Sunday 8 May 2011

An Effective Little Trip

A few weeks ago my father and I shared a rod together. We went in search of something Mr Chips and I have called the “River Effect”. You know, that gentle easing of care and woe achieved my flinging a line across flowing water.
We had buried my grandmother only two days before. My fondest memories of her will naturally be of those days when she joined us by the river.

She would drive probably frighteningly slowly, frighteningly quickly and in a reassuring erratic manner laden with lobster, crab frsh baguettes and lashings and lashings of homemade mayonnaise.
After making ourselves ill on a surfeit of shellfish we would resume fishing.  She would then grab her National Trust fold away chair and watch each of us, my mother, my father and I fish in turn.
She was the worst backseat fisherman in the world; always offering help and advice and assistance. She never held a fly rod in her life. However, resplendent in pure white linen and on her green canvas throne, she took control of the river.
Rise, Cast, Catch. Grandmaster shows me how it's done. How annoying.
She came so often I think because she truly understood, the frustration, the joy and ultimately peace and beauty that only fly fishing on a clear river can bring.
I was very touched when, as we stayed in her now empty, hollow-feeling house, I found a file marked "Polly". Inside were print outs of my blog entries. I shall miss her (and her mayonnaise) hugely.
My father’s club waters on the river Wyle are special, beautifully restored, lovingly cared for they are an image of chalk stream perfection.

From the start my father gloatingly referred to himself as the Grand Master. Despite the fact that he has the worst casting technique, floppy wrists, rod too far back etc.. he managed to pull out trout after trout. I rolled my eyes and giggled with him for a whole day. I left the river sunburnt, looking like I had been smacked in the face by one of Granny’s lobsters and I felt heavy with tiredness and at ease. The River effect indeed.