Sunday 4 August 2013

Identified Flying Machines.

Another day, another night and one more go at the tench, with a carp capture as a possible side dish.   That was the plan.

I walked from the car park towards the lake for an initial look, and heard the shrill "cree","cree" of a bird.  I guessed it was a buzzard and raised up my eyes and camera to the heavens. But I could see nothing.  But my senses were confusing me.   Humans, like many of the larger mammals, have always had no need to look for danger in the sky, there being no sufficiently large flying predators.  The human ear invented stereo millions of years before the record industry, and its primary use was then was purely to determine a direction.  And this raptor was straight ahead. The ears are a flat earth application, not designed for noises from the sky, and as long as the head remains level, the auditory system and brain directs the eyes to look for lions and other predators at ground level. However, throw the odd morsel of intelligence into the equation, and things can go wildly wrong.  I heard a bird, accepted the direction my ears gave me, and mentally added 45 degrees of vertical, so searched the skies for the buzzard.  My mind was over-riding what my senses were telling me. I failed to see the bird, because it was exactly where my ears were telling me it was, low down in a tree, 30 yards in front of me, not where I thought it to be, and by the time I had seen it and got the camera ready, the bird had flown.

On arrival at my chosen swim however the water had broken, full of algae, it was still green, and, if anything, it looked a little greener than it had a couple of weeks ago.   I had hoped that the gin clarity of the water would have returned.  The Cheshire Meres used to be famous for breaking, and turning both green and unfishable. But any clear water venue, especially the larger ones can at times, given suitable weather, be
An Inch Of Water With Algal Rods
blighted by this problem.  The water itself  remained clear, but was full of tiny thin 1/4" long rods of green plant material, which is, I guess, broken up silkweed, or some other sort of filamentacious algae.   I took a bait bucketful of water and you will see the tiny structures in my photograph.     But I reasoned that the water has been like this for at least a month, and, even if not fully used to it by now, the fish must have resumed feeding.   So I stayed and fished.

Again very few fish were topping, but I put some bait into a tight area nonetheless. It took a while but at about 9PM, the dough bobbin on the right hand rod twitched about six inches and fell back. A line bite, thought I.  But it did it again, and picking the rod up, there was solid resistance, and a tench a little over five pounds was landed a short time later.  It was an odd shade of pale green, not as pretty as the tench here usually are, and I can only assume that the skin of the fish has reacted to the persistent lower light conditions under the algae.   Whilst I was unhooking the fish, there was an odd sounding aero engine noise, and I looked up to see quite a large biplane crossing the far end of the lake.   I have no idea what model of make it was, but considerably bigger, I think, than a tiger moth.

Night dawned. Fishing was a little slow overnight but two carp took the bait,  One of about seven pounds, the other about nine.   Two mirror carp, and although I am none too keen on carp these days, these, like
Pretty Tough Carp
other carp I have caught from this lake were actually very good looking carp.  Solidly built, no flabby stomachs, and both fought as if they thought there was an Eastern European at the spot where the fool is supposed to be.   On five pound line they took a while to subdue, and made some long, very fast runs.  I have had about seven carp from the lake now, none over ten pounds, and with few exceptions I suspect they don't go much bigger, but all seem to be fine conditioned fish.  And over half of them have taken simple maggot baits.

Dawn broke, and the rain had mainly held off overnight.  I noticed the bucket full of algae had changed.  Overnight the green algal rods has coalesced into a single mass, some mechanism had attracted them all towards each other.  I think the process is called flocculation.  In the main body of the lake this would never happen, too much movement in the water
Flocculated Algae...Clumped Together.
column keeping things well mixed, but in my bait bucket things were different.   You can see a similar effect yourself, if you make a cup of orange squash with very hot water.   The squash particles assemble themselves into mini galaxies, in a manner that might finally resolve some of Stephen Hawking's unsolved mysteries of astrophysics.  Another similar effect can be seen if you liquidize a sea sponge.  Various TV wildlife programmes tell us than the animal will reassemble into a living sponge.  When I get home and head for the bath, I might take the wife's kitchen mixer and liquidize her loofah.

With full daylight any signs of fish and especially of feeding fish disappeared, and so I started to pack up my gear.  After stowing the camera I heard the noise of another aero engine, and was quite astonished when a yellow autogyro flew past.  It looked very similar to "Little Nell" the Wallis autogyro from the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice", but on reading some autogyro history, it may well have been more different than simply lacking the rockets and machine guns.   I was surprised at how many types of autogyros there have been.   But they all have an unpowered helicopter style rotor to provide lift, together with a powered propeller to give the forward motion.  Good to see one, and indeed, I was surprised and pleased that some remain flying today.

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