It's Sad Isn't It

Contributed by Donald Walker (copyright)

Another story from the 60's happened on holiday in Shropshire. My uncle and aunt lived in a lovely house in the country, in a little place called Sidway. The house was called Sidway Cottage and my wife and I spent many happy weeks there. There wasn't a decent river there though, that perhaps was its only drawback. The nearest fishing was at Market Drayton in the canal, I had a go at that, quite good it was too.

One day I asked my uncle if he knew of any other place I could fish. In his reply he recalled having a job as a weighbridge operator for a gravel company just five minutes down the road. The gravel pit was now closed but he remembered there were several ponds which were created from the extraction of gravel, and that one of the workmen had put some fish into at least two of them. Would I like to go up there and see? What a question to ask me, I sure would, my mind was busy with the possibilities already. An un-fished pond, I was feeling excited already.

Off we went to view the ponds. My uncle wasn't sure which ponds were stocked and years had passed since he had last been on the site. It would mean looking at them all. I didn't have a problem with that I just loved looking at waters, judging their potential for fishing. We found the first pond, which had a total covering of weed. The second pond nearby had some weed but some clear areas. I realised that the surface of the water was quite agitated with ringing everywhere, there were thousands of fish in this pond, and I was to maybe, be the first to fish it. I looked for evidence of other fishermen having been there, but there was none. I decided I would come at the crack of dawn for some serious fishing. Now I've mentioned this before, when I've to be up early for something like fishing, I just can't seem to sleep properly. It's the excitement the anticipation, its sad isn't it. So here I am at the pond, its still dark and I'm trying to thread the line through my hook. I had to go back to my car and put the lights on to do it. Its now 4.3Oam and there's a glimmer of light. I can just see my float going under. I must tell you it was tremendous fishing, fish after fish I caught, putting each one carefully into my keepnet. At 8am I was tired out and I tried to lift my keep net out of the water to see the fish I had caught. It was so heavy I just couldn't manage it and I had to simply tip them out when I released them. Looking back on that occasion, I feel that it was my 'finest hour'. At no other time can I recall catching so many fish in one visit. Unfortunately my uncle moved to Cornwall so I have never been back to those ponds again.

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