top of page

Coaching #2 - Revels - 25/03/23

Well, we did it! With a big shove we actually got the ball rolling on our 2023 season…

It was with much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth that I had to cancel our first trip to the river. Even vigorously shaking my fist at the gods and making damning threats to the sky made no difference to the amount of rain that heavy clouds deposited on Dorset during that week. That amount of fresh water makes would normally be a lazy, dare I say serene river, into a torrent of angry chocolate colour goop that looked like it had escaped from Satan’s bottom.

If the Shrimps thought they had escaped a boring lecture on river tactics, they were sadly mistaken.

In other news before we start chewing the gristle off the coaching session, there has been a loud hum bordering on an audible buzz surrounding the new lakes at Silverlake. The peg gnomes have been hard at work sculpting fishing positions around both lakes (Lysander and Lucy’s Pool) ready for the opening in the coming weeks. I am reliably informed that the fish that have been either moved or purchased for SVL (Silverlake) have had a full briefing in what is expected from them during their stay. Basically grow fast, stay healthy, and avoid the black death (Cormorants). With Carp from Heath Lake, 1000’s of F1 Carp and a sprinkling of silvers including some very large Perch, the lake should provide some reasonably decent sport. Apparently, there is even evidence of new babby Carps swimming around in there too. A very good sign indeed. Keep your eyes peeled for more news on the club website.

Before the coaching session started, I asked those present to take a moment to absorb their surroundings. To take a picture in their mind and hold it in their memory. Moments become memories all too quickly and, sadly, sometimes memories are all you have left. James Oram and his family have been left with only memories of dad, Tim. We dedicated all the moments, memories, and all the fish we caught today to Tim, James, and all the family. (No Austin in the picture because he had left, but he did catch a fish for Tim below)

On to the session then and a number of no shows reduced the numbers down to just six for our season opener. This went down to five because Josiah had awoken suffering from the Psychedelic Whirly Splats (Medical term), and Liam had other issues going on that mum Hazel was kind enough to turn up to tell me about. She even thrust £15 at me from the Christmas match that I had totally forgotten about. I love honest people because they save forgetful old gits like me from embarrassment and stress! She also bought back Liam’s borrowed seat box that he no longer needed. This box has the longest legs I have ever seen in years of fishing, and is still the only one I know of that has its own boarding ladder… It turns out that this box has also been passed around more times than a box of After Eight mints at Christmas, starting its journey with our very own nice bloke Tim. Tim freely admitted to causing the box’s ‘Difficult Footplate’ by simply sitting on it and bending it. So many jokes, so little time…

Four was then but, which lake to fish on? Trendals was an obvious choice for catching fish, but the wind was hacking down the hill with similar speed to Alan Winsper when he draws yet another flier (Often!) If rain got behind that it was going to be an uncomfortable day seeing as it was square in the face. Middle lake whilst offering slower sport, would make for a less wind battered day and, thus that decision was made.

I burbled on about moving water, shirt buttons, and blockends for a while which, for some, was a little too long. I’m not the worlds greatest orator, nor the most compelling. I even bore myself a lot of the time! But, the stuff that is spewed forth can be quite useful and will help to make better anglers of novice shrimps. Not just me either. All of the coach’s have a wealth of great tips to share with our juniors and it will pay to stay focused when we are droning on in front of you.

With the first tutorial done, everyone now knew everything about fishing on rivers because there were no questions asked at the end. Forgive me if I am not fully convinced by that last statement though. I saw great confusion in lots of eyes when I touched on shotting conversions again. I will find a way of getting this information across without seeming as if I had suddenly started speaking in fluent Icelandic. In my head it’s so easy! So why can’t I articulate it so? So frustrating….

At the far end of Middle was the Camouflaged child known as Austin of the woods. Newly relocated to a fern covered log cabin in darkest Bridport, Austin was sporting some fine headwear. It seems that he has found a cap that, not only has a camo pattern, but also lifelike leaves attached to it. I’m wondering if one day I’ll hear his voice coming from nowhere in the undergrowth because I simply have not seen him coming! Austin persevered with a pole despite the windy conditions and did a great job too. His casting has come on leaps and bounds with frightening accuracy too. Fishing tight to snags certainly bought him a few more Carp throughout the day. Fishing with a pole from a chair, in my opinion, is like trying to eat soup with a fork. So, Austin was the recipient of Tim’s old ‘Spider Box’. Hopefully this will make life a little easier for him. (especially if he doesn’t have to carry it! Sorry Amy!)

Next up was Thing #1 and Thing #2, aka Harry and Jack Cryer. All of the Cryer clones had sprouted somewhat over the winter, including our smallest shrimplet, brother Ollie. I call them clones but, to be honest, they don’t look that much alike. It’s just that I haven’t been able to nail down which is which yet. I guess calling them Thing #1 & #2 doesn’t help much either. They caught steadily through the day despite Harry (I think?) challenging the opposite tree to game of wits on three occasions. We got the feeder back every time so, unfortunately, this rendered the chance of winning the non-existent ‘Dave Tattersall award for Forestry and Tree-felling’, null and void. Words of wisdom were whispered and no further tree worrying was seen for the rest of the session. Jack had a quieter day, but did pluck some hefty branches from the inside margins as well as some Mud Pigs. Coaching sessions are a more relaxed affair than matches, and more directed at learning and fun. But I did notice the emergence of the scourge of modern life, the handheld gaming device!

Now I will be honest, and this goes for everyone, we are trying to create an interest in fishing to get new anglers away from the distractions of modern youth lifestyle, and on to more traditional activities. No one wants to see the lead coach lose it and test the depth with an i-boy game pad, or whatever they are called. The smallest Cryer, Ollie, set about making new friends with the, soon to be crowned Junior Champion, Jack Copp. I can’t make my mind up if Ollie’s nickname should be ‘The Limpet’, ‘The Shadow’ or ‘The Rash’. Either way he stuck to and followed Jack everywhere, all day! So much so that I think Paul was going to slip Jack a fiver for childcare! It was funny and cute in equal measure…

Last on the roster today was the Ultra confident Master J. Copp. Twiglet etched his name onto so many trophies last year that it was tempting just to put Jack’s name on all of them and correct the errors at a later date! The presentation evening even got dubbed the ‘Jack Copp show’ by the club secretary! It’s fair to say that the Copplet is quite a way up the talent road compared to the others, but that doesn’t stop him from pushing the limits of his own abilities. Jack took some convincing but, after I showed him the benefits of a levelled seat box, how to utilise a spray bar efficiently, and positioning of his keepnet, he proved that he is getting close to being able to properly use a pole at 13 meters. Holding 11.5 meters on a breezy day for a small boy is a good effort in my book, even if it did make his arms ache after a while. Body strength comes with age and once it does, the seniors better watch out!

I sometimes think that older juniors like Jack and the bigger Ollie are out growing my coaching. But it’s great when they want to learn and actively contribute to questions asked, even if I have to overlook them to give someone else a chance sometimes! Jack caught a good selection of fish today including some poached from his dads’ rods!

At the end of the session, nature proved that you need to be aware of all things at all times. Even then, you may not see everything. The four and a half boys were exploring the large mount of dirt to the side of the middle lake when, suddenly, an irritated mother duck came squawking out of the undergrowth. Upon inspection there was a nest with eggs inside. Mummy duck had been quietly sat no more than eight feet from us, all day, without a single one of us having seen her. Even with excitable shrimps knocking around. We gave her some space and she eventually returned to her nest and, even though I watched her settle down, it was almost impossible to see her as she blended into the long grass and reeds. Nature truly is amazing sometimes, and Austin was jealous!

I’m happy to get the first event under the belt and I look forward to the next on the 8th of April at Sharnhill for our first of many matches this year. I will be asking everyone to arrive by 10:00am because we will be having short tutorials before most, if not all of the matches this season. Arrival times will be indicated on Spond when you book in.

There a limited number of pegs at Sharnhill, only 11 or 12 so, get in early if you want to fish. As always, if you want fish but do not want to compete, then let me know when you book in via a Spond message.

For those that have won a trophy from last year, and even if you haven’t, the AGM/Presentation evening will be held at the Weymouth Angling Club House (by the harbour behind the Range) on the 6th of April starting at 7:30pm. Free parking in the adjacent car park.

Hope to see you there!

Juniors Sec…

42 views0 comments


bottom of page