Drop In – 40/365

Conditions for carp fishing were due to be spot on today, and sure enough when I woke and checked the forecast, it was exactly as predicted earlier in the week; low pressure, strong and warm wind, and consistently higher temps over three or four days. For carp fishing, that’s almost as good as you can ever hope for!

I left the house, a little later than planned, but bursting with anticipation. It felt right, I had a pretty good idea of where the fish would be, and I really fancied my chances.

Trouble was, I’m not the only carp angler that watches the weather patterns like a hawk, and when I arrived at the lake it was “stitched up”. That’s carp fishing speak for -full of anglers in the spots you want to be in.

The anglers where I’m fishing at the moment are all of a really high calibre, and as such they know their onions, they know when to be at the water and what areas to be in. My late arrival had cost me dearly.

With only a couple of hours at my disposal, I decided not to waste my time fishing in the wrong area of the lake, and decided to have a recon mission at a couple of other waters in the area.

At this point, I didn’t really have a plan for my picture, though a shot of a fish being returned to its watery home would have been nice.

I set my sat nav and ventured off into the unknown. It was only 20mins away, but I was amazed to find photographic opportunities around almost every corner.

First up, was this cool, old looking bridge over the canal, next to a pub that caught my eye, made me turn around and park up. It made me think of all the travellers it’s bore on its back, and shielded under its ageing arch. I wonder how many have had a little refreshment too.

The other side of the bridge, a little further along the canal was a set of locks. These I always find fascinating, they have a real “secret society” feel about them. They’re on show for all to see, but only those in the “club” get to use them.

I stood right int he middle of one set of lock gates, perched gingerly on the small ledge, and aimed my camera straight down the body of water between the two locks. I did a bit of research, and apparently this bit of water is called the “lock chamber”.

Doing nothing more than spinning around, and placing my feet back on solid earth, I then had a nice view of the canal stretching off into the distance.

And then, this. I’m disappointed I haven’t captured the scene better, because it was gorgeous, but anyway, you get the point. When walking back to my car, to continue my journey, I crossed the road and looking right saw another canal, adjoining the first but teeing off at 90 degrees.

What was so nice about this was how the half open gates and iron work around them, are enticing you to look further, and then you notice a lock, then another lock, then a bridge, and another bridge all flanked by old stone cottages. The view was narrow, and long, and I really liked it! I am going back one day, to try and capture it in it’s full glory.

There were signs warning of private footpaths down to the canal, so I didn’t venture down to get a better shot today, but if I go back with more time I’m sure I can find a better angle.

Finally, once at the lake it was lovely and calm, and empty. Most of the Flora was clad with the brown shades of winter, but the water itself looked alive. I’ll definitely be going back to angle there.

Sitting in amongst the brown twigs and leaf litter, sat some small clumps of snow drops, pushing their way up through the hard ground, and in doing so letting the rest of the world know winter is on its way into recent history. I picked these as today’s picture in honour of a friend on Instagram, called “apteryxgav“, who takes lovely pictures of flora and fauna, particularly snow drops. You can see his Instagram if you click his name here. So, this ones for you mate!

Learnings – today was another lesion in just keeping your eyes open, and importantly, acting on what you see. In the past I’ve thought “oh that would be a nice picture” as I drive on past. Now, I stop and take a closer look, every time.

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