Junior Coaching #5 Harbourbridge Match Lake

Updated: Aug 9


Wind, rain, mud and broken umbrellas.

The last minute decision to move the event to Harbourbridge match lake meant that if it rained, things were going to get sticky. Rain it did. Sticky it got. And then some...

Numbers were down on usual with one no show and one dodgy belly, this saw the coaches out number the participants, which always frustrates me. But you go with what you got and make the best of it.

Forecast was for a blustery old day with the threat of thundery showers, but at least it wasn't cold. The first fight of the day was with the bog tent. My brain seemed to be buffering because I decided to open the tent out with the wind so, what was a tent, was now a massive sail. It billowed out as I looked on wide eyed, hanging onto it for grim death. I managed to get round the back of it to bring under control. What was a sail now turned into some kind of giant squid that had completely enveloped me in a vice like grip. I used the well tried and tested method of release whereby I used lots of flailing arms and swearing, which seemed to do the trick...

With the bullet shaped squid now back in my command and I attempted to insert the poles. But it had not finished with me yet. Lulling me into a false sense of security, it let me put the first pole in and secure it to the feet. I was now that the squid played it's master card by once again utilising the wind as an ally. The squid was now a hand glider and tried to take off completely. But I used my considerable mass to over power it once more and it was finally where I wanted it...Pegged to the ground!

With the necessary equipment inside, I zipped it up, flipped it off, and walked away wondering if it was going to whip past us at some point during the day as a final act of defiance.

I did smile at the chance of someone using it whilst simultaneously being slapped in the face by the tent, or recreating the scene from Jurassic Park with out the T-Rex...

With all the equipment set up, Si Wagner arrived with some donated equipment which had to be examined even in the windy conditions. We are always grateful of tackle donations and, on this occasion, big thanks go out to Mick Brown.


Harbourbridge lakes are situated in some thick, sticky clay deposits. So when it rains it becomes.....entertaining...

Quiet faith was once again teamed up with 'Whispering' Jon Bass and they make a great team. She was soon twittering away like a little bird and showing off some serious casting skills for one so young. Ollie was at the far end with ever present mum Anna, who was to earn a new title for herself later on. Jake and his dad Glenn had set up about halfway down the lake in the muddiest area possible...

The session was well underway by the time the first drops of rain were felt and the wind really started to find some strength. Without warning, it was as if someone had ripped open the sky because the rain came in sideways and without mercy. Hardened men raced for the cover of their cars, but little Faith made Jon stay exactly where he was to fill her feeder for her as required. With no umbrella to cover her, she sat it out in the stinging rain. I did hold an umbrella over her, but she said it got in the way of her casting, so I moved it.

Now we know from previous visits to Harbourbridge that Jake is a bit of a mud monster, but even he has the good sense to wear waterproofs. Acting as Jakes chief roll model, his dad Glenn, decided that skin was waterproof enough and that shorts were the way to go. We later learned that he is indeed one of the 'Special people' that wear shorts all year round, even in winter. So, some summer rain wasn't going to worry him. It did go towards enhancing the image of a drowned rat that Glenn was going for on the day. But the sight of him skating around on the wet clay ground had me reaching for my camera on more than a few occasions.

Ollie had a fairly quiet day purely because he managed to stay out of the water! Aqua-boy did get wet like the rest of us, but only on the outside. Anna, however, had far more eventful day. Making use of the Re-Gen tackle, she set up Ollies umbrella as the rain fell. It groaned and died in her hands with a shattered rib. There was lots of murmurings about 'glass fibre ribbed umbrellas' and Jerry was even kind enough fill her in on prices as I got her another brolly from the car. She was so grateful and went about putting the second brolly of the day over young Ollie. Then the lake echoed to the sound of second brolly being sacrificed to the rain Gods. It was left to hang there, limp, like a skewered beast, as a warning to all other umbrellas that, Anna is NOT a woman to be messed with, and it is she that shall, henceforth, be known as ANNA, THE UMBRELLA SLAYER!!!

As it goes, Aqua-Boy and the Mud Monster decided that using umbrellas was for wussies, and they would tough it out with Faith in the rain...

Many a story was swapped between us today, particularly from Si Wagner and his tales from the midlands...Lydia fished as usual but today resembled someone hiding from the fuzz because she didn't often emerge from the shelter of her umbrella and could be seen somewhere beneath several layers of blankets... Mike had dug in in the end peg and exercised some sort of 'let the fish go where they want' policy of playing fish. This meant that gear was being rescued nearly every 5 minutes from the safety of the reeds....

We were wet, but not broken and I think everyone had a laugh despite the weather. Big thanks to our brilliant coaches Tim, Jon, Jerry and Simon, who stuck it out even though, because of the reduced numbers, a couple of them were not needed. Well done to our Juniors and parents for braving the weather to be there...


Big thanks also to Jim Roper for letting us have the lakes at very short notice... Congratulations to Ollie and Jake who made it through Level 2 of the coaching program and on to Level 3. Pictures of their badge and certificates to follow because it rained like mad just as we were handing them out.


Our next event is on the 28th of August. But there may have to be a change of venue if the weed situation does not change. I will let you know of any changes as they happen.


Juniors Sec...


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