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Ronan's report

Sunday April 8th 2012

Looking out of the window on Tuesday morning, it looked like the telly used to look late at night after you'd woken up having fallen asleep mid-film: Horizontal snow.

The trout gear was in a neat pile next to the door, waiting to go: Duffle with waders, boots and spare clothes, rod tubes, and gear bag. This is a pile of great portent. Having lain dormant all winter, like a WWII bomb buried in the silt of a riverbank waiting patiently for its moment. The first day on the river.

It's all about to happen.

The phone rings. It's Will (not me, the other one). "I can't get my car through the snow and up the hill to your place, so I'm going home".

That's it then. It was 17 degrees and sunny outside last week, and now I'm snowed in.

Right, kettle on and fire up the wood burner. If I can't go fishing at least I can think about it. I remember Chris Yates writing that he could stand not being able to go fishing for quite long periods if he was allowed the time to imagine himself fishing.

So that's what I'll do. Out with the sketch pad and the pastels. I've had an image in my head for years. A pike and a racoon zonker fly. Both immobile.

The pike had materialised from nowhere, tracking the fly, keeping a constant distance. I tried speeding up. The pike accelerated as well, exactly maintaining its distance.

I stopped. The pike applied the brakes and glided to a halt about a foot from the fly. The racoon fur gently rippled in the current. The pike's fins rippled likewise. A stand off.

Tension perfectly balanced. The will-it-won't-it-ness is exquisite. I'm holding my breath, and I wonder if the pike is too.

It's all about to happen.


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