It’s the fourteenth of February and I hope all those of you who deserve it have received a Valentines card from someone very nice and those who didn’t ..well tough luck. Better be good and you may do better next year!
Tradtitionally this is supposed to be the day all the birds choose their mates although some of our local blackbirds would seem to operate on a different time scale having been seen performing all sorts of courtship behaviour on the back lawn for several days. Meanwhile those monster pike will be fattening ready for the big spawning event of the next few weeks. Up here in the Lake District, pike tend to be around the spawning bays by the second week in March and while I think it wrong to target them in the bays during this period it seems sort of fair to intercept them when they are travelling, and so you will often find me fishing on what I tend to think of as corridor routes. Different year classes seem to travel at different depths and it it not uncomon to have a few fish of similar size from just one area off to the side of the boat. So one day we might get mostly seventeen pound fish then next day they are fish of a bigger or smaller average size. It all depends on what is travelling the corridor on the day, and as we all know there is only one way to find out…….go fishing!
So that is what I am about to do. The Beagle will be back on Windermere as of this Friday for another hunt for the fabled monsters of this great water and as always I am really looking forward to this annual event, even though there are those tough days when it is a real struggle and you wonder what on earth the fish are up to. Best of all though is I have just re-located ‘The Doghouse’ to her new home on Grasmere. I trailed her down there this morning and having launched I went out for a little row round, just to see how she felt as we casually explored round the back of the island. With large areas of fairly shallow water it does look an absolute dream of a place and I have a sneaking feeling the fly fishing for pike might just be as good as it can get. But first I’m going throwing a wobbler!
I have a day off on Thursday, and have a freezer loaded with a seasons supply of different baits suitable for wobbling and so with a calm weather forecast, predicting a gentle westerly wind and moderately sunny and mild, I’m having a rare days fishing for me. It doesn’t matter if I catch, although obviously that is the intention and I will be surprised if I don’t meet at least one of the residents. However, as I have not fished Grasmere from a boat in half a century I am really looking forward to it. And really that is one of the best bits about fishing. A date booked in the diary, the planning,strategising and preparation all fuel the anglers imagination that maybe, just possibly, ‘appen and perhaps, it might be one of those days.
Obviously the reality of the situation will probably be far removed from the dream but it is still a great feeling, and I cannot but help thinking that at some stage over the coming weeks and months I shall fall slowly in love with a new water… Sad isn’t it! and maybe I do need to get out more, but I still retain that childlike enthusiasm about the whole caper. And long may it continue.
AS to the outcomes….I might let you know….but then again, perhaps not. After all as many folk are well aware… some secret romances are best kept quiet!
Eric xxx (it is Valentines day ! )
Doghouse ready for launching
And one of the stunning residents on a lure
There must be something here that will work!