My record in the AMFC this year has been poor and Ronnie had commented that if I caught a brace this time it would be a 100% improvement on previous outings! Always glad to see the bright side, the weather this week has been a shocker. The All Services match had to be cancelled due to high winds. Although the wind was due to drop a bit when we turned up on the Friday it was still pretty tasty. We had six anglers on the water for practice with Ben Worley coming along to fill in for the absent Steve Lawes. We split the water up and agreed to meet up at 1400hrs for a catch up and see what was what.
I have not fished with Ronnie for a long time his busy job keeps him from getting out as much as when he was serving. A day in the boat with Ronnie always ends up with us laughing our arses off and today was no different. Lots of banter and a few fish to the boat, by the time 1400hrs cane we had maybe a dozen fish from the area we were looking at not too shabby despite the strong wind. The other boys had mixed results and most surprisingly no fish to speak of in Rainbow Corner, usually such a prolific area. The other boys had managed a few over by the Tower and Biggin Bay. We had a chat through various methods and we were all back on the water to go and look at specific areas.
We came of the water at 1700hrs and before departing for accommodation for the evening we headed to the local chippy in Dunchurch. I would not describe it as rank but safe to say it was not very good and I wish we had just gone for a pub lunch. The accommodation was top notch and we all had separate rooms in the same corridor allowing us to chat through the day’s findings and sort our kit out. With the wonders of modern technology, the weather apps were saying a much calmer day awaited us. We had what we thought was a couple of good methods and were fairly happy where to find fish.
We turned up to Draycote after a right good feed in the Whillouby Café, the cornerstone of any day afloat. It was warm and sunny and the wind looked not too bad. It had changed direction slightly and now blew directly into Biggin Bay. I was lucky enough to draw Keith, I mean Neil again! I fished with him at Farmoor and called him by the wrong name for the first two hours. I will be calling him Jonah after this though…read on. Neil graciously allowed me to drive the boat and we set up the kit while chuckling over my inability to remember my arse from my elbow. After I had set up the team gathered for a quick chat to reinforce the team plan for the day. From the top of the hill we could see the white horses of the waves being kicked up by the wind. Although it seemed rather pleasant outside the lodge across the pond was a different story. After the off three of our boats went straight over to Biggin Bay. It didn’t take long to get there as we surfed most of the way on three foot waves. I said to Neil your f***ing jinx…..lol. As the boat rolled up and down I was doubting my decision to start on a midge tip. Keeping in touch was not easy, but low and behold after five minutes it all locked up and I had my first fish in the boat. We had another drift but it was impossible to stay in touch with the line and we had to move.
We made the slow progress and the boat was soon full of water. Neil had forgotten his wellies and his feet did not survive contact. Over the other side with the protection offered by the dam wall it was like a different fishery. I even started to see the odd fish rise, Neil and I were soon starting to get some sport. Neil’s fast glass ripped up out the water as a fish slammed into his flies and bolted across the front to the boat, the bend in the rod was short lived as the fish pulled free. We persevered and eventually started to grind a few fish out, it was the most frustrating of fishing days. Lots of fish would follow all the way up to the boat only to turn away at the last minute. There would be juddering takes that would often bend the rod over then just go slack. I was encouraged to see the rest of my team getting in about the action, Mick Sale had gotten off to a flyer and had quickly caught five fish. Everyone else had managed one or two as well and it wasn’t yet mid-day. The wind was supposed to calm down in the afternoon and I was convinced the fishing would become easier. Cue the big buzzer sound, not a hope if anything it picked up even more. Fishing in conditions like this is exhausting and it takes a lot of effort to remain focussed. Neil and I both fished hard and by 1715 we had six a piece. We decided to go and fish outside the boat dock for the last half hour as we were unsure how long it would take to get back through the waves. It was much nicer up this end and I was a bit surprised when my line tightened up and I got a bonus fish to take me to seven. I was thinking that’s all she wrote as I was trying to cast my line failing to notice a fish refusing to let go of the point fly. I tried desperately to tighten up on it but it was too late. The very next cast tired and ready to call it a day the exact same thing had happened what a plonker! As I reeled in and sniped my flies off I noticed that the tippet had wrapped around the gape of the hook preventing the last two fish sticking. A bit annoying but hey ho that’s fishing.
The team had done pretty well and I was fairly confident of being in the mix for the points. The meal in the café was once again Chilli, I am not the biggest fan but this was really good. So, top marks for the scran! As for the league, we managed top spot which puts us in the mix for a chance of promotion. Many thanks to the team for their hard work on the day and to Neil for putting up with me again!