Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Relativity and memories

My conversation with the farmer was done in the traditional style , he leant on his shepherds cruck and I leant on my wading staff.  Pleasantries exchanged we went through the price of lamb, his opinions of the EU and my progress in the river. The conversation eventually went on to all things earthly. His knowledge of the river was of course extensive but it came about not from books and an angling perspective but through his and past generations interactions with all the land.  His knowledge was deep and extended to areas that surprised me but it was an interest where the river was a part of the whole, It was viewed as something that intertwined with the meadows, that occasionally flooded them and occasionally damn near disappeared below them but always was at one with them.  In a moment of distraction he told me of the hunting bridge that once stood and how he laid on it and gazed as a child at the fish that, if his memory was accurate far outweighed todays population.  

He talked of the otters that are now so common and where the badgers crossed the river.  We talked of Brown trout and Grayling and how the river had changed .  He told me of the water boards "improvements" half a century ago that raped the river beds and destroyed the banks, something that astonished me as I had considered that this river alone among the ones I fish must surely have remained untouched in all the centuries since the vikings came ashore and gave names to all the local rivers and villages .  I guess it just gives further proof that left alone nature can do pretty well on its own.

My evening fishing was perfection, kingfishers buzzed me and swifts screeched. Columns of mayfly spun their magic. Casts were straight and fish rose.  The evening blessed me with 8 or 9 fish all various sizes of perfection.  Cocooned between the deep banks and wrapped in the clear water for just a short time, like the river. I became a part of the whole.