Old River Lee - Bloody phones
By John Chapman
Having just read the November newsletter reminded me that I had written my first account of a fishing story some months ago while watching motionless indicators at my holiday caravan. Peter is always asking for articles he can print and I had thought there must something I could write about. There has been a couple of times people have gone for an early bath, but I won’t embarrass them for the sake of a story.
Was there an amazing catch to retell, a fish of a lifetime. Yes I did have a 7lb. 2oz. Chub from the Ouse but that was really not a fantastic story to go with it. Although I doubt if I will ever better that for my lifetime fish.
This story that still makes me smile, even now after some considerable amount of water has passed under the bridge at this stretch of the Old Lee.
Long before we acquired this stretch of water I used to fish there on a Hornsmill Angling Club ticket. This was really just an excuse for Reg, the owner, to part us with cash to pay him some pocket money. Having at that time recently started working for myself I could pop to the river for lunch when I was in Hertford and do some fish spotting. This particular summer was very hot and we had a 4 week spell of scorching hot days all together. During this time all the resident carp had come up from Hertford Castle area and were in our swims.
Many Saturday nights were spent chubbing this stretch and you were occasionally smashed up by a carp, but this was different, they were all there for everyone to see. Funnily enough no-one else seemed to be after them.
So the next lunchtime I am there with the old chum mixers and they were soon having them big time. During the next three weeks I had beautiful fish out on the bank from 7lbs up to an amazing 24lbs. 4oz. mostly commons, all in pristine condition. The fish were a great result but there was always a much bigger fish lying back that I could never tempt to feed on the mixer with the hook.
Until one lunchtime. Up she came through the streamer weed right in front of me. A quick flick out with some mixers and in with my baited line.
Now at this time I had just bought one of these new mobile phone contraptions. This was purchased to keep me in 24 hour contact with the world, in case I missed any “vital” work or messages from home etc. I might add that at the time it was so bloody big that it hardly fitted in your pocket. Do you remember them?
I digress. Up comes Mrs Carp, the mother of all the smaller ones I had been catching. This was feeding big time, the first opportunity to take the hook; yes here she comes right up to the line. Guess what happens next, at that exact time, my contact with the outside world screams into life. Mrs. Carp does a disappearing act back into the weed. How could I have forgotten to turn my phone off, or leave it in the van? I never saw her again; she was lost to me forever as the weather changed the next day and many of the fish dispersed. I am sure a lot of the fish must still be there in or near our stretch of water but I don’t get time to go back that often. They could be worth trying for if you have the mind to.
Oh yes. That phone call. You guessed it, don’t you love ‘em. It was the trouble and strife just enquiring how my day was going. Bloody phones.