Through the winding lanes of Norfolk with the man in the 'Ghillie Suit', we're travelling to a lake where I am assured that the curse of my thirty seven years without catching a tench will be lifted.
The Satnav tries to detour us down farm tracks, through hedges white with hawthorn blossom and over fields but after an hour the OSS training pays off and we arrive at a two acre lake via roads and lanes with grass growing through the middle of the tarmac. I'm told that these strips of grass are called 'marfer' so now you know.
The lake covers about two acres and is vaguely kidney shaped so I find a swim with a little shelter from the cold north easterly breeze, tackle up and in tribute to my uncle who started me fishing in the 1950's I'm using his two piece whole cane rod with a spliced split cane tip that is called 'The Ideal Roach' by Hardy, now there's tempting fate, and my Rapidex bought brand new in the early 1960's with money earned on my paper round.
Finally I start to fish watching the tip of the red float like a hawk. I sit staring at the float being slowly hypnotised by the ripples created by the chilly breeze. Three hours pass and there are no bites not even a lift or twitch of the float.
Four hours pass and then the wind drops and within minutes the float goes under, after a short swirling struggle the smallest tench I've ever seen is in the net but after thirty seven years without even seeing, let alone catching a tench, I am thrilled to bits with the little jewel. Small but beautifully made. One more larger but under a pound tench is netted along with four crucian carp, more bonuses on a curse lifting day, and fittingly one of the crucians is also the smallest I've ever seen. Then the temperature begins to fall again and the bites stop.
I think It's time for a pint of celebratory Abbot on the way home.