Lunchtime and it's peeing down, again. No garden work can be done in this weather so a bit of a fidget around and then the announcement. I'm going pike fishing, in the rain. And why not?
Load the gear up into the car thinking about how bad the weather was on Saturday and today can't get any worse. Or can it?
The farmers have been harvesting sugar beet so the roads resemble acres of mud, or even fields, leaving the back of the car an opaque brown and the front and sides not a lot better. In the huge field opposite my chosen swims hundreds of swans are eating their way through tons and tons of chopped up sugar beet tops now that the harvest on the massive field is completed. An RAF Chinook passes low overhead, headlights on looking like a giant noisy insect, bet he'd rather be fishing than flying, despite the weather.
First cast and a pike is on, this is looking very promising, and then the fish is off, the bait gone along with the pike. Never mind the optimism is rising rapidly. An hour and a half passes and nothing happens then, finally a good solid take and a large(ish) pike fights like a tiger before being netted. Optimism begins rising again.
Another long spell without a touch, no sign of predators or fry moving when the the drifting float disappears and runs away underwater for ten yards in a matter of a split second. This pike does feel larger than normal and ten minutes later a truly hefty pike is netted and lifted, with a struggle, from the drain. On the Avon Scales she weighed just over twenty five pounds but allowing for the the thrashing when she calms down twenty four and a half will do. Later in the season that would be a very big pike indeed. She goes back into the drain disappearing from view like a slowly submerging submarine.
Time to call it a day, after all the light is gradually going and drifting into a damp and darkening dusk so it must be beer o'clock, there's that optimism again, plus there really is something to celebrate tonight.
A toast to the lady of the drain.
She was beautiful.