Friday, 8 May 2009


Well, because I had nothing much to do till nine o clock in the evening when Judy would come home from her weekly late session at work (verified non dubious!) I went back the same afternoon to the same spot, after a trip to the tackle shop to get some fresh bait, to see if there was half a chance of a roach being around
. A very big one preferably. The difference between the teeming canal of just a few hours before and now, was striking, and anyone who'd chosen this time to go looking for fish would have seen no sign whatsoever of them; up top, it was as still and dead as usual!

I'd jettisoned the seat box and cut my tackle down to a bare minimum to save my shoulders on the long walk, in fact the gear and my intended approach was now very much a small river approach, mobile, and on the move if nothing occurs within the hour, and I set up shop not where I had been earlier in the day, because it now seemed somehow dull, but opposite some very attractive overhanging bushes along the far bank casting deep shade, with a hole that looked possible to cast into that for no special reason at all, looked very fishy indeed.

So much of fishing is luck, or something like it; much of it is skill, or something like it; but some of it is serendipity, which is something like both, but nothing like either. It doesn't happen very often but when my perfect cast saw my perfect float cock deep in the hole, I knew for sure that it was only a matter of time before something really surprising happened. After half an hour of stillness, the float bobbed up in the water, tipped over at an angle, and slid from view. The strike met with a good solid fighting fish that I thought, by its head shaking dash out of the hole and into open water, was a half decent perch, and not a roach for sure. Then it all went roachy as I glimpsed for the first time, an unmistakable roach profile deep in the shaded water, as it flashed a bright golden flank...

"Golden flanked? Roach? Err, no..... Woohooo! It's a rudd!"

I was bewitched, entranced, fell in love, with a fish too impossibly beautiful for our useless clumsy words.

One of Gods great masterworks.

If you've never seen a rudd in its full glory then you'll never, ever truly know what I mean, but if you have seen a medieval silver gilt ruby studded jewel in a museum, then you will have a fair, but dull approximation, of how a rudd appears to the human eye, and especially the anglers eye when he beholds a live one. The entire body of the rudd is covered in the most exquisite scales, with a base colour of tarnished silver ranging from grey to near black, but all covered in a fine transparent layer of bright burnished gold; its fins are soft and deliquescent, they are shot through with the most seductive ruby hue, a colour that any given woman would gladly empty her handbag upon a table pitched in Oxford Street for open scrutiny by the London mob for, and just for the once only chance, to have it smeared over her lips.

But, if you just can't get out to the V&A to look at a bit of medieval goldsmiths work...

Here's a picture of what they were trying through their art, to achieve!

No comments:

Post a Comment