Hangover

Contributed by Donald Walker (copyright)

Going back a number of years now, I recall a story, incredible but true, that happened to me. I was a member of our works fishing club, back in the good old days of the 60s. I loved those days, sitting on the riverbank. The surprise of a heron landing close by then lazily flying off when it spots you. The robin that perches on your bait tin and helps itself to a tasty morsel. The anticipation of a bite on your line. The quick reaction to set the hook, the playing of the fish. The give and take of line, the quickened heartbeat. Now the landing and the gentle handling to give another fisherman that time of pleasure at some future date.

Frankie Vaughan, the singer, was a patron of our fishing club. He donated a handsome Trophy, to be fished for annually. On the first occasion it was fished for, I drew the last peg downstream, not a bad position. At the start of the match I baited up and cast in. It was a fine day without a cloud and very soon the sun was beating down hotly. I had had a little drink the evening before and the sun was doing me no good for my hangover, so I lay down on the bank and fell asleep. When 1 awoke I was horrified to find there was only 20 minutes to go in the match. 4-1/2 hours I'd slept. I hadn't caught a fish, so I decided to pack up and threw all my spare bait into the water around my line. Suddenly my rod end pulled round and ever the optimist I seized my rod and struck. I thought at first I was hooked into an underwater snag but when it started taking line I knew it was a large fish. Later, at the weigh in, I found I had won the match.

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