A Road Less Traveled
I have been too busy to go fishing for the last couple of weeks, a sentence that to me sounds as repulsive as it reads! But today I was going to get out onto the water….
Realising that I had a couple of hours to spare this afternoon (sort of, I should be doing assignment work for college) I decided that I had to get out onto the water for some fishing therapy. It’s been too long, at least a few weeks since I had launched the kayak. An autumnal chill hung in the air and was interrupted by intermittent rain showers.
With the swell out on the bay I decided that I would try my luck for pike and being very much a believer that pike thrive on neglect I figured that a water that lies at the end of a road less traveled might be a good bet. After driving a kilometre down a narrow dirt road I found myself in a clearing where I decided to park up. Getting all the gear from the van I prepared for the arduous task of dragging the gear, kayak and all, for another half kilometre or so along the path which had narrowed and would not allow the van to pass through;
Before long the path narrowed again and I guided the gear down an incline and over some very rough terrain in the form of forest path and exposed tree roots. The track was rugged and I have to say that without the trusty C-Tug the job would have been a whole lot tougher. The sturdy little trolley performed admirably and before long I was rigging the kayak and getting ready to launch.
Time on the water was going to be brief. With the change of the clocks recently daylight would disappear at around 17.30 and already the sun was low in the sky. I had to get a couple of photos for a magazine article and once these were out of the way I put the kayak onto the water and started to paddle. My chosen venue had already proven difficult to get to and as I started the paddle I realised that I was only halfway there. I was fishing a chain of interconnected lakes that were all fed by the same stream system which ran through them all.
I was traveling relatively light, with just a lure rod and a few lures as well as a couple of bits of equipment that I was testing out. More on that later. I continued on my way to the small, secluded water which saw me pick my way through the small stream. I had to dodge many branches which should usually be overhead but recent rainfall had brought them down to eye level; not fun!
Finally I reached my intended destination and started to fish lures. I was using roach and perch imitations which I later changed for bait, wobbling a dead roach past the reeds and beds of water lilies. No matter what I tried, the pike just weren’t having it. Happy enough with my limited time on the water I decided to head for home.
The sun was dropping fast and I didn’t fancy dragging the kayak back through the woods in the pitch dark. I must bring a head lamp next time. A pleasant afternoon took on a sour taste as I was packing the gear away. The local landowner found me as I was packing away my gear, thinking it was ‘undesirables’ that he had moved on countless times before. He told me a sad story about the chain of lakes being systematically abused by unscrupulous anglers over the last few years along with widespread littering, damage to fences and livestock. Yet another example of an all too commonly occurring incident of poaching and antisocial behaviour that is plaguing waterways in various parts of the country. I doubt I will go back there now, a pity.