Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Last 20lbs pike from the Fens caught on film

Talking about the Ouse and my miserable failure to catch a twenty downstream of Queen Adelaide had me rooting through my old pictures to find one of a 20lbs pike from anywhere on that part of the system. I knew I'd had a few back in the dim and distant, when the river was throwing up a lot more of them than it has in recent seasons.

Here's one from - struggling to remember exactly when - the back-end of the season some years ago. After poncing about here and there all day, my partner in crime and I adjourned to an obvious feature where a degree of stealth was required.

I can't recall much else about the capture, other than it was probably the last fish of any size I caught which was photographed on film. Nowadays, thanks to digital cameras and phones that take pictures, we happily snap away all day.

A few years back a film would often last me half the season. Despite the fact I was once a photographer, this did not guarantee a clear, sharp shot of your latest twenty.

There would also be a nervous wait to see whether the pictures had come out, or whether they'd be fogged, wrongly-exposed or fall victim to some other catastrophe, like your mate cutting your head or half the fish off.

Worse still, if you used slide film, you had the added possibility of the pictures getting lost in the post to and from the lab - or, as once happened to me, getting someone else's slides instead. I can remember pictures of a low-twenty, that morphed into someone's office Christmas party by the time they landed on my doormat.

The girl photocopying her, um, charms brightened up my day. But I'm guessing the person who took them wasn't too impressed when he opened the envelope and found pictures of me with a fish. When I wrote and complained, I got a free roll of slide film.

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