Well, as you can see, it was a stunning start to the day... But, oh boy, it wasn't to last!
It was a bit sticky underfoot after all the rain over what seems to be about the last 12 months. Summer really is overdue now and the forecast promised a less than rosy outlook.
Upon arrival I set up my coaching area and the Loo tent, whilst keeping a careful eye on the water. Ducks swimming, fish topping and Carp swirling nicely. With a low turn out and a 20 peg lake to play with, we were going to have a bonanza day of fishing, surely, right?
I did the boring talky bit at the start about method feeders and micro pellets. The three kids that did turn up were very attentive and asked lots of questions, which I encourage. The trio then headed off to their swims as a breeze started to blow, which kept jackets securely zipped.
Fish came immediately for Ollie, putting into practice his feeder skills. Jack followed soon after with some small Carp and Ollie netted a big 'ol Roach, 4drms under a pound. Jake soon found some bites in the end, despite being sat mere metres from the other two. The wind grew stronger until there were big bows in lines after every cast and wayward casts found other peoples tackle underwater.
We had some visitors too. A little girl called Faye came along with a her parents to talk to us, and I asked her to look after my feeder rod a few times, whilst I sorted our things for the other three. No fish wanted to come and see Faye as one of the biggest, meanest and blackest of clouds loomed over the hiils to the south west. A few spots of rain started to fall as the tip rattled round and Faye was able to land a nice Carp (with a little help) and I will post pictures of her Carp when I get them from her dad. Mum and dad were very excited for her, as was I. Faye definitely has a knack for fishing and I think we will have a new buddy to fish with in the near future.
The rain started to fall as we said goodbye for now Faye and her family. Chaos was about be unleased on out little group.
The first sign that something was 'going to go down', was the disappearance of the Loo tent. It was packed away when I had retrieved it from the tree it was attached to, fortunately with no damage. I returned to the lake to see the fury of the wind being unleashed on the rest of the group and I don't think I can remember seeing three umbrellas turn inside out simultaneously before. The first fatality was Anna's brolly which blew up instantly. Glenn did mange to hang on to his as it tried to break free but, Jerrys brolly took off over, and into the water. It proceeded to tumble down the lake, a bit like a tuft of white downy feather or a freshly fallen leaf. It did so quite gracefully it has to be said. Less gracefully compared to Jerry and I who were stiffly executing a kind of geriatric team pursuit, utilising bodies that hadn't had that kind of demand put upon them for many a year. With hips and knees popping like bubble wrap, we were fortunate that Glenn's car managed to halt the brolly, which now left the water and become airborne. The spike diving neatly between the pristine white bodywork and the spotless alloy wheels...
The wise among us (Anna, Ollie, Jack & Jake) beat a hasty retreat to the car.
The stupid among us stayed out to 'see it through' (Glenn, Jerry & myself).
The rain did eventually ease, as did the wind, but by now, the tolerably sticky ground was like a skating rink made of slippery clay, a medium that suited Jake down to the ground. Quiet literally in fact, as he investigated the many different ways in which a person can fall over. Repeatedly. Either that or he was exploring some advanced camouflaging techniques that I had never heard before.
Fishing wise, the lakes inhabitants were very obliging. everyone caught plenty of fish and even Glenn managed a Carp that lit him up like one of the kids. Bless him...
Anna managed to bring some class to the day with her usual effortless poise, even though she was surrounded by complete loons covered in sticky mud.
Despite my initial disappointment of only having just three Juniors turn up, we actually had a fun and productive coaching session. One of the most rewarding sessions that I have hosted, thanks to young Faye in particular, who stuck at it despite the amount of time that it took to get a fish interested. Her face, when she held that fish, brought a warmth to my soul.
As usual, huge thanks go out to Jerry for his continued coaching support, to Anna and Glenn for enduring this crazy sport of fishing and to the three stooges for making the day so much fun. Special thanks to Jim Roper for lending us what has become a great venue for our Juniors to visit.
Bookings for the match next weekend also at Harbourbridge lakes on the 22nd May are now open on our website. I hope to see more of you there!
Part of the Level 2 coaching requirements is to fish in a tidy environment with clean tackle. Today was one such day that will show if our juniors are taking their fishing tackle seriously and looking after it. There was some speculation about whether the Junior Secretary practiced what he preached? Evidence lot number one my lord, see below....
I rest my case....