Yesterday afternoon I had a lovely little spell of “bonus” fly fishing. Bob Church and I were at one of our favourite venues in Bedfordshire, comprising three private gravel pits: two large ones of about 30 acres each, containing mostly carp and pike, and a smaller one of about 4 acres in between them. This one is stocked yearly with rainbow trout of approx 2lbs, fed once a day and very rarely fished. Now and again, if the owner has a friend visiting, he may spend a pleasant hour there trying to catch a fish for his supper, but other than that it is mostly left quiet. Bob and I are in the fortunate position of being able to fish there whenever we chose, but in general we leave it alone in favour of winter pike fishing on the larger lakes. Yesterday however Bob had a “bee in his bonnet” about catching a big pike from the Trout Lake, and begged me to catch him some livebaits and “ghillie” for him in the boat. Personally I considered it a waste of time, as it was very warm, midsummer and very weedy indeed, but Bob can be very persuasive when he’s on a mission, so the baits were caught and the boat made ready. I didn’t really mind, as the sun was out and I thought I’d take out a trout rod and have a few casts while waiting for Bob’s “monster” to bite! This proved to be the right move, as first cast my black lure was engulfed by a hard-fighting trout of 8lbs and a few casts later another immaculate rainbow of 10lbs also took a fancy to the same fly. Both were returned safely, while Bob’s livebait unsurprisingly continually dived into the copious banks of weed! Bob then started whinging that he hadn’t brought out HIS trout rod, and when I latched into another 8 pounder, the piking was forgotten and we went to the shore to retrieve it for him! Rowing back out into the lake I quickly added a third 8-pound rainbow and then another which looked 10 but actually weighed 9lbs, this one and all the others being in perfect order, and all slipped back safely.
What a great catch, but a tiny little bit of guilt crept in at this stage and I decided to pack up and concentrate on my “boatman” role!
However, as so often happens, the fish turned “off” and poor old Bob fished hard for a good hour with only a “stockie” of 2lbs to show for his valiant efforts — Ain’t life a “bitch”!!