The Fishing Lake

by Michael Conway


morning at a calm lakeArriving at the fishing lake just as dawn was about to break. The place was eerily quiet, drawing all your senses to attention. Having been here many times over the years, particularly at this hour, this place always gives me the feeling of uncertainty, fear and mistrust.

The morning was dry with a slight chill in the air. After unpacking my fishing rods, etc., I quietly made my way around the lake until I found my favourite spot, looking across the lake, which was still covered in a blanket of mist.

I started to assemble my rods; the only sound that could be heard was the light wind whispering through the treetops.

As dawn broke the sun began to gradually break through the clouds; the birds starting their dawn chorus. You could just see some of the fish beginning to roll on top of the water. The wildlife around the lake began to wake up, as the sun was slowly burning off the mist casting long shadows from the surrounding trees across the lake.

This is a truly tranquil place, with a wonderful array of wildlife. In the distance, you could hear a woodpecker begin his day of foraging. The rustle of something in the ground covering behind me got my attention; suddenly, a field mouse appeared looking sheepish, before scurrying away. I don’t know who was more scared the poor mouse or me. The lake’s inhabitants with the birds singing overhead were now up to face another day.

I tossed a handful of ground bait mixed with chopped worms and maggots to my right before casting out my rods, now we had a couple of little insects feeding off my offerings with a couple of dragons flies hovering nearby. A robin flew down for breakfast while a kingfisher was on a tiny branch to my left waiting to feed off an unsuspecting fish that swam by in the clear water.

Suddenly, my reel started to scream as a fish attached itself to the hook. The noise upset the tranquillity around the lake. The birds stopped singing and my new-found friends who were feeding around me stopped as panic set in and they all fled.

My concentration was now focused on the fish attached to my line. Time seemed to stand still as I played and finally landed a beautifully fit and healthy carp. Once the fish had been returned safely to the lake things settled down. To my delight, my new-found friends came back to finish their breakfast. The bird’s singing started again as a squirrel appeared before scurrying up a tree. The wildlife was active again, life by the lake was returning to normality. Even the kingfisher returned to the branch, before diving in order to catch a small fish, then flying off into the distance.

I settled back in my chair, opened my flask and poured a coffee, lit a cigarette before looking across the lake and thinking with all this wildlife and fish around, what a delight to be alive, thank God.


Photos byPiotr Wawrzyniuk

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