Friday, 6 March 2015

"Me and the farmer" (or "how to lose with grace")

No apologies for the shameless "House Martins" reference- my fishing partner's surname is Farmer, and this post is as much about the tables being turned in our fishing relationship as it is a report of this morning's latest pike escapades.
 Here's the thing: Pete fished a fair bit as a kid, but hadn't picked up a rod for 20 years until last year. Pete and I are friends, and I'm also his Vicar, and last year we started fishing together. I'd lake to say I taught him all he knows, but that wouldn't be true. It's probably fair to say I've passed on a fair bit of (if not expertise, certainly experience), but such is his new found addiction that he's always on youtuube these days exploring dropshotting, carp rigs, pole fishing and the like. That notwithstanding, for a while, I was, in fishing terms, his Jedi Master and he my Padawan, but those days are now long gone. My pike record for 2015 is three trips and two pike, his nine pike from seven trips.
 Today's trip had an inauspicious start for both of us. It took the best part of an hour's loosefeeding with maggots before we started catching small roach and perch, but once we had a few baits, we cast out in an optimistic frame of mind. My float, a handsome handmade pike slider made by Ian Lewis (Ian Lewis handmade floats) sat prettily in the water among the reflections, and surely it was only a matter of time .....
 However, apart from the bobbing caused by the swimming motion of the bait, my float, although undoubtedly better looking than Pete's utilitarian factory produced Fox model, was the one that remained untroubled.
 Pete's, by contrast, shot away three times, the above picture being of the first of his hat trick. Two of the fish gave particularly noble accounts of themselves, and all were returned in frisky mood to fight another day. To add insult to injury (almost literally), I caught my forefinger on one of the pike's teeth while helping Pete unhook it, and ended the session wearing a yellow children's plaster with pictures of balloons on it (Pete's children are younger than mine).
 Pete's biggest fish was weighed, and brought the scales down to 11 pounds, the third double we've had from this stretch this year, with a 14 pounder I landed in January being the biggest to date. It was a great performance by Pete, and although I blanked (unless you count catching livebaits) a thoroughly enjoyable way to pass the morning.
Tonight when I did my daily Bible reading the passage was from Mark's Gospel, Chapter 10 and verses 43-44: "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be the first must be the slave of all" ...... I wonder if that includes constantly netting your mate's fish?