River Wissey Lovell Fuller


April 2009

Another tale from the banks of the River Wissey

Spring has sprung but be patient. Isolated days of welcome sunshine prompt great expectation only to be dashed by heavy rain and even sleet!

Today is dark and gloomy. A fierce breeze breaks the surface of the river. On the far bank the bare trees stand out in stark silhouette. Elsewhere the winter shades of brown and grey still dominate. Mud abounds and most tracks are impassable. Overcast skies and thick clouds move along at a fast pace and occasional bursts of blue quickly disappear. It is bitterly cold and the wheel of the seasons is definitely in reverse!

The fishing season has all but ended and although the addiction never dies the results have been disappointing. Whilst days spent alongside the dear old river Wissey are always a delight the question now begs - where have all the fish gone?

A flotilla of black and white geese float past at speed having a free ride thanks to the strong back wind. Already they are pairing off and like ourselves are anxious for a new dawn to arrive. Fellow geese constantly land and take off. Their life is certainly a busy one!

Up above the menacing cormorants circle. Their black shapes resemble vultures ready to pounce and shadows of death and gloom. They dive into the river to feed. Hour after hour and day after day the sorry vigil continues. Their appetites are insatiable and it is easy to see how they can wipe out a whole fishery in a matter of days. Once they were native to the sea but thanks to politics and regulations such fish stocks are becoming depleted so, alas, they have changed residency to our very own waterway. The destruction of the river Wissey is painfully obvious but again bureaucracy prevents any real course of action. Thus it is ironical that the fishermen have to sit and watch the demise of their very own enjoyment.

The wind continues to hammer away and creates spreading sweeps of waves which crash into the bank. Spray comes over, The geese again take centre stage and fight for mates. There is an angry noisy commotion and more and more join in (just like Kings Lynn town centre on a Saturday night!) A matching pair of swans fly low following the course of the river with wing tips kissing the water. As always their appearance is spectacular and sensibility returns to the river. Spots of rain show on the surface. The sky behind is black and threatening. Yes spring is coming but not just yet!

Ivor Hook

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