Finally the Christmas company has departed for home having left the refrigerator like 'Echo Valley' and the bar like a 'pub with no beer', so it was down to the river to lose some cobwebs and try to winkle out a perch or two from the rather gloomy looking water.
When I arrived the river was like a mirror and flat calm but after having had a cup of tea and a natter with the farmer's wife the breeze had arrived and was slowly building to announce that another weather front was steadily heading our way bringing the smell of rain in the air.
I decided to run the risk of the bait being taken by pike and having made the conscious deliberate decision to leave the pike tackle at home I was going to fish with a tiny live roach or a very large lobworm for perch.
There was quite a bit of predator activity in the reeds so it was mostly a case of fish tight up against them in the margins or on the shelf because I was sure the hunters in there were perch. A short while later down went the float after a few preliminary bobs and the fish was on. Predictably the fish was a pike and after a minute or so on the light tackle a bent hook returned at the end of the slack line.
The same thing happened again ten minutes later this time with the terminal tackle bitten off. So change to a large worm was called for with the tackle paternostered against the reeds and lilies on the opposite bank.
When the float finally dived away underwater I thought , and prayed, that I had hooked a large perch but when the fish finally made itself visible it was a feisty jack pike of around three pounds and neatly lip hooked. Never mind at least the session hadn't resulted in a blank and there had been some excitement. The worm finally accounted for five perch that were around ten ounces but there is plenty of beauty in small things.
I continued to fish into the reeds for fresh bait catching small roach and perch while the float on the other side of the drain seldom moved. Then while lifting out a small roach the water exploded as if a small charge had been detonated, Jaws, in the form of a pike had struck in one slashing attack. At least my little pole survived the impact which is more than can be said for the roach but it really must be hell under the water, it's no wonder that the fry hide in the supposed safety of the reeds and lilies.
While I was packing up in the twilight the farmer turned up for a chat and bearing gifts in the form of the raw materials for a really delicious casserole, a brace of pheasants from his shoot.
Now that is a Christmas bonus.