Friday, 2 November 2007

Fishing in Middle Earth pt 2

The next day saw me and Bruce cautiously chugging out towards the
rivers mouth, eyes firmly placed on the waters surface and the echo
sounder. Meter by meter we glide forward, anxiously waiting for the
depth to drop away to distant grey and safety.

Nervously we lower the flimsy excuse for an anchor and survey the mass of rising grayling on
the waters surface. We had decided for a light tackle spinning
approach, leaving the esox lucius to their own devices. Target species
were the large perch and grayling that were happily doing their free
Willy impressions all round the boat .As I had discovered on previous
trips to Sweden, large ladies of the stream are rather partial to small
fluro orange or green spinners in tiny 3 or 4 gram sizes.. Blasphemy
for the stream keepers of the Test or the Annan. First drop down,
Bruce releases the spinner into the depths, lets it trundle off
downstream, the tip flickers, and savagely wrenches round and the first
fish of the trip is on.. The fish, an obliging perch of around 4 oz is
promptly kissed and returned, per established customs. Our boat is
gently swaying in the current as we dance on the crease between the
waters of the Ammeran and the Indalsalven. As if between worlds. In the
slate grey morning light, all around grayling French kissing the
ruffled surface, rings within rings. The lady finally announces her
arrival, rudely, with a savage pull, instead of a demure knock. After
a short but spirited tussle, wherein she raises her fan (re:fin) to
assist her struggle. Briefly gracing our boat with her presence. Not a
ringside contender, in the weight scales, but welcome never the less.
The stripy ambassadors increase the frequency of their visits to the
boat, as does the lady of the stream, all the heavyweights are fighting

Back at Hansel house number2 , we make plans for the next day, its
pike time. Serious rods are assembled for our intended, fearsome
ironmongery unwrapped, knots tested- we are ready. 3.5 % Falcon beer
completes the evening. The wind blows from our Norwegian neighbors’,
chill marine damp, and mist wreathed hills greet us in the morning. Our
first efforts next to summer’s last green gardens in the shallows are
met with distain. On to the cauldron. Nature and geography have
conspired to create this pool, where current, granite and erosion meet
in a seemingly bottomless maelstrom. The Dutch came and conquered
during Julys halocline days- fish of magical measurements, lean and
dog-like. Myth-busting, the echo sounder shows pixels in place of
fantasy, banana shapes, resting hounds in their rocky kennels. Our best
efforts are rewarded with a zero, so we extract some stripy denizens
and move to new pastures. Face-saving gummy pike are attached to line,
and hopefully flung towards a rocky cul-de-sac. This languid backwater
resting in the space between summer and autumn must surely produce.
Instinct and judgment gain the upper hand, as the first green hound
doggedly struggles towards the boat. Sharp of tooth, and keen to feed,
is bergers maxim – this fish displays little of either- summer still
holds her grip- the autumn massacre is yet to begin. He is returned and
politely asked to request his mother’s colossal presence.