The noise came from the other side of the lake; I could hear the crashing of branches and looked along the shoreline of the island and the muddy creeks that separate it. It sounded as if a fellow angler was having a fight with the shrubbery; fishing rods seldom pass cleanly through undergrowth. When the clank of goose or duck broke through I guessed a loose dog had found some sleeping waterfowl and decided to wake them. A brown back finally scuttled on the edge of a thicket of dogwood, when its legs stop kicking a large male fox emerged backwards onto the muddy shore. It stared at me for a while and then took a few paces unconcerned with my gaze. I played the slow motion game trying to reach for my camera at a speed that would not startle the animal but at least give me a chance of a photo. The fox paced and then left as I fumbled in the rucksack.
At the far end of the lake the sky has darkened under a cloud blue enough to remind me of scorched steel. I have taken one pike, lost another and I am hoping to stoke the interest of a third that has just broken cover as my lure left the water at the end of a long retrieve. To my left the Roach King (nickname) is perched under an umbrella giving me instructions on how to rid his swim of the beast that has already taken a roach he was playing into the bank. He is fishing a deep channel in the lake with a homemade float over a size 22 spade end hook; some people like to make it a little harder that it ought to be.
I cast again but fat drops of rain are falling, they grow fatter and faster until the lake almost shudders under the onslaught. I drop the rod in the long grass and shelter in the trees.