Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Huzzah! We Fish Again.

Today is the 13th May, there is no discussion over the prospect of Christmas tomorrow, my ruby wedding is not imminent, and we have not just had the millennium.

Yes, today I know what day it is.

Today we fish again,


I/We am/are back in the room, bar the surfeit of backslash punctuation

Fishing safely,

from distance of course,

smothered in sanitiser and with body temperature monitored every two minutes (orally!)

but fishing all the same.

The fishing hut is out of bounds as it is difficult to observe social distancing rules in an abode that is 8ft by 8ft square.

By way of shelter for our two anglers a day, we’ve erected a large Bedouin/ Tuareg tent affair replete with hookah and pipes on the opposite bank. There are rugs on which to lounge at distance, bowls of dates, wandering tortoise and incense continually on the go.

Fishing at Bransbury will be a little bit different this season.

Yes the Corona, and yes the social distancing, but the river has not been in this kind of form for some seasons.

There is a good head of water, clear and free from foam and algae.

There are fish, many many fish.

And there is weed, that I have already cut in April which is always a portent of a super season ahead.

And we are fishing, which is brilliant, but we are fishing SAFELY!

The Angling Trust have been magnificent in the past few weeks in making representation to politocos on behalf of all quarters of Angling. If you are not a member, please consider joining, they do great things in the name of all things rod and line.

The Angling Trust have chucked up advice on the correct course of action to take when flicking a fly or flinging a float safely in the coming weeks. It mirrors the advice we sent out to our regular rods a few weeks ago on how we envisaged fishing would be at Bransbury this summer. If we all stick to it, then we’ll see the season out. If people bend the rules as they go about their business, then the season could be curtailed sometime this summer when we go into lockdown for a second time.

A few mayfly have hatched and fish are just starting to show a little interest.

Here’s an Ephemera Danica making its entrance to the outside world.

It floated down the river for twenty yards or so,

Before drawing the eye of Brer Brown Trout.

Who completely missed his target. It was a clumsy, slashy rise and a few seconds later the mayfly reach up for the stars.

It’s surprising how often this happens early in the season. It seems that sometimes trout need to get their eye in when feeding on surface flies and they miss the fly. Anglers are often hard on themselves when they miss a rise to their artificial fly but sometimes it is the fish that is at fault.

On a few warm days last week our kitchen played host to several daddy long legs, which may be the fly of first choice for the new opening day of the season. Hawthorn hatches were a bit of a dud, but then we did have a wettish winter, which doesn’t hawthorn fly larvae who have taken up residence in a soggy meadow.

This leveret looks in on our yard a few mornings each week. We’ve a few about the place, which is good to see as their numbers took a bit of dive in this parish a few years ago.

I don’t know where all the swifts and swallows are.

Lord Ludg insists they are have all been captured by natives in North Africa and put into pies.

I’m not so sure.

Lord Ludg has been out in his hot tub in the sun quite a lot of late (It is difficult to unsee the digital images).

Weather could be a factor in swift and swallow absence. Clear air with a dearth of airborne particulates may have caused them to move through the airborne significantly faster than they expected, causing them to overshoot Blighty for a sojourn in Iceland.

We don’t know,

In further news of occasional cohorts,

The English has let his locks down during lockdown and now sports a tight head of curls on what was once a smooth shiny pate.

It’s an alpine look, with distinct echoes of Heidi. There is no doubt The English is apt to wander. He now sports a goatee, and with the wind in the right direction, each morning we can pick out faint yodelling….who will be his Peter?

Zoom and House Party have been quite a lark over the past few months but goodness it will be good to bump (from a safe distance of 2m, no terms and conditions apply) into anglers on the bank over the next few weeks.


Ludgershall said...

The English has let his locks down during lockdown and now sports a tight head of curls.......

Curls is it...... Ah! But can he dance?


Test Valley River Keeper said...

Not sure about an ability to hoof, but it is a tighter less gentle curl than the one featured in the film.

Think Irish Water Spaniel, or possibly Derek Griffiths.

Carry on.

The English said...

I wish - getting a head of hair would truly be a Covid miracle. Maybe you need stronger glasses Chris

Test Valley River Keeper said...

Specs are fine Warwick,

You should have stumped up for the next size up fez if you wanted to conceal your curls,

yours in hair, and also ottoman hats


The Two Terriers said...


We've got Swifts, Swallows and Martins, our neighbour the farmer is watering a muddy hole near his yard and it seems permanently surrounded by them. Groundbaiting for them in a way. My hair has gone, the Boss bought some shears and it's a growing number one now and the weather turned decidedly cooler, never mid washing it is just wash and go now. lovely post and I like the idea of a Rudolph Valentino approach to Trout Fishing. Stay safe and well. Regards, John

Test Valley River Keeper said...

Cheers John,

Not many swallows, swifts or martins in this part of the world.

Sorry about the hair. The Jolly Turk normally attends to my mop in a matter of minutes. Madam took the "you'll have to wear a hat as I'm going to do little bit each day" approach.

Good to hear from you and look after yourselves,