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)