After spending the last month feeding two spots on the canal just outside our flat and the close call I had on the 17th June with one of the lurker’s, things are looking positive. On the 20th June last Wednesday it was the summer solstice (being a leap year it was a day early) and it was quite warm, so as ever I made an evening visit downstairs with my apprentice and fed two areas with half a bucket of particles dumped in the canal. Being warmer than usual there was a little bit of pre-spawning disturbance going on, groups of carp tightly bunched agitating one another. After an hour I crept over to one of the feeding spots which is only two feet from the canal side and saw four to six double figure carp, two or three of them were in their twenties, all with their heads down feeding away! I cast out a free-lined pop-up bait (I say cast out in fact I dropped it in) amongst the feeding carp and waited.

The line twitched on the surface film as the feeding carp brushed against the line, my senses were lifted, the excitement was electric and the feeling that I was getting closer to success made the whole experience quite unbearable. Sitting on my sweaty hands I continued to crouch just a few feet away from some very large paddle sized tails wafting in the upper levels amongst the streamer weed, as if they were teasing me. It was 8.30 in the evening when suddenly a text bleeped, making me jump…’dinner is ready!’ was the message.

My trusty ten-year old apprentice who was also captured by the sight before us and doing well to keep low, quiet and calm looked at me with disappointed eyes but reluctantly we had to pack up. I thought that we could return early in the morning before his school and try again, the carp always seemed to be in view at this time, so we left them to it…

2.30 am: I was awoken by my partner who couldn’t sleep due to the fact she is eight and half months pregnant, a cup of tea was administered as uncomfortable pains started to come in waves of intense pain every few minutes. By 3.00 am I was calling the hospital and by 3.15 we were on our way driving through the empty streets of London crossing red lights with my mooing partner on the back seat. After 4 hours and fifteen minutes our daughter was born…tears of relief, joy and wonder as we both held little Olive in disbelief.

I now hold the future in my arms and I will have to let go of some of the indulgence that I have allowed myself in the past, especially in time and in money. There will always be places and people to fish with in the future, hopefully my daughter will be one of of those people, my apprentice is certainly one of them, but the main thing is, the future is exciting.