FLY FISHING by COLONEL IOLANTHE CULLODEN-MASSACRE BEM, BSE, VC, VD, RSVP, KBE, OBE, OBI Wan Kenobi (Ret'd)
Come Sunday, a mild and pleasant luncheon now passed, I was eager to commence with spot of trout-hunting at the local putoombra, or lake.
Whistling merrily and with my tackle packed, I soon found a nice spot on the wekanie, or riverbank and was soon whipping my fly to-and-fro, in a manner reminiscent of that taught to me by my former Eton housemaster Phineas 'Soggy' Teabaggs.
Ah, such were the days!
Despite my good fortitude - which comes of being British - I had decided against donning my waders and entering the water, due to the fact that it was a warm day, it is, after all, simply not the done thing to brave the river unless it is freezing cold and laden with jimbarto, or Piranha fish. I can't say how much it saddens my heart these days to see those young boys - many as young as ten - break off a joyous morning of skinny-dipping at the merest hint of a monsoon; in my day, we weren't content to shinglewap, or swim naked, unless surrounded by icebergs and pelted by giant hurtzemee, or hailstones.
Reminiscences aside, it wasn't before long when I was engaged in battle with a magnificent beast, namely a huge Rainbow Trout. And what a battle it was: no matter how hard I pulled on my rod, the fish resolutely refused to come out. I can now safely say, without fear of contradiction, that I had tears in my eyes at that moment; indeed, I soon found myself thinking back to that day in Kenya, where I bagged three-hundred mountain tigers and a couple of beaters to boot. Verily, it was a sad and dishonourable deed to have that fish on the bank and beat it to death with my trout stick.
With my catch now safely on ice and my katongo, or heart, resuming it's normal pace, I recommenced casting. But my enjoyment was soon spoiled when a gang of youths parked their motorcycles on a nearby knoll and began to smoke cigarettes and brag rather loudly. My ideas upon today's young people were sadly confirmed when, after enquiring as to whether they might lessen their noise a little, I was met with a barrage of abuse not heard since I had asked my Charter house college fag - a young fellow named Rupert Bear-Brunt - to use his tongue on account of the fact that all the toilet paper had run out.
Aghast at the language they had been using, I replied that they might not be so keen to offend one who had both boxed for the boy's brigade and faced a battalion of screaming Afghans without loosening one's bowels. My threat, however, was net merely with jeers. More fool them I say. Deciding not to let such insolence go unpunished, I promptly drew hard back my rod and with a swift flick of the wrist caught one right in nape of the neck. Ignoring their stricken friend, the rest of the shapinta, or gang, accompanied by shouts, descended from the knoll and began to violently shove my person and kick my tackle into the water.
Soon surrounded, with nothing but a river between myself and freedom, I applied myself to the techniques I had discovered by studying Fukirs in Goa; namely by kneeling down, crossing my legs and chanting a Mantra, I was able to levitate upwards, float over the heads of my aggressors and come to rest at a safe distance from where I might be able to strike back.
The youths, naturally, were dumbstruck. Even today, I can't help wondering how some people would manage to hold their waters when confronted by a horde of rice-flail wielding Chinese boxers on the Kowloon Peninsula.
At this point of time, however, sentimentality was the furthest thing from my mind, for the youths were once again approaching me. This time, however I was prepared. This being Britain, I eschewed the skills taught to me by a Japanese gentleman in Burma and took on a little known boxer's stance by the name of the 'D'Reilly Position’, as taught to me by my Sandhurst gym instructor, Major Browne-Browne.
I would rather not go into the violence that followed, but suffice it to say that after five minutes the blighters were lying prone on the grass. Determined to teach these young thugs a lesson they would never forget, I decided to drag them one-by-one over to the riverbank and hold their heads under the water's surface until they were all quite naimbaba, or dead. Once this was done, I retrieved my floating tackle, straightened my crumpled jacket and continued fishing.
All in all, a very merry and productive excursion; for not only had I three well-rounded trout to take home, but also some fine motorcycles to give to my nephews as Christmas gifts.
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