Travelling in silence he skirts around the back of their encampments, making his way quickly up to the overgrown bank at the far end of the lake. Setting down his rod, net and small bag he scans the scene looking for signs of fish. The odd grey back, looking to all the world like tiny desert islands amongst a sea of blue and green, punctuates the surface.

The slightest breath of wind pushes the surface scum towards the far bank of the lake. Amongst the leaves and pollen granules now sail a flotilla of biscuits, ever so slowly marking their path across the lake. As the biscuits move out, more are introduced close to the bank, keeping a constant line of food stretching across the lake. Not too many, or too few. Experience gained from years of observing the fish means they will be interested enough to feed, but never become sated. Now it is up to the fish, the angler has done all he can, they have the final say in this battle of wits.

As the light begins to fade, the odd swirl appears right out in the centre of the lake. Even the in the failing light the feeding fish can be seen as they gain confidence and begin to chase from one morsel of food to the next. Silhouetted against the sky the fish have no problem picking out their targets in the dark. With a thwack, the weighted controller is sent high into the air, the thin line snaking out behind it in a huge arc. Just before the balsa contraption hits the surface it's progress is checked, pushing the baited hook straight and away from the float. Inching the float back into position takes a painstakingly long time, but eventually backs are breaking the water all around. The float, almost invisible now, rocks violently every time a morsel is taken, but still the angler resists the temptation to strike. Eventually, with no fuss at all, the float simply disappears from sight. Taking up the bow of slack line a firm strike meets solid resistance and the battle is on.

The bow wave motors across the oily still surface of the lake, steady pressure keeps the submarine close to the surface and away from danger. The first runs are almost uncontrollable. The clutch sings and heavy side strain is applied to guide the fish into open water. As the fish begins to wallow like a submerged log, suddenly animate, the pressure is increased and the prize is drawn closer to the angler. Inching closer, the fish becomes almost a dead weight, it cannot be rushed, the battle is won, no need to rush.

Consumed by the soft folds of the net the fish realises it's mistake and makes a vain bid for freedom. No matter, it is caught and cannot escape now. The hook is slipped out, weight recorded and she is back in the margins recovering from her brief visit to the bank. No picture, as the flash would be seen for miles and this is a spot worth preserving. No matter, the picture will be burnt into the angler's mind as clearly as any photograph.

Righting herself, the old warrior moves off into deeper water, slowly sinking from sight. The angler packs away his rod and net, gathers his bag of belongings and takes one long last look at the lake. Apart from the pond skaters, the surface is now still, no chance of another fish tonight. No matter, there will always be other nights. Quietly he returns to the car park, shuts the gate behind him and re-enters what most people would have you believe is the real world.