Journeys through the journal (4)
It was mid winter in 2012. The fishing club committee had arranged a week-end on a large stillwater, for us to see if we could help the hatchery there boost it’s brood stock with some hens and cocks.
On the Saturday I enjoyed taking my good friend Win out on the canoe. Win had had a rough year, health wise, and I enjoyed the opportunity to help him “break the fishing drought” so to speak.
Some of us took a few minutes to find our sea legs! The boat is stable in that it will never tip over, but it has this little “wobble zone” where it rocks without resistance through about five degrees. It’s the sort of thing that is a bit disconcerting when the Great Dane stands up and leans over one side for a drink. Win was a lot more co-operative than the Dane, and we soon settled happily into the fishing off a steep side on the Northern shore.
(Note the box between us: used for keeping brood stock)
The water was just seven degrees C, according to the journal, and the air temperature around 12 degrees, but with a moderate Easterly wind blowing. Despite an apparently mild mercury reading, it was cold. Properly cold! Win was wrapped up for the occasion.
We fished intermediate lines, and I threw a large tasty dragonfly nymph for most of the five hours that we spent on the water.
It was Win’s day. He landed three stock fish in the morning.
Then at some point we paddled around to a section where the cliffs fall straight into the the water; a sort of moody spot, where the water is a deep green, and you can find shelter from the wind in the lee of the hill. The depth there is around eight meters.
At this spot we encountered something I hadn’t seen before. There was a pair of rainbows, performing their nuptials, so to speak, right on the surface in the deep water. One sees this often enough in the shallows, but this was in very deep water.
The two fish were close to the boat, so I filmed them. Take a look:
In the end Win managed to hook the cock fish. He brought him in quickly and we boxed him, for the sake of future generations.
But at the end of the day, when the temperature had dropped further, and the cold was getting to both of us, we paddled in to shore dragging the box, and somehow bungled it. I turned the boat sideways to the wind, against my better judgment, but in a gallant attempt to bring Win alongside a neat step onto the shore. In my maneuvering I didn’t notice that the box we were towing, had struck ground and tipped over. The cock swam off unharmed. Win apologised to the horny old fellow, for taking him away from his partner!
The boat is polished and ready for next winter Win.