Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Fishing In A Barrel

Am I psychic? Or are the public just extremely predicable?

One day a week I spend at home with The littlest Bushwacker; generally we drop Bushwacker Jnr. off at school and make our way home via the bakery, or weather permitting we take a walk in the park. As my fly cast is still in its embryonic stage I'm trying to get as much practise in as possible so I take my fly rod with me and practise on one of the ponds. Half an hour once a week isn't much but its better than no practise at all.

I use a short leader tied to to a feather from that pheasant. I don't need a hook, I don't use a hook. I knew this was going to happen, and this morning it did.

While I was happily thrashing at the surface of the water a black Labrador bounded up scaring TLB into hiding behind my legs. Ever one for instilling confidence (tempered by realism) into the kids I said 'you're all right honey, that's a friendly dog'. Then looking around the pond to its approaching owner I added 'It's the owner I'm frightened of'.

I was going to describe the woman as having a face like a Bulldog sucking on a Wasp, a face only a mother could love. When my own mother used to see faces like that she'd tell me and BoB 'stop pulling that face, the wind'll change and you'll be stuck like that'. The wind is obviously changeable on Blackheath.

I could feel her rage before she pulled up alongside me, her eyes ablaze with indignation as she shouted "this is not a fishing pond" to which I replied "I'm not fishing" I let a pause hang in the air while she gulped like a feeding Carp before adding, "this is casting practice". Spying her chance to feel justified she waded in a little deeper "you're leaving hooks in there, there's Ducks in there, and you're leaving hooks in there!" she went to turn away in a huff, no doubt intending to report me to the park maintenance guys, further round the pond, who were busy using a small John Deer thingy to drive the six or seven feet between individual pieces of rubbish.

Restraint, Respect, Control - whoever has the slowest heartbeat wins....

"Madam, maybe you'd like to take a look at this" by this time I'd hauled in the line and was presenting her with the end of the leader, "And if there's a hook on it you can report me, and if there isn't a hook you can apologise".

She muttered "I apologise"

Her withdrawal was made all the less dignified by my laughter.

I know, I know, no points for fishing in a barrel, but you've got to make your own entertainment. Such is suburban life.

Thanks for reading

photo credit (some very good pix)


Anonymous said...

I guess you showed her! I don't understand people like that. If you're not bothering anyone else why does it matter what you're doing?

Holly Heyser said...

That is HILARIOUS. I don't think i could've refrained from laughing either.

Anonymous said...

Everybody wants their little bit of power. Of course, when they report you their version is exaggerated since they must justify their action and exhibit signs of outrage.

Tom Sorenson said...

Laughter was definitely justified - wish I could have been there to laugh with you! I'm afraid I would have been to upset to have been so calm about it - I would have probably bit back and told her to go ahead and tell park managers - you handled that very well!

Anonymous said...

I like it a great deal. That'll teach her to mind her own business...


Rabid Outdoorsman said...

LOL . . . great story. I have now added this to my personal mantra "Restraint, Respect, Control - whoever has the slowest heartbeat wins...."

Anonymous said...

A public park - pity there was no signs up saying "keep dogs on leads"
or maybe there was?

Was there signs up saying "no fishing"?

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Ha Ha! Glad you all liked it, you just couldn't make it up could you?

The people in my area are such busy bodies I just knew it was going to happen sooner or later!

I've been thinking of putting my own sign up, Banksy style, something like
'Dogs and the hard of thinking must be muzzled in this area'.

If I get round to it I'll let you know how long it lasts for!


Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Shoulda cut her up and used her as chum for shark fishing...but I suppose shark fishing is illegal in Britain...as is, I suppose, chopping up old hags and using them as bait.

Kirk Mantay said...

I thought this only happened in the United States. Oh well - spread the misery!

Only 10% of Americans fish anymore, so this problem is going to get worse before it gets better!

Is the UK the same way?

Richard said...

nice experience!