A Wonderfully Wild Water

Posted by: Alex Norgate on June 5th, 2017

Some months ago now, Patricia and I were beside a wonderfully wild water. We’d enough supplies for a few weeks, mostly dry food and vegetables that we’d cook with lake water. In such hot conditions, it’s the only thing that lasts, so anything else that’s needed usually has to be foraged or caught.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

By boat we moved a couple of times before finding the right lair; a well-hidden bay facing an island, shaded by small leaved oak and as carpy as any I’d seen. What soon become apparent was the abundance of birdlife; marsh harrier, crane, stalk, griffon vulture, hoopoe, bee-eater, robin and so on. It was a bird watchers paradise and they passed all around us; through bushes and shrubs, at times within inches. Naturally Patricia fed them cooked rice at every given opportunity to which the robins took the keenest interest.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

On the first night I awoke startled. Then I heard it; a sound that I could not understand because it did not sound at all like the animal from which it came; a deep concerning roar from directly behind us, causing me quickly zip the bivvy and grab a machete. Of course there was no need for it but it made me feel a little better. I woke Patricia and in so doing what ever it was also heard me and let out another roar. Patricia as concerned as I asked, “what the fuck is that?” It began moving; even its footsteps felt elephant like as it moved away in the still dead of night. We later discovered we’d pitched our bivvy right in a path regularly used by a group of large boars. From then on they thankfully found a different way to the watering hole.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

Two whole orbits of the sun later and we were slipping the net under the first fish. My eyes nearly popped straight out of my face. She resembled one of the old English fish I’d caught in formative years. Her colours were astonishing; deep orange and gold, brown and black, all glimmering in the dim light; one of the most attractive fish I caught in a long time. We photographed her by reed bed; a dull wind swept day blustering all around us.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

The next morning I awoke to the rush and whooshing of a flock of reed dwelling birds; their intriguing song like a room of arcade machines all sounding in unison. The day was gloomy and the first rain in many months had begun to fall. Within a few days the dusty arid land turned from blond to green meadow as new grasses, dandelion etc pushed their way through the sodden earth. Springtime in November is an unusual sight.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

That afternoon, out where I’d baited heavily, I received a bite. The rod tip knocked twice and then banged over hard as the spool spewed out line. This time I landed it from the bank; an absolute stunner of a fish, bigger than the first and even more beautiful. There was no doubting for me that it was the most striking fish I’ve ever set eyes on; immaculate patterns and colours, a rich interwoven tapestry of golden scales and sublimely proportioned. It was enough to consider staying an extra week, which would take us to just over a month of solid fishing. At that early stage the thought of having to stop was life or death. All we had to do was stay well out of the way of the Guardia and we’d be able to continue unscathed.A Wonderfully Wild Water

A Wonderfully Wild Water

 

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A Wonderfully Wild Water

Posted by: Alex Norgate on June 5th, 2017

Some months ago now, Patricia and I were beside a wonderfully wild water. We’d enough supplies for a few weeks, mostly dry food and vegetables that we’d cook with lake water. In such hot conditions, it’s the only thing that lasts, so anything else that’s needed usually has to be foraged or caught.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

By boat we moved a couple of times before finding the right lair; a well-hidden bay facing an island, shaded by small leaved oak and as carpy as any I’d seen. What soon become apparent was the abundance of birdlife; marsh harrier, crane, stalk, griffon vulture, hoopoe, bee-eater, robin and so on. It was a bird watchers paradise and they passed all around us; through bushes and shrubs, at times within inches. Naturally Patricia fed them cooked rice at every given opportunity to which the robins took the keenest interest.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

On the first night I awoke startled. Then I heard it; a sound that I could not understand because it did not sound at all like the animal from which it came; a deep concerning roar from directly behind us, causing me quickly zip the bivvy and grab a machete. Of course there was no need for it but it made me feel a little better. I woke Patricia and in so doing what ever it was also heard me and let out another roar. Patricia as concerned as I asked, “what the fuck is that?” It began moving; even its footsteps felt elephant like as it moved away in the still dead of night. We later discovered we’d pitched our bivvy right in a path regularly used by a group of large boars. From then on they thankfully found a different way to the watering hole.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

Two whole orbits of the sun later and we were slipping the net under the first fish. My eyes nearly popped straight out of my face. She resembled one of the old English fish I’d caught in formative years. Her colours were astonishing; deep orange and gold, brown and black, all glimmering in the dim light; one of the most attractive fish I caught in a long time. We photographed her by reed bed; a dull wind swept day blustering all around us.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

The next morning I awoke to the rush and whooshing of a flock of reed dwelling birds; their intriguing song like a room of arcade machines all sounding in unison. The day was gloomy and the first rain in many months had begun to fall. Within a few days the dusty arid land turned from blond to green meadow as new grasses, dandelion etc pushed their way through the sodden earth. Springtime in November is an unusual sight.

A Wonderfully Wild Water

That afternoon, out where I’d baited heavily, I received a bite. The rod tip knocked twice and then banged over hard as the spool spewed out line. This time I landed it from the bank; an absolute stunner of a fish, bigger than the first and even more beautiful. There was no doubting for me that it was the most striking fish I’ve ever set eyes on; immaculate patterns and colours, a rich interwoven tapestry of golden scales and sublimely proportioned. It was enough to consider staying an extra week, which would take us to just over a month of solid fishing. At that early stage the thought of having to stop was life or death. All we had to do was stay well out of the way of the Guardia and we’d be able to continue unscathed.A Wonderfully Wild Water

A Wonderfully Wild Water

 

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