Junior Coaching #6 - 09/10/21 - Revels - Trendals


MISTY MORNINGS, WATERY SUNSHINE & FORGOTTEN SESSIONS

My day had begun in the usual way. Awake before the alarm, skipping out of bed, stretching the ageing bones and breakfast. Carbs for slow release energy and sugars for fast release energy....Aka, Toast and jam. This is the way that I kid myself that I am eating healthily.

Car loaded, a moment to contemplate forgotten items and I'm ready...

I drove out into the countryside which was under the lacey veil of mist. Mornings like this stay in your memory for a long time. I tried to take mental photographs as I travelled along the road. The watery autumnal sunshine picked out the golden leaves on the trees through the mist and seemed to make the leaves almost glow. It really is quite breath taking. The trees themselves, like giants, stood silently against the opaque white back drop. As if silhouetted against white silk. Areas of thicker mist were broken by perfectly clear sections. Driving along, you feel like you have burst from the bank of clouds, into the light, before disappearing once again. If you tried to paint scenes like this, it would look unrealistic. But there it is in front of your eyes. I remember my mum saying that misty mornings like this were a precursor to a beautiful day. She wasn't wrong. She rarely was...

Upon arrival at Revels, descended the hill and was happy to see that it was also shrouded in mist. Good, some atmospheric pictures for the blog. I pulled up to the shop entrance to let them know of my arrival and to confirm where we were going to fish today. When a chap that looked vaguely familiar approached me, hand outstretched in a gesture of friendly greeting... I smiled and shook his hand, bidding him good morning... Looking back, it was about at this point that I felt the blood drain from my face, my soul jumped into that pit in your stomach that people talk about. Parts of my body tightened, whilst others became very slack indeed... The chap stood in front of me, had brought his grandson for a Taster Session booked weeks earlier...and I had completely forgotten about it...Bravo! I had planned out my coaching session to deliver one or two demonstrations of fishing with a pole, feeding with a long pole and, maybe, some casting. None of what I had with me was directed towards actually physically catching any fish! No bait. No whip. As luck would have it, I was pretty much on time. But the panic had set in and my eyes held all the composure of a cow that's being led to it's demise in an slaughter house... What little composure I did have left told the chap that I was just going to check in at the shop before we could go up to the lake. I crashed into a conversation being held by Dean and a customer in the shop by blurting out that I need him to shout me some maggots and a pole rig, and I'd sort him out later. He started to give me the 'Call yourself a coach, not bringing your own gear' etc... I told him to belt up and hand over the goods! He could rip it out of me later, I don't have time for his silliness. Or words to that effect anyway... Maggots obtained/borrowed/hijacked, and with composure 25% restored, the early birds and I made our way up to good old Trendals. The grass around the lake was unmown and very dewy. My trotters were soaked through in minutes as I hastily set up the seat box...The seat box, you know, where I store all of my....pole rigs... DOH! A quick blast through setting up a pole rig, plumbing the depth and why we have to use our fingers to pick up maggots. Young Jack, yes another one, wasn't that keen at first. But after I'd explained that something that was a million times smaller than the average human was not going to devour him in one gulp, Jack was picking them up like popcorn at the cinema. (He stopped short of eating them though). The lad did good for his first go and the slightly shortened session was a big hit. With him catching six different species in forty five minutes. I'm happy to say that they have joined the family at DDAS Juniors and I look forward very much to fishing with him and granddad David much more in the future. So, on to the coaching session and, by now, the flying squad had landed in the shape of SERGENT Bracey (he pulled me up for spelling it wrong last time), Mr Bass and Captain Chris. I presented the Sergent with his late birthday present. A black T-shirt with a private joke on the front of it... (Let's just say it involved Seaweed, three chickens, two potatoes and a poster of David Bowie).


The Shrimps mostly arrived on time. Aquaboy and The Cheerleader (Ollie and Anna), Dormouse, Mrs Guru and Pantsman (Faith, Lydia and Mike), Lightning and Teresa (Thomas and....Teresa) and Carter (Bugboy) and mum Becky. Late arrivals would be the returning Robert with mum Miranda. Mir was full of the lurgy. Like a sword fighter, I fended her off with a landing net handle until she managed to assure me that it wasn't THE lurgy, and she was clean... No shows at that point were Twiglet and the Columbian Connection. Spots were chosen and we were off...By this time the mist was starting to burn off a little bit and the sun was starting to turn our misty haven into a paradise. Mum was right, it was going to be a lovely day. I told you!

I'll start at the shop end of the lake where we would find young Carter and Mr Bass, plying their trade in the corner. The relationship that seems to have formed between Jon and Carter is delightful. A normally fairly quiet child is transformed into a twittering chatterbox when they together. It really is heart warming.


(Below) Lunch time.

(Below) Our most Senior Junior...

(Below) Vogue (vogue) Strike a pose.....

I know the pictures above make it look like Jon was doing all the fishing. But the pictures I got of the group happened to be when Carter was eating or he was away at the loo. The third picture shows Becky taking in the rays like a classic 50's screen icon. Becky does sit in chairs like a normal person, I'm just not fast enough to hit the shutter button before she strikes a pose....


Next was Returning Robert, who I am happy to crown doughnut of the day. The laughs we had together today were many and I thoroughly enjoyed having him back. But, his determination to entangle himself in the tree/bush to his left, made my brain itch and I found it increasingly funny. I say determined because he'd even angled his rod rest so that it actually tangled more often than it should under normal circumstances. He also gets the prize for calling my name more than anyone else today, mainly because the line on his reel had more energy stored in it than a flux capacitor. Unless Robert had trained the line to leap off the spool and head for his favourite tree/bush with no input from him. I recommended that the apparently haunted line, needed replacing. Having removed the line it became apparent that the spool was a shallow match type and wouldn't hold enough line anyway. The lad was sent to the shop to see what uncle Jason had on his shelves, and I went with him. Jason's hand rubbing went into audible overdrive at the sight of a paying customer coming through the door. Rob was asked what his budget was? Rob said he knew of no such limit that had been imposed upon the transaction. Mr Frickers eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and he reached for the high 'expensive shelf'. In the end Rob walked away with a nice new reel designed for the job. Even if the Jason's expensive shelf remained full. Big thanks to Mr F for sorting the lad out... I am genuinely happy that they have come back to fish with us again, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again very soon.


(Below) Miranda gets comfy and Robert with his pet tree/bush that needed to fed hooks and feeders every 10 minutes....

Fishy!

(Below) Robert lost retina from looking straight into the sun for most of the afternoon..


The above picture shows the lengths that some will go to, to get a bite. I thought he was actually praying....But I'm told Rob was participating in something called 'Social Media'....Whatever that is?


Our next participant is always tricky to get on camera and, because I had forgotten the 'proper camera', much to The Cheerleader's delight, I did not have the advantage of the high speed shutter. I did manage to get him to stand still long enough to pop a picture off, however. Lightning had a great day today, mentored by the Captain (Chris Ward), he was up and down the bank like a ferret up (and down) a drainpipe. Thomas is far happier without the restrictions that govern match day, and he was funny to be around more than ever today. He and Chris worked their way through every method and most of the baits available to uk anglers in modern fishing. You have to say that it paid off because he dragged some decent fish out of a fairly weedy swim. At one point, he looked at me and angrily asked me who it was that is responsible for the weed situation on this lake? He was going to have a stern word with whoever it was. However, when he came face to face with Jason, he crumbled, ran off shouting, 'Sort the weed out!'... Brilliant....

Like Carter, I am working hard to get Thomas through the training and I believe they can both do it with a little focus... Chris was brilliant with Lightning today and the fact the Thomas had a good day was just as much down to The Captain's character as much as anything else.


(Below) Thomas in full moan about weed....Shortly before he legged it....

(Below) Chris tries to attract lightning (the real stuff), whilst Thomas wonders if there are any baits left that he hasn't tried yet....


Now the next Junior comes with a story of his own... I had originally put the Columbian connection down as a no show. But Becky told me that Carlos had indeed posted on the FB group that they would be slightly late. Most unusual for Carlos it has to be said..... NOT!

Mike had informed me that two characters had been seen heading the wrong way along the banks of Revels waters. In my mind I pictured a scene of two figures travelling across the barren wastes of Tattooine, faces covered and supported by a walking staff, being blasted by a sand storm in the backdrop of jagged orange and brown cliffs. Each step harder than the last, and if they stopped, they would be DOOMED..... Then I realised this was Dorset, not Star Wars, and they were merely on the wrong lake. A quick text steered them back to us and it was apparent that the flags we usually use really did work as a homing beacon for lost dads. When Carlos arrived with Joseph, he gave me one of the BEST eyerolls I've ever seen, followed by more excuses than the Winsper book of fishing. Joseph was sporting some of the biggest sunglasses since Yoko Ono, and I can not say I blame him either. The sun was very strong and right in all of their faces. He set about playing catch up, and catch up he did. Joseph landed an impressive Carp on an unelasticated whip that had the eyebrows of seasoned anglers like myself, raised a little higher than usual. I always have a laugh with Carlos, and Joseph's determination to make large chunks of sausage meat work on every venue he goes to, has given him the nickname of 'The Meat', and he shall be known as such forthwith...It is worth mention too that, Carlos has embraced coarse fishing with aplomb. Which is, in itself, impressive seeing as his only real experience of fishing previously was jumping into raging white water Columbian rivers, bare chested, with a knife between his teeth. A far cry from the method feeder it has to be said. When he first came to our Junior sessions, he did have with him a Swiss Army pen knife and best, and tightest, fish catching Speedos. But I advised that it may be frowned upon to jump into Dead Tree Lake to catch Skimmers with his teeth, especially seeing as it is less than three feet deep in places.


(Below) Carlos and The Meat...

(Below) The Meat doing his best fish whispering technique, which seemed to work to be fair. (Note giant sunglasses)

In the picture below, Carlos has evidently spied a fish that his natural instincts tell him that he could easily grab with his hands. But he's clearly playing the game and doing it the hard way...


Now, life hasn't been easy for our next bunch lately and I'm going to be gentle on them in this edition. Faith, Lydia and Mike are such an easy to like group of people and it is grossly unfair that fate is dealing them the hand that they find themselves holding. It was nice to see them looking fairly relaxed and enjoying the day though, and Dormouse was under the custody of Sgt. Bracey (Not to be confused with Sgt. Bilko) and, sometimes, it was hard to know who was teaching who? Which ever it was, she set about bashing up the boys as usual. She has really come leaps and bounds since fishing with us and has even started to tame her aggressive casting power over short distances. Even so, I swear I can feel the pellets on her feeder grimacing with the effort of gripping onto a feeder that is travelling at 200mph, and being stopped dead in the air after just 12 metres. Faith and Jerry were playing 'Knit one, Pearl one' with fish through the weed at first. But once Faith had brought the casts down to just 160mph, she was getting it spot on. She was the one to use a keepnet and ended up with a nice little bag of fish at the end. She has interesting way of growling at a fish that is misbehaving for photos and, my new favourite game is get her to say the word 'Disgorger' as many times in a day as I can. It is simply delightful! After the event had finished, Mrs Guru had a bash, despite some horrendous heckling from The Pantsman. Lydia had spotted some larger fish and decided to get a tad closer, to the sound of 'That's it love, frighten the fish off'... Mrs Guru kept her nerve however, and caught a nice little Chublet. I'm sure that, on a normal day and in the face of that weight of abuse, the Chublet may have ended up in a dark orifice. The location of which I am not going to disclose here... MEN! They can be such bullies sometimes, eh sisters?

Evidence!


...And in the (blue) corner, weighing in at....Oh, even I'm not brave enough to go there! The Cheerleader and Aquaboy had set up camp in the previously much favoured corner peg. Ollie had the support, not only of his full time cook, laundrymaid, nurse, personal sponsor, chauffeur, gillie, sherpa, cheerleader and all round good egg, Anna and also guest (for now) coach and still reigning Junior champion (due to some global pandemic), Theo Cox. Theo had agreed to pop along and help out at a junior session in order to order show his face to the other Juniors, before fishing the Senior/Junior pairs match in a couple of weeks time. It's kind of difficult to picture Theo as a junior, because it doesn't physically hurt my neck to talk to the others juniors. He's so tall, no wonder he plays basketball! He used to be a quite chap before, but he has matured into a very approachable young man who makes some of the biggest burger towers you will ever see in your life! Theo had to leave before the end, but said how much he had enjoyed coaching the Shrimps. I'm hoping it will be enough to allow him to return again soon...

Back to Ollie and the lad was quietly going about what he does best. Catch loads of fish. I 'borrowed' Ollie to do some pole training with him. Cupping beanbags into a hoop. These physical challenges are ok on paper, but to get them to work, you need a Guinea Pig. Ollie is one such animal because he's good at what he does. If he struggles a tad, but on the whole finds it easy, then I know I have the balance about right. He passed, of course, with reasonable ease and he was released back to the wild unharmed...

I was discussing Ollies training with Anna. I say discussing, it was more of a good natured heated exchange at one point. I got my point across and, reluctantly, Anna excepted my opinion. I thought I'd broken her and walked away hand in hand with my intact authority and newly inflated ego. But she had duped me. Somehow she had planted a seed of conscience in my brain that ate away at my will power until I was a gibbering wreck inside. So much so that I relented and threw in the towel an hour later. It was a nothing subject that didn't matter either way. Man or a mouse? Would you like Cheddar or Wensleydale with your cheese? I asked her which nickname she preferred? was it; a) Anna of Puddletown, Slayer of Umbrellas?

b) The Cheerleader?

c) The Dorset Water Nymph?

She went for The Cheerleader because she said it sounded, and I quote, 'Exotic'. Option (c) was dismissed with a firm no and )a) would have taken too long to type. So I'm glad she didn't chose that one...Anna is definitely one of my favourite people called Anna McKay-Smith living in Puddletown that I know...