Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Of slackers and otters.

On Monday we shook the dust of St. Ives from our feet and headed off down stream.

If you have ever wondered what the internal workings of a Great Ouse slacker look like, well here's your answer. Down to one slacker, that's a paddle in canal parlance, on the pointed doors at St. Ives lock. It seems the thrumble-grummit wasn't engaging properly with the gronger and was causing the gismo to oscillate, or something along those lines. I was sorry I asked.
But I was thinking of other things, sixteenth of June, the coarse fishing close season on rivers was at an end. I had a destination in mind. There are some rather pleasant GOBA moorings by Ewell Fen with an adjacent reed bed and nearby water-lilies. I had spotted them on the way up and the timing worked out just right.

It has turned out that I was right, the river here is like fish soup, it is heaving, mostly with rudd. So we are still sitting here while I pander to my hunter-gatherer instincts. Fish are not the only wildlife nearby, we have seen a barn owl here, there are a resident pair of grebes and the whole place is alive with bird song.

But the icing on the cake was yesterday afternoon, as I sat watching my float, I heard what I can only describe as a chittering noise coming from the edge of the reeds. There, no more than my fishing rods length from me, was an otter. We gazed at each other for a moment, it was obviously less impressed than I was because it quietly sank out of sight and I saw it no more. We saw one at Honeystreet on the K.&A. last year and now one yesterday. I don't care what other anglers say about them eating all the fish, I'd rather see an otter than catch a netfull of fish.

It obviously hadn't worried the fish, here's a couple that I caught, the top one went just over the pound.
Moving towards Reach Lode tomorrow.

Watch this space...........

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