Steve and I went fishing again last Monday, something we'd not done for a while and whilst I like solo fishing well enough, I'm certainly not averse to going with a mate.

The weather forecast was supposed to be pretty decent, but it was looking a bit dodgy to me, so we decided to stay close to home and went off to Pool House Farm.

The weather started off pretty dismal, then brightened up, then went rapidly downhill again. For a while it looked as though the fishing was going to go the same way, but for me it ended on a high, well sort of.

We started out with mist, but the sun soon came out and burned it off and smaller fish began to show up on the surface. Steve was fishing at depth, choosing to drop his pole fished maggots close to a bed of lily pads, I was fishing a single grain of corn over a scattering of freebie sweetcorn in more open water. We were neither of is getting much interest from the fish and as I was more interested in catching a fish than in failing to catch a monster, I switched to a short pole rig, with a very sensitive little float and started fishing a maggot up in the water.

Soon I'd landed a nice skimmer and lost a decent roach, things were looking up! Steve though, had realised that he was sitting on the shadiest peg on the pool, he was fishing the coldest water and he'd not had so much as a knock. Well no problem, we virtually had the pool to ourselves, so we moved round a few pegs and fishing shallow we both thought we'd take advantage of the warmer water and fish maggots for silvers. Of course at this point the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped noticeably. I know the water temperature couldn't possibly have dropped as quickly, but whatever the reason, the fish stopped biting.

We struggled on to lunch time with my total now standing at two skimmers and Steve still struggling with a dead bag. After a break for lunch and a tactic talk we got back to it, a roach each and things were looking up again, but not for long and after a couple of changes of depth and reducing to a 22 hook I finally got bored and wandered off with the top two sections of my pole, a folding net, maggot box and disgorger, to try my luck by a small lilly patch close in to another empty peg.

Ten minutes later and I'd caught half a dozen little roach, I made my way round the pool from peg to peg pulling out tiny little fish until I ended up at the pools only double peg with it's adjacent lily pad patch, a few moments later I was holding up a decent sized fish and Steve was packing his gear up to come and join me.

We fished opposite sides of the lilies and soon had a few decent fish each. I decided to change my rig again and went deep in the hope of a last chance decent fish before it got dark. I went back to a size 16 hook and carefully impaled a worm, I also put my third and fourth sections on the pole to reach out to a tempting gap in the lilies. I was pleased to see that the worm aroused a lot of interest, but nothing was taking the bait properly, the fish contented themselves with nibbling and worrying at the worms ends.

I changed worm again, snipping it in half to get the juices out and sending both ends of the drendrobaena wriggling like mad. I dropped the bait in as close to a gap in the lilies as I dared and scattered maggots over the top. a bite came almost immediately and I lifted the pole, nothing there and half my worm gone! Cheeky !

I dropped it back in and waited, it twitched, dipped and then pulled under and slid towards the weeds. I pulled hard round, away from the snags and a fish pulled back hard, switching direction and heading for open water. It was pulling out a good length of bright orange elastic and I thought I'd hooked a small to medium sized carp.

It put up a good fight, but with the fourth section off the pole and the end held up nice and high the elastic was taking its toll. I was gobsmacked though when a silver head broke surface and I saw a flash of red fins. This was a roach, but not like any roach I ever caught before, it was a beauty too. I landed it and quickly unhooked it, reverently I held it up for Steve to see, and stepped back with an ominous crunch onto my number four pole section. At this point I was suffering mixed emotions, this was the biggest roach I ever caught, but that crunch sounded expensive.

That was my last fish and soon we were packing up, however my ineptitude demonstration still had a way to go. The crack wasn't too bad fortunately and I reckoned some epoxy resin and a carefully applied strip of carbon fabric would see it right. I wiped the pole sections down and started to slot them inside the butt section, dislodging the end cap in the process, it rolled across the staging coming to rest a couple of feet from where I stood. Putting the pole down, I stepped across to pick it up, put my foot on a wet patch, felt my boot slip, and watch helplessly as the toe of my sliding boot connected firmly with the end cap and punted it straight into the middle of the pool.

Normally I'd have said at least one rude word, this time I couldn't believe what had happened, so I just stood wordlessly watching the spreading patch of ripples where my end cap had slipped below the surface. I suppose I should just be grateful that I hadn't gone in after it!