I had the camera with me and wanted to grab some images of the fishery where I'd caught my first, ever, pike way back in 1970 (71?). Tim has the River Bulbourne flowing through his garden with the Grand Union Canal as his boundary. Just the other side of the canal is Pixies Mere, the site of that very first encounter. Damp and dreary, I didn't care, my walk took me back to some very happy times. A couple of lads were drop-shotting by some moored long boats and a lonely soul was bivvied up on Pixies, which is now a carp puddle, surprise, surprise! I couldn't get into the fishery, so had to content myself just looking over the fence. Nothing like the place I remember, as a youngster, the swims were all tidy and well presented, whilst much of the bank side vegetation had been cleared. I hadn't gone there expecting nothing to have changed, as that would be impossible, but I wasn't particularly impressed by the starkness of the present state. It used to be a jungle, where battles with big tench and occasional pike were conducted amidst, chest high, nettles and brambles, the lily pads and dense weed beds providing sanctuary for many a lost fish. I stopped for a chat with the lads, who'd packed up fishing, asking how they'd fared. "Nothing today!" but still good to be out. I walked back to "Swing Bridge" where the Three Horseshoes was doing a steady trade.
I walked the tow-path from Winkwell to Sharpes Lane, crossing a lock to get some alternative pictures of Pixies Mere, as I did so. I'd caught some fantastic fish in the mere, but had started out as a gudgeon catcher on the banks of the canal, many years before that first pike. Memories came flooding back as I passed various spots where I'd taken a decent bag of roach, a carp here, tench there and those, ever hungry perch hoards which loved the cover of a moored up canal barge. I reached Sharpes Lane and gazed down into the Bulbourne, as is passes under the road. This being the exact spot where I'd got caught poaching, trout, and was given a severe ticking off by the police officer who found me. It must have worked because I never went back, yet still remember it all these years later. I wonder how many other kids also got their collars felt in similar situations?
|The beginning of the slippery slope to nowhere!|
May I finish by wishing everyone who has visited this blog a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful, safe New Year. Thank you for your support and encouragement - all the very best - Dyl