Yesterday's roach had got in my head. Why no bites on the float but instant reaction on a staticish bait on the deck? Should I have gone with flake in the float first? Was it just bite time? The forecast said rain, later, and I knew there was no chance of a later pass so I merely looked at a few roachy spots, and retrieved my dropped catapult as I trudged off through the floodplain to the Royal Confluence. I had my pike head on under my rakish Dangling Indirect Cap and had plans to leapfrog a fair section. Almost as many otter prints as deer along the tiny track.
Someone force me to actually incorporate a lifter in my rigs....
Smelt and blueys were the bait of choice and three rods employed to cover as much of the river as possible. I know some swear by ringing the bait changes till they find out what the pike are on. Not me, and I only put out a fresh (frozen) bait if one falls off on the cast, a pike has it down its gob (I never have the heart not to leave it there) or it has disintegrated or been crayed to a skeleton. Lamprey always go back in the bag to be refrozen.
Plenty of buzzards and a very vocal kestrel sounding very much like a yaffle. A whole shoal of paddle boarders and two very olive green chaps in a very olive green kayak festooned in Go-Pros. And the first outing of the flask for a long time. In my youth I use to take three big Boots flasks, two tea, one coffee and if close enough cycle home for a refill of the three. No food, just 20 JPS.
Which is a long way round to say I had no need to trouble the freezer bag until I has decamped to Bungalow Bill's Bend for the last of my allotted hours. Three rods in Shangri La. I rarely fail on Shangri La unless the owner of Bungalow Bill's Bungalow decides to bail out his boat over my floats or deposit willow prunings on them. quite deliberately. I think he is the Graham on the advert, always at the beck and call of an unseen but very much heard significant other. I don't think he's called Bill or Graham though.
The middle bluey began to trundle towards me at the 58th minute of this last allotted hour, firmly grasped by a pike that wasn't a whole lot longer than the bluey was before I'd halved it. I thought the pike deserved the defrosted half of the bluey anyway.
As I rounded the bend a familiar silver haired figure sat perched on his Shakespear box by the stile. He was surprisingly biteless but we thought bite time wouldn't be far away.
As I picked my way along the back gardens of the waterside complex a security light flicked on sending a shoal of very decent roach bolting off. Out of bounds to the foot bound angler. But not a waterborne one......