Fishing Magic Morning
By Tom Brown
Up early still dark excited and happy we can't wait everything is ready. We wake and get up even before the early birds the empty streets very quiet peaceful speaking in hushed voices.
On the bicycles loaded and prepared we carry rods with reels and rucksacks, well hidden from our parents a bottle old brown sherry and a packet of cigarettes. Just like dads' like real men. There were always us three school friends and sometimes another guy too or one of our brothers.
The bags are heavy the rods in an awkward balance. Grass and leaves are dewed glistening at first light. At the water rubbing hands numb of the cold we haunched soft subdued talking plans. Over the water eerie the mist hangs still like some steamy river.
In springtime fish are lively jumping even clearing and breaking the water mirror landing with a splash shiny ripples of joy of life circles out as the new sun rises. The best time for fishing is at dawn.
It smells like fishing! At our favourite spot!
First the bread paste is prepared it's like clay then the rods rigged nylon line with the hook and bait for the water then cast in landing at your precise place. And a small weight put on, hanging on the line, a "policeman" to warn when there's a fish.
A campfire started with dry grass leaves or newspaper then twigs and of smaller branches. Smokes, matches, open fire soon a boiling kettle and steaming mugs.
A few potatoes and onions you can wrap in tinfoil or even just throw them in the hot coals and dig them out later. Just like that. It comes out nicely only the outside is burnt the rest is cooked soft and tasty. We also take some whole eggs and bully beef tinned sweet mealies and some coffee powder and milk, some sugar and a bit of salt. We need something to boil water in as well as a small grill and a small pan.
Darkness fades into long shadows. From the shiny clear still water a fish rises and jumps, jumps clear of the water, falls splashing ripples and then the water calms again. And another! They are biting!
We brought sandwiches, so hungry sometimes you even eat the bait. Later we will make breakfast of bully beef beans eggs and a tomato in the little frying pan and some toast on the grill.
But be ready watch the policeman or a fish runs off rod and all tug-tug hit and run!