It starts with choosing where to fish, lake, pond, small large, private or commercial. I had booked the 16th June off, historically when the rivers open for angling. I had a spot in mind, the oxbow lake which also has access to the river swale. However a friend I had arranged to go with suggested somewhere else. The Oaks, a commercial fishery that has a few big pleasure lakes and some match lakes.
I had hoped to take out my cane rod and do the whole traditional approach, but come this morning, I was setting up my 12ft carp rod and casting in the middle of the huge specimen lake.
The other thing about fishing is the anticipation, the checking of equipment, making a sandwich or two, making sure there’s a selection of baits, and never, never forget the hat!
And the weather seems perfect, it’s warm, but not too bright, cloudy, and it’s quiet, apart from the birdsong, the cacophony of birdsong that plays like a soundtrack to angling. An then it starts to slow, today the rush isn’t there to rush up a rod, I take my time and bait up with some maize and cast out in the middle on a ledger, set the baitroller, and then just sit and have a coffee.
And then, it’s just noticing, the ducks, the coots. Three tree creepers on a nearby stump, and the sparrows and wagtails darting down to sit on the tip of my rod, or perch on my creel. Everything just slows down, even the slowly rising smoke of the kelly for my coffee.
Then it’s noticing the indicators, the twitch of the rod tip, the slight judder of the quill on the surface, telling me there is almost something there, there’s maybe something there. I get this with clients, an indicator, a twitch, a look sometimes or it can be the tone of voice. Lets me know that’s something happening, something just beneath the surface.
Then a different tact, a change of bait, and suddenly things start happening more, the silver foil over the line starts to jump more, knocking the line, a subtle change of approach and more is revealed, like asking a different question, or re framing a statement, or sometimes, just sitting back and let the silence speak.
For me counselling and fishing can be interchangeable, the hope of a connection, and although I sometimes think I’m going to go somewhere deep, land something huge, all I manage to reel in is a little 1lb roach. A beautiful silver orange tipped roach. Exquisite to look at and perfectly formed. Not what i’d planned, and although I had wished for more, this gift, like anything the client brings of their truth is quite beautiful to hold and behold.
The overwhelming stillness amidst this business of nature, is akin tto the room with the client, so quiet and yet so full of so much.
I came home with a total of 2 roach to my name today. eight hours slipped by like a leaf on a stream. It ends, with the promise there will be another day, another session, another question, another cast.
A Thirsk Counsellor