Rain, drizzle, damp, grey

      Saturday and the autumn weather is at its finest. Forget the blazing glow of trees as they shed their colourful leaves on the forest floor this isn't even forty shades of grey, just one uniform shade of grey coupled with poor visibility, drizzle, rain and it's cold too. I love the fens when they are like this and the conditions are absolutely perfect for a couple of hours of pike fishing.
      In fact it's so wet and miserable that even Bastard Barry hasn't shown up to check me out.

      When you get to the drain and climb out of the car there is a moment when you do question your sanity, just as the family did before you left, but there is a peace and calm about the fen under these conditions although under the water it looks like complete mayhem as the fry burst out across the surface of the water.
      The old ruined jetties looked a good prospect so that was where I started and the first pike to take the fresh roach deadbait is a jack pike that has energy to spare and stamina that belies its size as it tail-walks across the drain and dives into the weed. It may only be four or five pounds but the fitness and power was way beyond what you would expect for a pike of this size.

      The next fish is bigger and almost into double figures, then two fish are lost, one a pike and the other a good perch that spat the bait out right at the rim of the net.
      Then another lovely pike into double figures that fights like a tiger before being returned to the drain in a welter of spray and that beautifully marked specimen is rapidly followed by another bearing some old scars.

      At this point I decide that enough is enough, my hands are numb and the rain is increasing in intensity.
      However you do have to pay homage to the gods of the 'angler's last cast'. Inevitably the best pike of the day comes from the last cast, then a wet and drizzly walk back to the car and a beer with the farmer in front of the fire. Whilst he is very interested in the pike fishing he wants to know when I am going to do something about the pigeons that are plaguing his crops.
      It's going to be a countryman's sporting week next week.



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