The last time I fished the river my car was broken into, the window smashed, leaving me with a bill for over £300. I had fished from 4am until 8am, and was not expecting trouble during those hours, but the area must have had round the clock vandalism. Yobbos who get up early! Whatever next? I had not been back to this inner city river since then, but the time had now come, I had learned of a new parking spot, and after some truly devastating floods of the winter I needed to see whether the fish were still present. I travelled light, arrived early and parked...although the car park looked quite desolate, next to a crumbling shopping parade. A feeling of post Armageddon remained, and I once again worried about the safety aspect of leaving the car there, but crossing fingers I grabbed my gear, abandoned the car to what I thought was its probable fate and wandered down to the river. The river has been extensively tailored for flood control, but now is largely neglected. It is full of the varied debris cast in by uncaring locals, and luxuriant growths of giant hogweed suggest that the local council also cares not too much for the watercourse either. The river was low, and clear, revealing that, at the bottom of the floodbanks, the river bed is that of a spate river, rocky and having extremely variable depths and flows.
I was seeking a chub, and spotting a deeper looking area, some eight yards by four, I lobbed a large lump of breadflake, on a light leger, to the far edge of the deeper water, into which it sank from sight. Three feet, maybe four feet of water. Less than two minutes has passed before a vicious bite pulled the rod tip around, and a good solid thumping passed its way up the carbon fibre. In the heavier current closer in, it was difficult to control, and it used its deep profile to good effect in the current, for it was no chub, but a bream. A male, something over five pounds, in excellent condition, with only faint traces of spawning tubercles remaining on its head. My first bream from one of the more rapid sections of the river. A significant fish, because I felt that, if a bream could survive the winter's major flood, then everything else could do so too. Although, having seen the river at the time, God only knows how they survived.
A Very Healthy River Bream.
The Upper Quartile of the Goosanders
They dived down together, like a squadron of U-boats, bent on sinking every small fish they found. These may well be just one female with its young. I don't know the maximum egg count that a goosander might lay, but I certainly saw one female on another local stream with 15 very young chicks in tow. These must have been from a single clutch of eggs, so nineteen seems possible too. These nineteen were all pretty much full grown, and so the stretch of river has provided enough food, enough small fish for twenty birds. Yet I see very few small fish at all. Do they only eat fish?
the moon was sitting sideways in the sky. It did not take much thought to realise that a half moon in the tropics is either the top half, or the bottom half. The locals accept this as normal, only getting significantly confused when they see the DreamWorks Film Logo.
But I am now confused back home, OUR moon is not right. I have observed this problem before but never figured out the solution to it. I even asked an Astrophysicist to explain. But she was French and probably did not understand the question. On some days, depending upon how the earth, Moon and Sun and juxtaposed, the moon can be visible in daylight. Such was the case a few days ago.
Moon, Just before Sundown, Camera Held Horizontally.