Leaves On The Line

The Passenger

Before Covid-19 I would be on the train everyone morning, suffering the delays and cancellations that Southern Rail would inflict upon us – and the one that always caused the most consternation? The annual “leaves on the line” as if it was a surprise each winter.

This winter, trains are a dim and distance memory as I have been working from home since the end of March so leaves have not been an issue.

This session started very much like the old daily commute – in the dark. I arrived at the lake around 6am and set off to the Penultimate, the swim I had previously fished. I dropped the right rod onto the clear area (Baitworks Scent From Hell and bag of crumbed Royal Marine boilies) and then set the left up as a yellow zig rig passed the spot. With overnight rain I figured the fish may be up in the layers.

Much like the commute; two options and a change no doubt further down the line depending on how the journey was progressing.

As the morning dawned the drizzle started and from under the brolly the water looked great, mild conditions – dare I say carpy! And I was the only person on the water – plenty of options.

By 9.30am nothing had happened no shows or liners so I decide it was time for a change. I pack away the kit, loaded the barrow and hopped off the swim, only for there to be a great splash behind me, 80 yards out. Just like East Croydon, and the platform shuffle, I got went back into the same swim.

By now the rain was falling but rather than put the brolly up I focused on getting two sets of pop-ups and crumb bags out towards where the show had been. And then there was a “proper show”, head a shoulders out the water and what looked like a good Common. Now having put the brolly back up the fingers were crossed and I was praying to the carp gods.

It was now 11am and still nothing. Rather like the trains I was sitting ideal still no closer to my destination.

From experience bite time had passed. It usually was between seven and eleven.

I moved to a swim down the west side the lake where the sun was trying to shine and the snags looked inviting – to the carp if not me!

Rods out and I preserved until 2pm when I had to get home to collect the twins from school. But all was quite and much like than old commute; frustrating and full of what ifs, and did I make the right choices?

As I packed away a couple of teenagers arrived for the evening – took me back to my youth and fishing with my brother, although I don’t remember Mum helping us carry the kit!

Hopefully I will be back before the end of the year. Perhaps just as the trains are now quieter thanks to Covid the bank will still be free of anglers thanks to the winter and I can choose from all the options to reach that final destination and catch a carp.

Perhaps even a snow carp!

Tightlines and train times.

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