My first trip 2019 out to the water was eventually made on Monday 7th January after aborting plans I’d made to venture out on Friday 4th January due to forecast -4.0’C temps overnight from the Thursday and temps on Friday itself not getting above -2.0’C coupled with a ‘moderate’ breeze – and as I’d planned to have a canal session ie shelterless banks with any breeze, regardless of its geographical direction, getting channelled down the canal’s length I really wasn’t up for that especially with it being ‘damp’ cold still too. Lower temperatures (even -5’C or lower), with minimal breeze or decent shelter, and with LOW air humidity can feel much more comfortable and often pleasant with the correct clothing BUT with damp in the air NO clothing regardless of cost, quality, etc can defeat the damp – even GoreTex and similar will let dampness/vapour through although excellent protection against rain and water in its more liquid forms. And dampness doesn’t need to get through the defences of the material either – it works its way through gaps in protection eg sleeve cuffs, neck lines, etc as when you move you push air out at times but then suck in fresh (damp) air on the next movement bellows like…. Anyway, that’s my REASON or, OK, possibly EXCUSE LOL!
Anyway, I did venture forth on Monday – yesterday as I write this – and had a few hours on the canal, or more truthfully I should say canals in the plural – and I didn’t blank which was the good part of the day….
But let me start at the beginning….
The alarm clock sounded at on 0615 on Monday morning, I rose, dressed, loaded last minute tackle and baits into the car, had breakfast and set off at 0730 for my destination on the Shropshire Union Canal – a journey of 12 miles as the crow flies, so around 15 miles by road – and arrived after negotiating the works traffic en route at around 0815. Parked up and walked the 500 yards to my decided upon swim with overhanging bushes and which harbours good perch and chub. Set up the landing net, laid out the unhooking mat, weigh sling and scales … took rod out of the quiver and put together the sections… and then opened the seat box to get out the compartmented box I carry most of my needed items in – floats, shot, weights, hooks, etc, etc – and it was highlighted by its total absence!! The day before I’d had a sort out of the seat box and re-arranged stuff … and in taking some unwanted equipment away I’d also mistakenly taken the tackle box with it all! So, although I’d 2 float rods and a ledger rod with me, all was completely useless without floats and weights…
So, I packed up without wetting a line and set off back home arriving at 0920’ish…
So I nip into the house, have a LemSip, gather the missing box, and head out again but this time to a local stretch of the Staffs-Worcs Canal about 10-15 minutes from home…. arriving just after 1000.
Tackle up again – all successfully this time – and start float fishing with worm and maggot to the far bank – and catch around 15 gudgeon, 1 chub, 1 perch and a daddy ruffe … perch the biggest at around 2-3oz … most of the gudgeon were smaller than my, already small, little finger….
Liz rings me at just after noon to see what I’m doing … I tell her and say I’ll probably pack up around 1400…
1300 and my phone chimes … Liz again… one of our two ferrets (Minnie, the other is Missy) is not at all well and looks to be on last legs … I tackle down and drive back … Minnie is very listless and being cuddled in a towel by Liz … we give water (and water/honey) by syringe throughout the afternoon and evening but apart from occasional shudders she doesn’t move much … and she finally passed away later that night and was laid to rest in my shrubbery patch this morning with a memorial Xmas tree (was a small potted one we’d bought for Xmas decoration) to mark her resting place.
So, I’ve had better days really….
Now, looking for ferret rescue places to obtain a new friend for Missy … looking at a getting a male ferret this time as we’ve not had a male in a long time … and possibly getting two (ferret owner maths kicks in – you can never have one ferret and usually the optimum number is as many as you already have plus one)….
Fishing – hoping to go piking on Friday 11th – possibly pool or possibly the Shropshire Union as it now owes me a day’s fishing. And the latter is more likely as I’ve been wanting a piking there for a while and its less tackle to sort….