Finally a gap in the family problems so I have an opportunity to sneak out for a quick couple of hours pike fishing. Simple pleasures and some solitude too.
The previous night we enjoyed a hard frost and the sky at lunchtime is still cloudless with just a light breeze rippling the drain but the water is slightly coloured. Perfect? Well, as we all know nothing is ever perfect.
Out go two paternostered deadbaits, a roach on one rod and mackerel on the other. I amuse myself ditting for rudd and roach on punched bread but to no avail, zero, nothing, nil. Not a touch and the conclusion is that if there are no silverfish and fry there are no predators around as if the drain has become a culinary desert.
Finally for the last hour I return to the farm and I hear a tractor pull up behind me. The farmer tells me he couldn't catch fresh bait at the weekend and hasn't even see a pike or perch moving for days. Wonderful. Then he asks if the .410 is in the car because he's going to have a rat hunt in his grain store, predictably it isn't but next time the .410 will be in the car.
Must remember to make a note to self in the diary so that next time there is a supply of worms in the bait tin and also the .410 side-by-side and fifty cartridges. As I pack up the farmer tells me about a small drain where the pike fishing, well, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. A description that seems strangely appropriate to the line of thought.
Some more rain please over the next few days, and plenty of it too.