Friday, 6 November 2009

I can see Grayling but not Frogmen

Don't fall in, yes I am posting a 2nd time this month! But I wonder whether I should because I have got top admit to something. I can't see Frogmen.

Take a look at the picture above. The frogman is pretty obvious right? About as obvious as this Pike. Well, I admit, I didn't see him until he was pointed out. Guiding Phil Frapple on beat 4 of the River Anton we had enjoyed some great success throughout the day when towards the back end we neared the section close to Goodworth Clatford. Wide and shallow I fancied that we should leave proclaiming that "this is not the best of the fishing Phil. Look how spooky the Grayling are in the shallow water". To which Phil very calmly replied (as if it were an everyday occurrence) "yes, and the Frogman won't help much either". "Frogman!" I said "What Frogman!?" Trying to hide his look of amazement Phil pointed upstream in exactly the direction I had been looking. In fact I had already spotted the Grayling that I then realised were sat not in front of a log or other obstruction but indeed a Frogman!

Needless to say it was one of the most bizarre experiences of my guiding career and also one of the most amusing. By the end of the day my ability to see fish but not frogmen became hotly debated between Phil and his two mates along for the ride, Paul and Damian. The debate did involve a high degree of taking the piss of course. In all honesty who can blame them!

My excuse was of course that I focus so hard on finding fish that I block out everything else, including Frogmen. The excuse lead to more piss taking. And feel free to take the piss yourselves if you like, I admit that I deserve it! And I should take even more flack because before Phil could get a cast in the Frogman surfaced. I would have loved to have seen our faces at that point!

So who was the Frogman? Well if you have a UK rod licence then you will be aware of this mans work, because once his disguise was removed it revealed top wildlife artist David Miller. See his fantastic work here. David had been baiting Grayling so that he could film them in readiness for future pieces. In all honesty this chance meeting only added to the occasion and on our return to the lower beats yet more Grayling came to the net. Although of course each time I spotted a fish .... I suffered! I don't think I will ever be allowed to forget my lack of observation! More about the River Anton trip soon. And if you fancy a crack at this beat yourself and the opportunity to bend my ear over the frogman, drop me a line for details.

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