Here is a short story, submitted by one of our readers.
“One morning in early July” by Kelowna Trout Angler (Canada)
One morning in early July I rowed an old punt out onto the estate lake.
This old lake had no footpaths around it and was surrounded by trees and reeds. As my friend and I pulled out of the boathouse, which smelt of over 100 years of maintenance, creosote, pitch and tar, we got caught up in the damp webs made by a great many spiders.
Mornings are always full of promise and as we whispered quietly to each other we were able to take in the sounds of the lake and the morning. There were the ducks and other birds flapping wings and arguing as we gently slid across their domain. On early mornings you can rarely see far. There always seems to be a mist rising from the water as you await the sun.
We pulled into a bay and tied the ends of the punt to the reeds. Hopefully nothing had been disturbed and so we settled to fish.
“Hello,” said my mate, ” someone’s coming.”, and sure enough there were the sounds of oars gently dipping into the water and the occasional knock of the rowlocks as the oars turned.
The sound came upon us but we could not see the angler in the mist. He had pulled in behind us and we heard the reeds rustle to the distinctive sound of the punt being pushed into the reeds in preparation for tying.
Soon after we heard the splash of groundbait and then the tapping of a pipe on the end of an oar.
At this I called “Hello Fred”, but as usual the reply was only a grunt of acknowledgement.
We fished hard and caught many fish until the sun had cleared the mist and our bay was gradually becoming a heat trap. During our session we had heard many a splash from Fred’s side of the reeds, but the old fellow was a solitary character and rarely disclosed his catch.
Time to go I felt and we packed and called a last farewell to Fred, but no reply was forthcoming as expected.
“What a miserable sod” said my mate as we left the bay and I had to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” came the retort.
“Well he’s dead” was my reply, “he died 30 years ago and everyone on the lake should pay their respects to Fred when they arrive and leave. You’ve been lucky you have heard him and fished with him.”
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