Saturday, 11 October 2008

Beauty & The Beast

Being a beautiful day, my friend Carol - who I haven’t seen for ages - and I decided to drive out to Middlewich yesterday to look for a fishing lake I’d heard about. I’ve been keen to get back into fishing y’see, but hadn’t yet found anywhere in the local vicinity that allows ‘my kind of fishing’. By the I mean coarse fishing without all the palaver of ground baiting, huge poles, keep nets, landing mats and the likes - I just wanted a place where I could sit in relatively peaceful surroundings with a simple rod, a baited hook and wait for the bite while I ponder life.

Shakerley Mere turned out to be quite beautiful and very accessible for somebody like me who has mobility problems. The path around the lake is even, there’s plenty of parking, and lots of open pegs to fish from. The lake's stocked with perch, tench, roach and bream (slimey suckers - yuk!) along with, apparently, some pretty huge carp, although fishing for the latter holds absolutely no interest to me - way too much faffing about. Ideally I’d like to fish for brown trout, the way I did back in Norway, but that appears to be impossible here without fly fishing equipment and expensive day tickets.

What I didn’t like about Shakerley Mere is the fact that the M6 - the country's busiest motorway - runs right along one side of it and although the lakes is big (we’re not talking Great Lakes big but bigger than a pond) and we were on the opposite side, the noise from the motorway definitely destroyed the feeling of peace. Sitting on a bench amid beautiful trees and shrubs clothed in their dazzling autumn colours whilst looking out across a peaceful lake where swans, ducks, geese and moorhens gently glided through the water should have been tranquillity itself, but with the constant drone of high speed traffic, it just wasn’t. Still, I’ll probably give it a try next year once the fishing season gets underway again as it’s the best place I’ve found so far. It’s just such a shame that such beautiful nature spots are so easily destroyed by our modern lifestyles.

We also got talking to a man who was waiting for the RSPCA to arrive. A bird had caught its wing on something on one of the two islands on the lake. Possibly left-over fishing line although I can’t say for sure, but as the carp tend to sit around the islands (an online search revealed this particular piece of information) it's a fair bet that carp anglers aim for them. The poor thing was flapping desperately and clearly becoming tired but even though it was already an hour since the RSPCA were called, they’d yet to arrive. By the time we returned to the same spot, at least another hour had past, the bird was hanging quietly by this time, probably exhausted, but still there was no sign of the RSPCA. Do they only arrive quickly when they have a camera crew in tow? It makes you wonder.

Nature has provided us with an incredible amount of beauty but man has an uncanny knack of destroying it.

Sharon J


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Dominic F said...

I totally agree Sharon, I have a few fishing lakes and ponds near me that are somewhat ruined by motorways and busy roads, on the other hand I know your going next year but give me a shout i'll come fishing with you for the day :-)

Sharon J said...

I'd kind of like to get started pronto but I know it'll be too cold for me to sit out all day now so I'm going to be patient. I'll definitely give you a shout though :)

Dominic F said...

Please do it will be fun, just have to make sure we have some prawn sandwiches :-)

Lizzie said...

Its the same here. When we head west we pass a beautiful lake and lots of busy anglers. For us travlling by it is beautiful but for them I guess not so good. Excuse me for not joining you though, sounds cold!!

Sharon J said...

@ Dominic. Prawns eh? I wonder how they'd work as bait ;)

@ Lizzie. That's a really good point. I suppose how we view something depends on which side of it we're on. I love driving through beautiful countryside too, but I guess for those living along those lanes or who are out rambling, fishing, riding etc ., I'm just a pest in a car. I wouldn't mind the traffic so much under normal circumstances but a motorway's really noisy and having driven that particular stretch many times myself, you pass it too quickly to really enjoy it as scenery to the point where I've never even noticed it.

Definitely too cold now but come spring...

Anonymous said...

This post made me so sad on so many levels, the motorway, the RSPCA.

I know that we need good transport systems. What I always find interesting is when my work holds events in the SE 80% of people use public transport to arrive. When we hold the same events in the North & Midlands, 95% of people drive, even though we give all the info on public transport etc.

Re the RSPCA, can you make a complaint? I know they have a horrific job to do and I'm sure they are pressured but it would be good if they knew that the length of time it took caused undue stress on an innocent animal.

Re fishing! Oh I have such happy memories of fishing as a child. Are the lakes clean enough for you to eat the fish?

Sharon J said...

Hmm... I wonder why the huge difference in the number of people using public transport? Maybe because the roads are generally more congested down there than up here?

I might well email them regarding the bird. Thanks for the idea :)