and a sure strike saw my palms graced with the buttery flanks and jet black back of this most delightful of fishes.
We had seen a ghost like figure patrolling the upper layers all session and both had tried to foot this most elusive of fish. I was amazed he had missed the grasps of the local heron that regularly stalks this pools banks. Thankfully he did not manage to miss my trap of red maggot and hemp and a beautifully marked blue orfe was soon frequenting itself with his orange counter part in the net.
The session at an end the final net glistened in the late evening sunlight, a net that full of colours matched the surrounding hedgerows and fields that had bloomed into life, a net full of the colours of spring.