• Agent 99

April Lockdown

Well, I waited as long as possible to write this in the vain hope that there were some fishing tales to tell, but there are none. We may eventually get back on the bank indulging our passion, but, until that day comes, we have bigger fish to fry.

Week 1.

I`m still at work, there`s no Covid related shutdown for me. The streets of Leeds are deserted, and the regular commute takes but half the time.

On my return from work I peek over Linton bridge and see a fella carrying his fishing gear back to his car. This isn`t the only report of angling lockdown breaking I hear, several have been reported from Collingham, and a couple from the sewage works. I`d love to wet a line myself, but I`m being a good boy, obeying the restrictions. I envy the bloke who was fishing, but I hope he blanked, and was wracked with guilt, but I doubt it.

I fill my spare time reading, cleaning some items of fishing gear ( but not too many- save some for next week ! ) and walking. I order some whisky on-line. In the meantime, I drink beer.

Week 2.

Still at work, but only on alternate days. The roads are still empty. There is no roadkill.

I am still pacing myself – clean a rod one day, clean a reel another day. I sort through some tackle boxes. Don`t blitz it in one go, spread it out, don`t get bored.

I read the weekly and monthly angling papers. I watch a few re-runs on TV – On The Bank, Fishing Allstars, Mr Crabtree etc to get my fix.

I still have some live maggots, they get riddled twice a day. Live maggots go back in the tub, casters go in the freezer. I did have half a tub of worms but now I have worm `soup`. Yakk !

My whisky has arrived. Two bottles of Islay` finest are sitting on a shelf, calling me.

Week 3.

My stock of live maggots is dwindling. I have a pint and a half of casters, and a pint of dead reds in the freezer. I don`t know how long it will take to re-start the maggot `industry` ( if it has stopped ), how we`ll buy bait in the future, and when, but when the time comes for us to fish again at least I`ll have a bit of bait.

On a rare visit to a supermarket I see a solitary can of sweetcorn, the last one on the shelf. I instantly think `bait`, but my conscience won`t let me buy it – some poor sod may actually want to eat it. I haven`t seen any since.

Trueman messages me. He read in The Times ( so it must be true ) that fishing is at the front of the queue for when social and leisure restrictions are lifted. A glimmer of good news, but it may still be a long, long way away.

The roads are noticeably busier, and many more pedestrians are evident.

The brown haze of air pollution that hovers over Leeds has gone.

My whisky appears to be evaporating quickly, the Angels are getting more than their fair share.

Week 4.

The Motherlode !

I strike gold when I clean out a bag – 3 tins of sweetcorn, a bacon grill, and a luncheon meat.

So, live maggots aside, I have plenty of bait to cast, I just need somewhere to chuck it. I hope we can fish again shortly, when safe to do so. However, judging by the increase in traffic, people on the streets etc it would appear that for some, lockdown is optional.

I am running out of tackle items to clean, I`m down to my last rod and reel.

I am consuming books at a decent rate.

I haven`t resorted to the `bog roll challenge` yet.

I`m still working.

I listen to plenty of music.

I do the crossword, I even do the Sudoku.

I have a garden to sit in.

I visit Morrisons, and do a u-turn when I get in, it`s absolutely heaving in there.

I exercise ( a bit ).

I keep busy.

Til things are brighter, stay safe, stay sane.

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