Dawn Raiders - Choppers Darler
I can't wait to be honest, I hope others will join us and get the point but, hey, if not then it will be the last of the simmer win due! Ian and I kind of had a Dawn Raid a couple of years back. It was towards the end of the river season in March. One of those days where it had turned mild but was grey old day. There were quite a few anglers out catching up on their last opportunity to fish our rivers before the closed season. I had to collect monies from a match group on the Lode at Upware, so we had a bit of a late start, so I suppose it was more a late morning raid when we got to the Reach Lode. Now this is a little gem in the Winter; much neglected, but is worth a try especially it's mild and we have had some rain. Percy and I use to raid this 2ft deep venue from February onwards. We would mainly catch Roach, Perch and occasional Skimmers. Sometimes you could catch on Hemp but pinkies and punch were our main baits. Those of you who visit the venue will know that when it rains it gets very muddy, and the mud is very light in colour from the chalky clay. You end up covered in the stuff and look like a hippo in a mud wallow. Well, I used to, but now of course I have gone all slim, perhaps more like an antelope! Ian and I eventually made it to the bank; Ian carrying everything he could possibly cart on his barrow, umpteen rods, bait for an entire match squad. Me with my allsorts, bits and pieces, 30 year old rods and reels, oh yes those Mitchell Matches are still going, albeit they squeak a bit. We had a fine old time catching fish up to 4oz all day. You had to work at it and keep moving sections in and out on far line, but it was truly rewarding. So too was fishing in the middle of the Fens, you get to see so much wild life, if you know what to spot, Kingfishers, birds of prey and even hearing the call of a fox. With Ian it's always a marathon fish, especially if you start late, so we packed up at just around 5pm. In the gloom I made my way over the fence and slipped around on the cloggy stuff. I left Ian to catch up after helping him over the style with his wheelbarrow. Off I shot, I did think, why is he so far behind when I looked back, but me being all poetic-like and in my own world sort of did not notice. We eventually loaded up our cars, shifted our wet clothes off, so that we would not muck up our car seats, and congratulated each other on a fine old day. That's it for me, appreciating nature and friendships, I'm not that bothered if I don't bag up, so long as I catch a few and have a bit of banter that rocks on. About a month later Mr. Darler confessed; the reason he took so much time to get across the field was because he fell over in the mud and cracked three teeth, he fell against his barrow and had to have £300 worth of dental treatment; such was his embarrassment at the time. So may be a new nickname of Choppers would be appropriate!
So Ian and I are planning some dawn raids. I am looking forward to these new adventures and I am certain there will be new stories to tell. The idea is that we will be up at dawn and home by lunch. That's how Percy and I use to do it, often joined by Gary, Mick and sometimes Maurice. It suited me as I had two young daughters and it meant that I could spend time with them on a Sunday afternoon. Ian wants to do this as his daughter is of an age where she needs Dad's attention;..bless. It suited Percy because he could have a couple of pints in the Five Bells opposite his house, so everything was lumbdy, dumbly.