Every once in a while a few of us Wallyboys get together for a day's angling. This was our Christmas get together held on the local river Hamble, home to a great variety of species. It's not a big river at this particular section, you could probably jump across most of it should you feel inclined. Our day though was more about the gathering, the camaraderie, and the tea.
It was frosty when we arrived. Johnny and Rhys met me at the tackle shop, and Moon and John arrived at the lay by shortly after us. The sky was clear and the low winter sun was blinding. We were h hoping for fish, not necessarily anything in particular, but I gathered that chub, grayling and dace were on the list of wants. But before we set off towards running water, we needed a pot of tea.
And then to enjoy a cuppa whilst partaking in a little gateleaning...
With tea consumed and everything put away, we set up the rods and headed for the river. I set up my Sabina with a small wooden pin, attached a newly made quill float and a 16 hook. We walked quite a distance thinking the grayling could be among the upper reaches, but with an hour gone, and only two grayling and few small trout caught, it was clear that the dip in temperature had made the fishing hard.
We continued leap flogging one another, and finally I found a few fish. Firstly trout, but also some minnows and a dace. I did swap to a more suitable trotting reel, which searched the swim far more elegantly than its older cousin. It remained cold in the shade, but the light hearted banter and constantly moving helped to warm the spirit.
I didn't much feel like breaking for lunch, I was enjoying myself immensely, but reluctantly agreed to return to the cars at 1pm for a bite to eat and another pot of tea, so there was time for a few more casts. A couple more trout splashed their way towards me, hand sized fish that had a liking for double red maggot. A quick look at the pocket watch revealed time for two more casts.
Back in the lay by it was, yes you guessed it, ham and turkey rolls. I made another pot of much needed tea, and Johnny produced a delightful Victoria Sponge. At around 2pm John and Moon left the party. The rest of us return for some more angling.
It was a productive last hour for all of us, with certainly more fish feeding that during the earlier part of the day. At around 3pm or shortly thereafter I bid my two companions farewell, thanked them for a splendid day and set off home. Driving back through country lanes I watched the sun dip beyond the horizon, it really was a marvellous day.