June, what does she bring? Old Man River has a thought or two.

The golden flanked barbel, king of the river

‘I will grit my teeth, shoulder my rod, bag of bits and net, and with a good friend wander to a favoured pool, where I know that the merry pin sized bubbles will indicate that a tench is grubbing around looking for tasty morsels, I will be sat hoping that Mr tench chooses my offerings’

As you read this, the close season has just ended and the rivers are now open, I wish you all tight lines.

At the time of writing. I am now about half ways through the close season, and so far managed (mostly ) to keep the faith and not dip my toes in stillwaters. When I did lapse it was to take my visiting German/British grandchildren to the local canal where they could pass the time flicking small mepps lures around hoping maybe for a well camoflaged perch to take an interest , which by the way did not happen. 

Luckily the weather gods smiled upon us so at least we had the benefit of sunshine. It seems as though I may have found a new way of removing rubbish from the canal, however it does entail paying for a flight or ferry from Germany to the UK.

A budding angler

I have not had even the remotest desire to visit modern so called ‘commercial’ fisheries, they may hold large numbers of fish, but they hold no appeal for me, I prefer to excercise patience after a fashion.

I am now suffering from the proverbial itchy feet, whilst myself and Thora have been kept busy with walks, and myself the occasional visit to the sea to appease my need to cast a line I am still feeling the need to get back on running water. I am mostly a barbel angler, because the accesible rivers within a sensible drive are mostly known for them and chub that is where my local pleasures lye. 

However.

June is the time of year when so much more is happening beneath the surface, the fish that have already spawned are now starting to gain a bit of weight, having lost condition in the preceding months with the cycle of breeding hard upon their being.

Those that have not yet spawned are large, but I do not want really to disturb them before they have done their very best to ensure their line continues.

So June is bringing a lot of indecision. I love fishing for the enigmatic tench, and sometimes my finer feelings towards the barbel have to be pushed to the back burner on or shortly after the 16th.

I will grit my teeth, shoulder my rod, bag of bits and net, and with a good friend wander to a favoured pool, where I know that the merry pin sized bubbles will indicate that a tench is grubbing around looking for tasty morsels, I will be sat hoping that Mr tench chooses my offerings.

A favoured pool

June, I will ask again, what does she bring? 

Again for me so much more than just being sat by the waterside, although that will do as there is always so much to see and experience.

June hopefully will be ‘Busting out all over’ warm sunshine, a slight breeze and the sounds of the countryside all around.

Natures glory

Dependant upon where you are the sounds could be anything from the lowing of a cow, calling her calf to foot, the bleating of growing lambs, not now cute little creatures, wobbly on their feet but fattening up nicely. I always have a pang of concience seeing spring lambs and knowing where many will end their days , however , that is the world we live in and to be squeamish about where our food comes from is to hide from lifes realities. 

I have a sheep farmer friend who although loves and cares for his flock, tries manfully to keep feelings aside and calls them his ‘crop’ instead. Apparently it eases the pain of taking them to market, he says it is like hedge betting, knowing exactly when he will get the best price for his lambs. June is for him the time when his bank balance reflects the hours put into caring for his ‘crop’ and ensures for the next twelve months he will have sufficient funds to once again care for his charges.

We will also visit the coast and will be hearing the scream of Gulls, and seeing the orange flashes of cute Puffins ,who will likely have a single ‘Puffling’ in their nest.

The characterful puffin

We may also see the sleek bullet like profiles of gannets diving at speed for fish.

A master fisher, the gannet

Adult Gray Seals will now out at sea, but their pups can be seen sometimes within yards of the beach, getting to know their area, and testing their hunting skills. Common seals will just be giving birth, but as they are far less common along the Yorkshire coast than Gray seals I will be lucky to see one. 

My whole world is full of wonderment at how nature rebuild, re invents and procreates, and June is the time when this is all around us to be seen, and enjoyed. Flowers bursting into bloom, birds calling, in fact the whole of the UK will be full of the magic of new life. 

And on the 16th, the Rivers will be open once again for me to wander the banks , rod in hand and search out the golden flanked barbel. king of the river.

Writing & Images, OMR, Yorkshire, May 2022