It has been a few weeks since I last posted anything here, not that little has happened, for a lot has, but I’ve had little time to sit down and type it up. Thanks to a problem with our broadband service this has also hindered my ability to keep up the content for those that kindly follow my ramblings, in fact over 82,000 of you have dipped in and out of talebytheriverbank, I thank you for your continued support.
As the annual summer holiday West is over and with the school holidays coming to an end I found myself with the task of keeping young tales off the iPad or from lazing by the window on the chaise watching more CBBC. Today he was in need of some fresh air and had asked if we could go fishing, so a trip to Walthamstow and the Lea valley came to mind.
Late in the afternoon after a visit from BT to fix the broadband we packed the car and headed to the Walthamstow reservoir complex having been told by the team at Farlows it was an ideal location for young tales to hit some Thames Water rainbows. Whilst visiting the Pall Mall store to get some braid there was a discussion on the success some of the staff have had at the No.5 on buzzers and Diawl Bach. Years ago as a teenager I would fish Farmoor a complex twinned with Walthamstow and buzzers were the key to leveraging trout out of the water, if I recall correctly they use to take with aggression and fight like mad.
After a trip across London passing both Arsenal and White Hart Lane, this alone caused excitement with young tales who is an avid footballer, however for me it was a trip down memory lane as I had lived there for a few years as a child with my grandparents in Wood Green. Not much seem to have changed other than the Bingo hall had gone and the toy shop near Finsbury Park was now a fast food outlet, there in the park was a fair, I remember that well from childhood as my grandfather would take me there on a Saturday giving me a few pennies to roll down a slot in order to win a prize.
Heading further up the Seven Sisters Road young tales questioned as how there could be a trout lake in such a built up location, an old head on young shoulder for sure I sense as even I started to have the same thought as we got closer to Tottenham Hale. I had previously pointed out the complex to him when arriving back to the UK as we flew over North London on a flight back to Heathrow as the plane banked and turned right to make its approach down the Thames Estuary for its final approach, it’s a very visible landmark.
The entrance to the reservoir complex is opposite the historic Ferry Inn. Not a glamourous location for sure, in fact a bit of a building site. We parked up an went into the self-serve ticket office, I could sense a level of apprehension, young tales wasn’t that impressed and I guess understandably when he had the privilege of fishing locations in the south downs, Sussex and Hampshire, these locations having beautiful wooden huts, manicured laws and stream fed through woodlands – this as a bit of rough and ready.
The first thing he did was turn over the leaves of the returns book, his face dropped as he saw several pages with nil returns and the odd fish after a 9 hour stint. Before we parted with our £17 for a grey 2 fish ticket we decided to go and look at the water, young tales was not convinced this was a water for him no matter what we had gleaned from a copy of the Walthamstow Fly-Fishers Club Spring 2014 Newsletter No.59, which detailed some reasonable catches but these were from The Warwick and to the tactics explained by the knowledgeable team at Farlows, they were spot on.
After being told to drive down to the car park by No.5, we parked up and walked up over the bank to see a mass of coloured water being pushed towards us by the prevailing wind. I watch young tales, scan the water with his eyes in much the same way as he watched the dog at the whippet racing in Cornwall, looking for that dog which had the extra edge to win a race – in his eyes there were no winners today. We watch the water together looking for signs of a fishing turning in the surface ripple but nothing. He noted the amount of cormorants and herons on the island and looked a the diversity of flowers on the bank…’no daddies’ he said, that would have been his other fly of choice. For young tales hauling a Booby isn’t his thing. He’s grown up using nymphs, Buzzers and dry flies and that’s how he want to fish, I’m sure had he placed a Buzzer or Diawl Bach in the margins he may have been rewarded but he chose to return home and use todays visit as a reconnaissance for a later date, much later I feel, I’m not sure a night at the dogs would get him back.
We momentarily stopped to look at the crystal clear Lea that flowed beneath one of the connecting bridges, there, deep in the water were a few fish silhouetted by the gravel, the river was more to his liking so maybe we need some time out with our fellow blogger thetuesdayswim who is so knowledgable of the location.