What is so great about June 16? Well everyone has their own favorite day, here in the US it is July 4, in Canada it is July 1, in Mexico it is May 5, Cinco de Mayo. All of these dates represent some significant historical event.

Growing up in England I had two favorite days, November the 5th, gloriously known as Guy Fawkes Day, this was the day for fireworks and revelry, a celebration of possibly the greatest terrorist of all time. His cunning plan was to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Alas the poor man was caught and the plot was foiled. After a quick trial Mr. Fawkes was quickly dispatched

My absolute favorite day is June 16. Maybe it doesn’t have the impact that it once had, but June 16 was a very serious day to me as a teenager, and even into my20’s. June 16 was the start of the coarse fishing season. I never missed it, three months of down time had me ready for action. New line on the reel that had been taken apart and lubricated. Last years line was replaced with new line. The tackle boxes had been cleaned, old rusty hooks had been replaced with sharp shiny ones. Last years Quill floats had given way to new ones.

I think I was around 15, too young to drive, my bicycle was the mode of transport. I had talked to my fellow conspirator, Michael, and we agreed that 4am was the time to set out. On our bikes we could make it to the lake before sunrise. We did, and what a great day, there are no photos, but we bagged a 7lb Tench and a 1lb Rudd.

The 16th of June will always be in my thoughts.

In a strange way the day is memorable for other reasons that are less worthy of mention. Sex and fishing just don’t seem to work. I was around 25 at the time. I was scoping out a lay. As in where I might find fish, the young lady was scoping out a different kind of lay. I declined to recline. Some 20 years later I got the full story, it was a setup. Oh well, that is the way fishing goes .Not every fish takes the chum.

Happy 16th of June!

Simon Barrett

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