Today, Clive Lloyd, another member of Fishamo, starts his journey down memory lane as he begins to recount a life well lived with Fishing, Painting, Sex, Drugs, and Rock N Roll and many adventures to come. I think there is a little of ALL our youths in this first part and I’m looking forward to future installments!
In the Beginning there was Fishing:
Fishing came first, at just four years old I made my first steps on a road that, over fifty years later, I’m still transfixed by and still learning. In fact, some of my best results have come in my fifties.
Back in the 60s, there was no internet and not much money, but our family life was brilliant! I can’t remember many arguments in our family, I was beaten up more than once by my older brothers though! My sister well she was just a pain, but she had a special skill. She could fish a bit, it was a skill she shared with me and my two brothers.
We must have looked like a family of Ducks you might see, all in a line walking towards the water, only we had fishing tackle. Well, sort of!! My rod was a bamboo cane with bent wire for rod rings held on with electrical tape, my reel was a very tiny multiplier type thing no more than a couple of inches round with a very tiny central spindle. So small that, when winding in a million turns wound in a yard. Well, you know what I mean.
A New Direction:
Things began to change. Don’t remember when, but we fished the local canal and the river especially the River Dove at Monks Bridge near Eggington off the A38 road… No license, at least I don’t remember any, but the local bailiff Burt Brown was not too bad and would let us know he knew!!! The funny thing was, he lived on Trent Avenue in Willington, yes, the same road we lived on. But Burnt Burt never knocked!!!
As things improved, he became a good friend of the family and we would visit him for tickets etc. I am not sure, but it could have been Burt who told my dad about junior matches in the canal just up the road at Willington marina. Now, some things stick in your mind more than other things and I remember some of these matches like they were yesterday. The landlord of the pub where the matches were run was a great bloke called Alan Earp, he ran the Rising Sun, and behind the pub was a little car park, in there, we used to gather, all the snotty-nosed little kids with the most basic of tackle you could ever wish for. I remember there was a hole in the wall and kids used to put their hand in and try and get a bottle of beer out. I always thought it was funny that there always seemed to be a bottle handy!!!! Sort of lining up future customers is how I saw it.
Anyway, back then there was little boat traffic, in fact, it was virtually non-existent. The water was coated in Lilly Pads and looked lovely. The box I sat on was made by Charlie me dad, it consisted of plywood and some inch by inch lengths of wood nailed together with a plywood lid and little gold coloured hinges. I remember the smell of my keepnet a big knotted affair in Gudgeon mesh, it smelt strangely like fresh sea air!!! Sort of sweet but not sickly. My landing net handle was a thick bamboo cane affair with a big round net at the end, as time went on it was all to change.
After these matches, we would gather once again back at the pub, but, this time inside, I remember it was upstairs in a little club room. Later, live bands and the local folk club called Peasemouldia or something like that would be up there. Anyway, the prizes would consist of tackle, we all would receive something even if it was just an Efgeeco bait box!!! To us, this was the highlight of the evening, and with prizes in hand we would trudge off back up the road, this time, to show off our winnings at a grand house the other end of the village.
Where is the Sex Drugs and Rock N Roll?
Sweet memories, happy times. I had found my future; match fishing had caught me. Later I was to find other things, but you’ll have to wait…
Just like I did.