Better Safe Than Sorry
The weather has been disastrous for kayak fishing for the last week or so. Next week looks like more of the same. This always happens when you get a couple of weeks free from responsibilities.
Yesterday I thought that I may get a chance to get out on a river not far from the house. Although there has been a lot of rainfall and the river is pushing through very swiftly, there are a couple of spots that can hold fish that should still be accessible. I drove to the launch point which is in a lovely sheltered area and all looked well from the van. The reeds being hammered into a forty five degree angle by the wind just beyond the quay should have been my first clue…..
Eager as ever, I started setting up gear wanting to get launched to seek out some fish. As I left the quay and its shelter I turned into the full force of the current and wind. Paddling upstream is not easy at the best of times. It is most certainly not easy in the grip of a full flood and what compounded the problem further was the gale force wind howling against me, trying its hardest to push me back to where I came from. A couple of minutes paddling had seen me gain almost no headway so I decided to quit while I was very much ahead. The fish will still be there when the storms pass and they are not worth getting into difficulty over.
Today was a different day; the weather had worsened! The graphics give an idea of the rain and wind strength from today, taken from Met Eireann‘s website and Windguru respectively. Yesterday’s mini adventure coupled with Tuesday’s expedition has made come to the conclusion that due to very high levels and adverse weather conditions river fishing is probably not going to feature on the agenda any time soon. The conditions were always going to be too rough for the lakes today but, forever erring on the side of optimism, I decided I’d have a crack anyway.
Hitting the road, the force of the wind pushing the van and kayak all over the place told me that I would not be kayaking today. One look at the lake confirmed this. A pity but not the end of the world. Like I said, the fish will still be there whenever the weather considers giving us a break for a while; there’ll be plenty of time to fish then. Many people would look at that as a wasted day. I see it as quite the opposite. If I can’t fish I can use the time to go and have a look at a few waters. Time spent in reconnaissance is always time well spent. And I had some waterproof clothing to test out. When better to test them than in a raging storm? More on that in a later post…..
The point that I am trying to make is to take stock of your surroundings. If conditions are too bad for fishing then don’t go fishing. There’s no shame in that. Use the time to help some of your future fishing sessions. I had a drive around and had a look over some potentially cracking waters. There are options open to me that I would never have known about if I had driven home, declaring the day a write off. I now have identified a few waters that are very much worth returning too. I have had a look at access and parking and I can return there at will when the weather dies down. I wouldn’t have these options if I had driven home and I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself if I tried launching in today’s conditions. Reconnaissance is not fishing but it’s close second and it is always better to be safe than sorry….
Also, I do enjoy being out and about in rough weather and I did manage to find some interesting places and shoot some reasonable photographs. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing…….