It was so big you could hear it swimming !
All fish from the Ribble
The river is a constant play ground – our whats’app group is full of digital bullets like these above – its hard to get anything done !
Thanks to all the boys
Rocky, Malc, Tommo, Mick, Marc, Karl, Clint, Phil, Peter, Colin, Ryan, Simon, John, Paul – Ahab and Lamont
2016 Spring – Let It Roll
I decided some weeks ago that it was about time I shook off my mid season funk and get out there and get some…..I needed an injection of rhythm to chase away the blues. April had nipped in and mugged me while I was day dreaming about time being on my side,…. no rush, ease my way in, stay calm, digest the info then respond appropriately….reports of April Ribble springers had smash and grabbed me and made me engage in the odd hour of hit and run. No rush, ease my way in – May would soon be here and it was bound to be wet……………………guess again.
The river came up dirty and dropped dirty through June & July, only the retired, enjoying their enlarged time portal could get the timing right and prosper but even these sages found the going tougher than tackling a club car park combination lock with failing eyesight. Meanwhile my world continued to slowly rotate and my river time was reduced by life’s other constant distractions; I was caught under the effluence. But no matter where or what I was doing my season was still there lurking in the shadows like a nagging spectre in the mist. It wouldn’t be ignored and demanded to be both addressed and satisfied. Normally at 5am I’m out of bed like a gymnast – vaulting into my shoes, silently slithering under the door crumpled like I’ve tumbled out of the washer – up out and onto the river for a quick two hours. This however was not the case – duvet grabbed and spun in a death roll and back to sleep. Something was wrong, something was missing – I had full blown apathy – as I walk alone I wonder, what went wrong with our love, a love that was so strong – Del Shannon, Runaway. Where was my mojo, my spark my drive.
My spark & my drive is my eternal friend Lamont & he was two weeks into a month long retreat in a Himalayan mountain ashram, franticly trying to come to terms with 2015’s blank season and patch up his shot gunned psyche. He had already been there for fourteen days trying to explain the various nuances of salmon fishing to a Buddhist monk named Peng……apparently Pengs entirely redundant lack of knowledge of the Ribble system, its tributary’s and the life cycle of the Atlantic salmon didn’t help Lamonts exasperated bubbling anger issues. Peng also struggled with Lamonts Blackburn accent, his regional dialect and phases. Lamont had phoned me via a weekly satellite hook up that gave him his only contact to the outside world. He didn’t sound calm. Serenity was away for a bit. It must have been on a lunch break – fuckin Peng, he’s serene because he happily knows nothing! – he’s never heard of Whalley or even Preston….it took me three hours to explain marmite – he’s driving me daft…he asked me why I kept saying I was a gate!…. at this point the call ended. The satellite had obviously gone over the wrong stile and wandered into an unwelcoming Chinese airspace. Chinese airspace is Lamonts description of losing your way on new club water and inadvertently crossing onto another clubs beat – I think I may be in Chinese airspace – there’s a bloke looking at me……
I’m left conjuring an image of a poor bewildered Peng – shaved head – devout – flowing robes – contemplating Lamont and what place in the cosmos for two obviously very different species….
Wittgenstein : if a lion could speak, we could not understand him – even if-itwer a Lancashire lion.
So needing a jump start to my season I vowed to fish everyday that the river was in a fishable condition. It was mid August when I stuffed my gear in the ford focus pocus (recently valued at £50 by we buy any car .com) and decided to go toe to toe with the season. Two hour sessions with the fly, lure or prawn pre & post work drew blank but did start to ignite the pilot light. Seeing a few uncatchable fish in unreachable and impenetrable areas of the Ribble wilderness was just the ticket. Id missed the Russian roulette white knuckle ride thrill of driving down – journey to the centre of the earth farm tracks. Frequent Rambo-esque twilght jungle extractions from Chinese airspace has been enough to make me get my head right and revel in a life now thankfully far less ordinary.
Got my Mojo working but it just aint working on you
It’s quickly gathered pace and I’m now all-in with this season; balance is restored. On the way onto a beat I’m full of sunshine, almost trotting, no aches or pains – only dreams and optimism. Only to come off with my feet on backwards, my ankles upside down and my sanity ebbing. The last three days has seen me fish hard on what I consider to be the best water of the year so far. I’ve visited 5 different beats, gone from top to bottom & covered fish – loved every minute but still blanking. The rhythm of the chase is returning as is Lamont (who no doubt will be the first man to be banned from Tibet)– I’m rocksteady ready now and ready to nice up the dance.
Ever forward Ribble salmon – I prefer the Porsche and not the Yugo, so let it roll, let it roll.