I thought about trying out a little pike fishing expedition yesterday and just as I was about to pack the car the farmer rang. "I know you'll be over soon but they're reed cutting so just walk the banks and don't wast your time trying to fish".
When I finally got there he wasn't exaggerating, there were great rafts of reed drifting up and down, except on the farmer's stretch, mostly because he won't let them cut there so the wildlife, and hopefully the fish, are left in peace. Sensible man.
I walked the banks of the river and the drain and they were much like last week but this time there were no shoals of bait fish or signs of predators. Underwater it was like the vegetable and salad counter at the supermarket, very green and lots of it. I'd put the rod in the car anyway so a few crafty casts wouldn't hurt.
No reed rafts around so out it goes the bait, nothing, not a touch for half an hour and now I can see what looks like the farmland and the riverbank approaching, floating along on the surface is a massive raft of cut reed. The raft is almost upon me and wallop a pike is on, then what feels like forty tons of cut reed snags up on the line and the fish is gone. Bugger.
The rod is put down and I go for a walk hoping that the weed will dissipate over the weekend.
The sheer wildness of the fen is wonderful, just the wind rattling around your ears accompanied by the rushing and hissing of the wind in the Norfolk Reed, peace, absolutely fantastic. Amazingly Uncle Sam's finest from the 48th Fighter Wing aren't up there enjoying the view and turning fuel into noise so the peace really is totally complete. Never mind there's always another day but this one won't happen again.
As I drive back I see the Drainage Board cutting the marginal weed where the river runs through the village, there is no escape.