Still looking for a bag of tricks to make my summer perfect

Last weekend was glorious wasn't it? Four whole days of pretending that real life was some place else.

Last weekend was glorious wasn't it? Four whole days of pretending that real life was some place else. I started my Easter with a Green and Black's milk chocolate egg which was delicious. The thing about Green and Black's milk chocolate is that it's not as sickly sweet as most milk chocolate, but still creamy. Yet not so totally face-twisty as plain chocolate can be. Anyway, I ate the whole egg while on the slip road trying to get on to the M25.

The plan was to go to a little bit of river in Surrey that you could fish on a day ticket, for a reasonable amount. Such beats are getting rarer and rarer; most often you either have to pay loads or be part of a syndicate. Sadly, when we got to the river we found that, with the new season, the rules had changed and now you could fish only if you were part of a syndicate. Yawn. So we made our way to a little fishery nearby.

I'd spent much of the weekend obsessing about fishing bags. I have a thing about bags. Especially about bags with compartments that do particular jobs. One of the things I don't like is that I stuff all my fishing gear in several bags. Then, when I get to the bank I find myself hopping about as I change into waders or wellies, trying to remember which bottomless bag I put my reel/forceps/flybox/glasses in.

On the Saturday I popped into various fishing shops. At Sportfish I'd sat on the floor and tried to work out which of the 300 bags they seem to have on sale was right for me. I knew I wanted a "box" shaped bag, ie. one that stayed rigid when opened and didn't collapse in on itself (which meant it could also double as a boat bag, because I spend half my life on a boat). But the more I looked, the more I convinced myself I needed the biggest bag ever.

Until I was looking, quite seriously, at something called The Giant that was so big I could see the sales assistant wondering if I were homeless. Luckily I'm not and I talked myself out of it, realising that the medium ("Super") would do me just fine as it would be prudent to get a separate welly/wader bag anyway. But, after having taken out all the tissue paper and bubble wrap they thoughtfully stuff all these bags with – even the rigid ones – I left empty-handed to "think it over".

This obsessing carried on while on the bank. I kept fantasising about what fishing paraphernalia I'd put in what pocket and how organised my life would be if only I had such a bag. There were three lakes at the fishery, one of which held brown trout and was dry fly only. We saw one man into a brownie, which he then lost. The poor bloke went on to lose quite a few others that resulted in him getting terribly cross. For a while I nymphed on the other lake, with no luck. No lovely big pulls that, even if you miss, make you go all fizzy with excitement. I joined the lone man on the brown trout lake and decided to have a bit of early season excitement with the dry fly. Part of the lake was covered with slimy weedy algae – to give it its scientific name – and you could see the brownies cruising around underneath. They knew it was difficult to fish a dry fly through all that surface gunk.

By this point – well I'd spent most of the day at Churchill's old house marvelling at his bricklaying skills – the sun was setting, casting a convenient glow on the lake so that I could see my fly really well as it floated around. I'd put on a black winged thing which I thought looked like some black winged things I'd seen flying round. You can see my approach was well planned that day. Unfortunately the fish didn't seem to see my fly, or if they did they didn't care for it. I cast, I twitched it back, I drew it in. I cast. I didn't feel that confident as the water wasn't so much "gin-clear" as Cup-a-Soup murky and unless by some good fortune I was casting to within six inches of a fish, I had no hope.

Not that it mattered. It was a nice evening. A few fish were rising, making that lovely, lazy "plonk" sound that can turn a fisherman's head at half a mile. Soon, I thought, it'll be time for picnics and specialist picnic hampers with pockets for every conceivable picnic eventuality. Sigh.

a.barbieri@independent.co.uk

News
David Beckham
peopleFootballer joins No campaign
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

Arts and Entertainment
art
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

EYP

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Job opportunity for an Early years ...

QA Manual Tester - Agile

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Bursar/Business Manager

£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...

Secondary School Teachers in Ipswich

Competitive & Flexible: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are l...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories