"We sit on cowslip banks, hear the birds sing, and possess ourselves in as much quietness as these silent silver streams, which we now see glide so quietly by us"
Monday, 4 October 2010
Shades of the Severn and a bump in the night
Although this is a delayed post the event is still etched firmly in ones mind.
It was a trip, an annual trip that takes place the same week of every year to the beautiful River Severn.
This was a special trip for me as Carl (my eldest son) was also booked in on the adventure.
The break was between Saturday 11th Sept and Wednesday 16th.
Carl, had taken to carp fishing waters close by in our hometown in Bedfordshire a couple of years ago but this was to be his first time fishing for barbel, and you could tell on journey up that he was a tad excited about the few days that lay before him.
After a brief stop off in Stourport to fill up with a hearty fry up and to collect our day tickets from Marks tackle shop, we then set off for the last half hour of the journey to find the middle Severn and its beautiful surroundings.
On arrival it was noticeable that the levels were very low and the gin clear water was rippling over the rapids just outside the cottage gate.
As I opted to unpack the truck, Paul and Carl went for a short stroll across the fields just to get a feel for the place.
Also in the party were my parents who were in fact on their tenth visit but unlike us were to stay for the entire week and enjoy the peace and quiet after we had departed.
Dad had strick orders that daytime was for outings with the boss and evenings were his hours to play on the water!
So that first evening, after one of mums Shepard's pies(well actually they came from Strattons the butchers) we all set off with tackle in hand, I decided to sit with Carl for a while just to get him up and running.
The rigs were simple free running feeders which were packed with a simple mix of hemp and hali crush groundbait that was spiced up with flaked and powdered chili, 3mm halibut pellets and a good glug of liquid spicy sausage.
Two foot hooklinks down to a size 8 or 10 Pallatrax hook and to complete the set up, two or three elips pellets were glued to the simple hair rig.
His swim consisted of fast water on the far bank above a gully that was between a couple of overhanging trees, Paul had set up in the swim below and soon both were angling and chilaxing.
At one stage Carl's eyes were fixated that hard on the rod end, i thought the isotope was set to melt, "don't worry mate you'll know if one hits you" i said.
I left them to it and wandered back to the cottage to grab a single rod that was set up for trundling a lump of meat through the pacier water.
On walking back past them half hour or so later it was confirmed that Paul had netted two and Carl had bagged one with all three in the 4/5lb bracket, the smile on his face said it all and i wasn't surprised when he was usually the last one in every evening.
Day two arrived, flasks were made, bait was mixed and off we set again, we only had the morning as it was Ma and Pa's anniversary so a trip to the local pub to sample its ale and to fill our stomach's with a carvery was the order of the day.
That morning session I managed to hit the net with one, but one noticeable thing had changed, the river was rising and no rain was had, not for us nor for them further up towards Wales.
Occasionally, the reservoirs further up in the hills get emptied and with that, gallons upon gallons of cold water comes racing down the river.
The colour had changed and soon it looked more like the colour of tea, the tinge looked good but the sudden change of temperature seemed to have had an effect but by the following evening she'd risen a couple of feet at least.
This change made the fishing tricky to say the least and although we did manage a few more between us that day, they were hard earned with a few moves being made just to search 'em out'.
That evening, I decided to try the deeper water in the top field with the thinking that maybe they'll feel more at home with a bit more depth while the colder water flowed ten feet above their heads,
This decision payed off for me as three barbel graced my net and only because tiredness had set in at around 10.30pm i decided to call it a day, Paul and Carl stayed out for another hour or so and managed at least a fish each.
All was quiet back at the cottage, one last smoke and a brew was had before turning in, my eyes were burning after the fresh air had taken its toll.
The boys arrived back and settled down, they were getting up for the dawn bash, I was getting up whenever (god I'm getting on a bit) I woke?
Little did I know what was about to happen next...........Just gone half past midnight, in my state of comatose , I woke to the sound that only can be described as terrifying!!
Mum had decided to have a pee stop without turning a light on and rather than turning immediate left back towards the bedroom, she decided to go second left which just happens to be the staircase!!!
Off the end she flew, crash, bang, whack and a yelp!
All of us ran from our rooms, wondering what the hell had happened?
Paul near shat himself as he was bedding down on one of the sofas, and all i heard him say was......'what the bloody hell are you doin'?
Mum, bless her was in a crumbled heap and could not move, dad was stood there in his boxers and at that point i did not know what i feared most!!
The paramedic was called due to the fact of her head hitting the wall, knees were grazed and fingers bent back causing some swelling.
Eventually the blue light arrived, we had all got dressed in fear of scaring them to death, checks were done and on saying her name to complete the task she decided to nodd off!
'Come on Brenda, lets take you for a check up'
Dad went in the ambulance and myself and Carl followed behind, two miles up the road the back doors opened and out popped dad who was now feeling travel sick!!
A 50 mile round trip was had, but gladly all ended well with the checks being fine, apart from some bad bruising.
We returned to our beds at 4.30am!
A stair gate was then erected for the rest of their stay!
The river continued to rise the next day and after the previous nights event, I had decided to take it easy and kick back a little, but the boys, well they got up at sunrise and were back out and at it.
By the Wednesday we'd managed about thirty fish to upper eights between us, Carl had lost his barbel virginity, mum was carrying a few bruises and dad, well he's just dad but at least he got his ride in the blue light wagon.