Misadventures, humorous anecdotes and some darn right funny goings on as told by the raconteurs.

We began to walk down the lane flashing our torches hither and thither, which did no good as the mist reflected the beams right back in our faces. We started to shiver with cold. I asked Trevor how far the river was? He replied with not much conviction “just down the road a bit” so we stumbled and clattered our way along in the darkness.’

Our first yarn is from the memory of OMR, who we shall learn did not always have keen sense of bearing, or to be fair did his chum Trevor.

The other evening having an internet chat with Peter, the subject of misadventures came up, it was apparent that Peter thought my antics would perhaps raise a smile , seeing as there are almost a lifetimes thoughts and memories to call upon I have decided to commit a few of them to words.

Where do I start? My first fishing moments must have been when I was about 9 years old, as I am 69 now, there are more than a few, getting them in any sort of order would be a mammoth task, they ‘pop’ into my head like a balloon going bang, then vanish for a while, so I will relay them as they arrive before they vanish.

I must have been about 14 years old, and it was the school summer holidays, we remember them as long hot days that lasted forever, this memory is slightly different. A friend a couple of years older than me was my angling chum, he owned a “Match Ariel” reel, and had a nice fibreglass rod so in my eyes he must have been an expert in all things angling.

We had usually fished on the local dams and reservoirs for the usual suspects, but one Friday afternoon we decided to expand our horizons and try fishing a river, I cannot remember where it was, but at the drop of a hat we had cobbled together our fishing gear and bait, and decided we would do an overnighter. We also had a tent, a sleeping bag each along with the usual bits and bobs – primus stove, tin mugs, a pan to warm the beans and lastly a torch. Best laid plans of mice and men do not always work out and in this case enthusiasm won over common sense.

Trevor, my pals knew where we were going, I had no idea, but Trevor was the guru and I thought he would know all things. We cadged a lift from Dad to the railway station and boarded a train to Leeds, clattered through the town to the bus station and eventually boarded a bus bound for wherever. It was now evening time and getting dark, all we could see out of the bus windows were fields, the odd farmhouse and the odd stand of trees, on top of that, a spooky mist was descending.

I had no clue where we were but had great faith in Trevor my angling guru. Eventually the bus driver told us we were as near to our destination as we could be, he gave us rough directions and with those we got off the bus to be left standing at the side of a road. Evening had turned to night and it it was pitch black, no street lighting at all, we were effectively two weeks from  anywhere as far as I was concerned. The mist was swirling around us and the cold damp air quickly started to spear into our bones.

In the distance we could hear the sound of running water, must be the river we thought, but where was it? The mist had descended , and was muffling the sound, we could not tell which direction it was coming from , but were thinking it was not too far off .

We began to walk down the lane flashing our torches hither and thither, which did no good as the mist reflected the beams right back in our faces. We started to shiver with cold. I asked Trevor how far the river was? He replied with not much conviction “just down the road a bit” so we stumbled and clattered our way along in the darkness.

This went on for about a half hour, the footpath we were on vanished and the lane closed in, with hedges either side, things were suddenly looking bleak. No street lighting, with no idea where we were. Freezing cold and nowhere to head for, no finger posts telling us where we should be heading, we could have been on Mars.

What had seemed a good idea a few hours ago was now anything but. But the river was somewhere out there. I suggested that as we had the tent we should find a place to put it up, and sort out our problems in the morning . In this mist we could not fish anyway, even if we found the river , and hopefully we could not be too far from the river anyway, even though we did not have a clue which direction it was in.

Trevor agreed, we clattered along and eventually the hedges receded a bit, but there was still no footpath, we wandered around in the pitch black and mist and eventually found a patch of grass that was sort of level (ish) and managed to put up the tent and gratefully we went inside, zipped the door shut and climbed in our sleeping bags.

It was still freezing but at least we were now under cover, we slowly drifted off to sleep, it occurred to me as I lay there shivering that apart from the occasionally  lonely bleat of a sheep , it was dead silent, just the wayward sounds of running water, no sound of traffic, of anything at all. I awoke suddenly to the sound of a large vehicle, the engine making a loud noise, maybe it was a tractor? or maybe we had set up the tent in a farmers field? And he wanted to plow it. Maybe we would be under a tractor in the next breath.

I could see it was daylight, I scrambled out of my sleeping bag, teeth chattering with cold, I shook Trevor awake and told him what I had heard. I need not have explained anything as the noise was getting nearer, we poked our heads out of the tent door. The mist had vanished and it was a clear but cool morning. The engine noises I had heard and could still hear were actually from a few cars, and a tractor that were all driving around the roundabout we had set our camp upon. And that was about as far as that particular angling adventure would stick in my mind.

Yarn Spinning – OMR, West Yorkshire May 2022