I recognise, and totally agree with, running waters (rivers and streams) being off limits - but can find plenty of scope to enjoy myself at other types of fisheries. There may be a few still waters which retain the close season, but they will be syndicated and have a healthy waiting list of prospective members. My recollections of the week leading up to June 16th, on Wilstone, are very happy ones. The top specimen chasers, of the time (me included!) would have "Brolly - Camp" bivvies set up in their chosen swims, sometimes 10 days before the season started. Swim markers would be put out, with the aid of an inflatable dingy, and pre-baiting would commence. The count down to that mid-night start on 16th June was a ritual which produced an atmosphere that could almost be touched. Excitement and anticipation, in equal measure, as the hours ticked by - ever closer to that magic moment. Of course we were all completely crazy, obsession does that to a person, yet I can't help feel that modern anglers are missing out on something, very special, when there is no longer a start and finish to the hobby? I've written about it before, the Tring Syndicate members were absolute sticklers for the adherence to this mid-night start; not one of them had any desire to sneak in a rod as darkness fell on the 15th June - not one! The chiming of the church clock (in Wilstone; although it might have been Marsworth or even Aston Clinton?) was the signal to go and not a moment before. With commercialism involved, I can't see angling ever reverting back to this situation so I'll have to content myself with these memories.
|I took this fish in August 2013 at 13.05 - it was re-caught this year (February?) at 15.09|
The rest of my time will be taken up with planning - what am I going to do about my two target species? The River Stour barbel are, at best, a bloody headache (Hence my accompanying photos!). I am going to continue to fish for them purely because I know a monster lurks somewhere in that river - Benno and I have seen it, but that's another story! My tench fishing project is based upon a very fleeting encounter - did I really see these fish or was I dreaming? I have plans to visit the venue as the close season progresses purely to assess the situation and look for potential swims. The very worst which will come from this effort is I might not discover any tench but some wild carp instead - so another challenge to replace the original one. To quote the late George Harrison: "If you don't know where you're going - any road can take you there!"