Far Bank A night at the ‘Fish Mo­tel’

Ever found ac­com­mo­da­tion where you can fish from your room? Dom Garnett en­joyed a spot of front porch fish­ing at Sil­ver Lake, USA

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

MUCH as I love wilder­ness fish­ing, there is some­thing slightly ir­re­sistible about the prospect of fish­ing from your bed­room. It’s not ex­actly a com­mon oc­cur­rence, even in fish­ingcrazy North Amer­ica.

No­to­ri­ously de­bauched rock band Led Zep­pelin al­most sin­gle­hand­edly made ‘fish from your room’ ac­com­mo­da­tion ex­tinct back in the 1970s when stay­ing at the Edge­wa­ter Mo­tel in Seat­tle, leav­ing mud sharks in wardrobes and un­der the beds.

Fur­ther south in Washington State, Sil­ver Lake Re­sort must be one of only a hand­ful of present­day mo­tels where you can lit­er­ally cast from your room. And so, as I was set to hon­ey­moon on the West Coast, it was too good an op­por­tu­nity to miss.

So what might an English­man catch? In spite of all the weird and won­der­ful species across the pond, I was keen­est to find those clas­sic all-Amer­i­can fish that are free-bit­ing and not found in the UK. Bluegills, crap­pies and large­mouth bass are as pop­u­lar

here as roach, perch and carp are back home.

To a Bri­tish coarse an­gler, how­ever, Amer­i­can tac­tics seem pretty crude. Their huge, bul­bous floats are bet­ter known as ‘bob­bers’. Fine tackle here is a whole worm on a size 4 hook. Loose­feed­ing, wag­gler floats and small bar­b­less hooks are alien con­cepts to the Bub­bas.

Hav­ing thrown in some mashed bread, I barely have time to crack open a beer be­fore the float dips and keeps go­ing. If you knew no bet­ter, you might think the cul­prit was a cru­cian carp, judg­ing by the punchy fight and the jud­der­ing cir­cles turned by the fish.

Bluegills and crap­pies might be mod­est in size, but are spir­ited, ea­ger-bit­ing fish un­like any of our own species. They have lit­tle teeth, a spiny dor­sal fin and bril­liant colours.

As greedy as our perch, the main chal­lenge is not so much hook­ing them, but strik­ing early enough to avoid deep hook­ing. No fear for most Amer­i­cans – there’s a good rea­son they are known as ‘pan­fish’.

An hour later there are two splashes as the neigh­bours cast out their bob­bers. Novel fish­ing this might be, but hardly pri­vate.

Still, it all adds to the fun and I get the feel­ing we are as much a cu­rios­ity to our new friends as the fish are to my for­eign eyes.

The ac­tion only slows when a 3lb bass grabs a small fish on the way in, mak­ing the wa­ter bulge.

By ten, I can barely see the float. Beers are sunk, sto­ries swapped and I al­ready know I won’t want to leave. For the sake of my new mar­riage, it’s prob­a­bly a good thing we’re head­ing to Ore­gon in the morn­ing.

Keep an eye out for next week’s ‘Far Bank’ to read more about Dom’s Amer­i­can ad­ven­ture, and get a big sur­prise!

Does it get any bet­ter than fish­ing direct from your own bal­cony?

Bluegills are an all-Amer­i­can clas­sic, bristling with at­ti­tude.

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