This fishing took place in a small Ukrainian village on the river Oskol. Along the river there are some bottom land lakes in the thickets of canes. When you walk along the river bank, you don’t even suspect, that there’s a beautiful lake hiding between the canes. Closer to the sunset, the water lilies on its black surface shimmer like stars in the sky, and the view makes you believe, that you’re in paradise on earth. But the idyll doesn’t last forever… The lower the sun on the horizon is, the more mosquitoes come out to hunt.

We came to this lake with a cart. We loaded off the tackle, wooden boat, a tripod with a kettle, a piece of cellophane 3x3 meters (in case if it rains), and a big pile of straw to sleep on. The fishing was fantastic – big fish, biting well and often, so we got out of the water, tired and happy, to make a fish soup. We set up the fire quickly, got the fish cleaned, and while my brother and a friend of ours were preparing the soup, I prepared the place to sleep.

The night fell suddenly – it’s always like that in the middle of the summer, there’s no dusk, but there’s light and then pitch black darkness instead. By then we had our soup ready. The smell of it was incredible – if there were any bears in the forest nearby, they would have come to share our dinner. A small glass and a bottle of vodka appeared from nowhere, everybody had a drink one by one, and then you could hear the spoons hitting the plates and happy humming of the hungry men. Having eaten enough, everybody took another drink to a perfect fishing and fell on the straw to have some well earned sleep. But it would have been too perfect! In the quiet of the night, we could hear the cloud of hungry mosquito females starting their attack. Of course, we are very experienced in fighting with mosquitoes, just as every fisherman. So we lazily get up and start throwing fresh cut green grass into the fire. There’s smoke everywhere, we can’t breathe and cough non-stop because of it, and try to send the smoke into the pile of straw, to get the bothering insects out. Meanwhile, some “smart Aleck” throws his “genius idea”, which is to cover ourselves with the cellophane from the attackers. Well, you could easily guess, what it ended up with – clever insects had patiently waited, until we ran out of oxygen under the cellophane and squeezedthemselves through the hole that we had left open for the air flow. And then there were no mercy!! The “vampires” would bite every uncovered piece of skin and would get under our clothing. Nothing would help, so we just prayed for the mosquitoes to calm down after the midnight. But it didn’t happen even at 2 a.m.! Round 3 a.m. it started drizzling and we had a so much awaited relief but in 5 minutes it stopped and everything started all over again. Everybody was desperate for the dawn to come. Finally, salvation came unexpectedly. My brother had to go to pee and we felt sorry for him, that he needed to leave the cover. But in a minute he ran out of the darkness with a shout: ”You, stupid heads! You don’t need to suffer there! The mosquitoes stay only near the river! About 10 meters away from the bank there’s none of them!!”

So, whom do you think they pledged guilty? Yes, the person who prepared the place to sleep, which was me…

The morale of the story is the following: If you are a fisherman, make sure you learn tocook, otherwise, you’ll always be the one to blame


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