Caroline's November report

As you read this report in the middle of November please bear I mind that I am compiling it in the middle of October! A tad tricky at times it has to be said. Indeed, on more than one occasion I must admit to being well and truly caught out, as I’m sure a few eagle-eyed readers were quick to notice!  I am thinking in particular today about our wonderful British weather which has a habit of changing at the drop of a hat! Whether it is from…  mild south-westerlies to freezing north-easterlies overnight, dry, drought conditions to drenching monsoons in the blink of an eye or balmy tee shirt temperatures to thermal long johns and de-icing the car within 24 hours, it continues to catch out the traveller, gardener or fisherman with a harshness that beggars belief sometimes.  They say, “If you don’t like the weather in Britain just wait five minutes!” I myself think this time scale could, in reality, be considerably shortened! Many a time I have had to rush to fetch in the washing, scamper to hide with the dog under a hedgerow, panic to cover the runner beans or having made it as far as the front gate been forced to retreat to the house for a thick jumper! Now that we approach bonfire night I am filled with an unnerving amount of trepidation. We are at that time of the year where anything could and most certainly will happen! I recall in years gone by… standing round the fire to watch the fireworks in, snow and frost, ankle deep in liquid mud in horizontal rain and on other occasions, stripping off layer upon layer I was so hot! We have just narrowly missed the end of the hurricane/tropical storm that the poor folk of Ireland and Scotland have suffered but it could just as easily been us here in the South, remember 1987! It occurred to me that when we are hit by this seasonal “Let’s wait and see what’s chucked at us” changeable weather and mysterious metrological conditions, then what on Earth are the poor trout supposed to do/expect/think?  Are they expected to feed up frantically in all layers of the water for the winter, hide under the banks in the shade, shelter in the rushes from the wind? What manner of insect life is likely to be there for them? Is it warm enough for buzzers and damsels? Are Daddy Long Legs going to be blown across a choppy surface for them to chase? Should they take to the depths where the temperature is “just so” and await what drops down in front of them or hatches out from the bottom? All these conundrums for us and fish are decided by the weather! At least we humans have the benefit, albeit unreliable, of the weather forecast! Even then the BBC, ITV and Sky have wildly differing accounts and if you make the mistake of watching all three you are left none the wiser anyway! What more can I say, other than we are in the lap of the Gods.

Here at Brick Farm (at the moment) black is definitely back! Sedges are still catching on Well Lake! Blue and red damsels are thick in the air. Hatching buzzers and midges are annoying. Clouds of daddies are rising from the grass. Fry patterns are a must, particularly on Brick Lake. (STOP PRESS>>> a gentleman has just landed a lovely 5lb brown with a black and red Zonker!) The fish are up high and in a “chasing” mood on Stag and Well Lakes and down deep but snatching hard and tricky to hook up on Brick Lake! This may be a good time, (if there is one) to use an indicator! We have no fly or line restrictions here!

Dare I mention the dreaded (for some) Christmas! Sorry, but it fast approaching and we need to be ready, unless it is just to be the 24th, 25th and 26th of December bah humbug!! We have vouchers for your loved ones, over the phone if , and what better pressie could there be, other than a week in Barbados! (I am always grateful for a pair of gardening gloves). We can offer a bespoke festive menu throughout December for groups of angling buddies so why not book a day here and enjoy each other’s company, a tasty meal and your beloved sport all together.

Okay, over and out now for another month but a word in your shell-likes… One of our trusty regulars has just informed me, from the horses’ mouth so to speak that, according to a radio interview he heard at the start of this year we are in for a biblical winter, one on a par with 1962/3 in fact. All that this old chap predicted has come true so far i.e. a dry spring, a hot June, a summer of good day/bad day, a dry autumn…. Oh dear!!! On a positive note this is when the BIG fish come out to play!