Caught by the River


John Andrews | 3rd June 2008


Have you really been down at Walker’s Pitch or was that phone call from closer to home, a sweetcorn can on string from the top of the Heath? Good to hear your dulcets. Last week John Richardson and I took the close season pilgrimage to the Creel where the lost Leneys of Frensham stared down from glass cases and Fran reminisced about fishing in Finsbury Park boating lake before she left London to head to Aldershot. A shop where you can still buy goose quills on a street where people leave notes on the door saying back in 10 minutes and you know they’ll be gone for the rest of the day. From there we went to the Tarn over on Seale Sands another Leney water sculpted by Humphry Repton, a succession of lakes drawn by BB and cutting their way through the oak and the ash woods. The trees on the dam grown up where Chris Ball caught his first ever carp off the back of a Vespa in the 60’s and Kay Steuart fished a pair of MK IV’s in a Pucci dress and sawn off waders. Pre bivvy, pre boilie, post modern. Through the trees the Warren, a water beyond the reach of every rod and line back then but opened up in recent years like a door that Huxley left open for us to wander through and never return. The source of many of a 10 minute note, eel-like, snaking away into the distance into the very heart of darkness. And in the trees the sound of a cuckoo telling us it was still May. Down the road we went to the River Wey at Broomfield, even more remote, thunderstruck oaks and then the sound of the cuckoo again, close at hand. We turned and saw him in the distance, running down the track cut for the powerlines, the figure of a man dressed as a cuckoo. The sound of his call still echoing through the woods.

Spooky Tooth back on the birdtable