Forget the money, what you need to save for the future are dreams, dreams that will earn plenty of interest for the leaner times ahead. Who knows what will happen; maybe we’ll get a much longer even colder winter than this last one, maybe the price of maggots will go up to a tenner a pint – but if, then, we have to cut back on our fishing a bit, we’ll know it’ll be fine. All we’ll have to do is sit back by the fire with a fat mug of tea, take out one of the treasured memories from a previous season and marvel at how much brighter it’s grown. Every summer dawn dreams itself into perfection by the time winter comes along; and almost every fish seems more magical in retrospect
Chris Yates, (31st March 2009) Caught by the river, Some more precious dreams to bank.
Fishing at my favourite local lake today for my first Tench of the season.
Arriving late, I found not a sole there, and so I had a choice of my favourite swims.
The day started very sunny, however in the shade it was quite cold. The tips of the reeds and grasses are just turning brown. It is clear autumn is close.
Fishing a rod length out, in the margins, very close to a small patch of lilies that I remember decimating last season when I got a carp lodged in them. It looks like they have recovered well.
Bite after bite I missed until I saw the float quiver, then dip, raising the rod and I was ‘into’ a fish. It moved nonchalantly too the left, not sure what was happening, I raised it too the surface to reveal a HUGE mirror carp, well over 15lb. I am sure it did not know at this stage that it was hooked. I put on a little pressure, turning the fish towards me. It was then when it realised what was happening. It turned again to the left and bolted off like an exorcet missile. The fish continued on its path to the left while the float sprang past me to the right. The line had not broken, but on inspection, my hook had bent, totally.
I am very pleased, in a way, that I did not have to do battle with this leviathan. My vintage Edgar Sealey has done battle with too many large Carp in its time, and is designed for a far gentler lifestyle.
Due to work commitments I really haven’t had any opportunity to get too my local lake this season.
I have only managed two trips, blanking on the first attempt, and loosing a fish right at the net last time I was here.
Arriving around 06:00 I found the lake deserted. A perfect Carp Fishers dawn (Although I was really fishing for a good Tench). Fishing a single grain of corn, around one rod length from the bank. I’m not sure if my line was sitting properly, because after a short period it seemed to spook two fish that were in the swim. This is easily identifiable by a sudden underwater earthquake, followed by huge concentric ripples on the surface and more often than not, your float sitting motionless.
Non-the-less I persevered, and after about an hour the lake seemed to lift once more, but this time the Aerial reel ‘sang’. I teased the fish down the lake a little into open water as there were many snags near to where I was, steering it away from a huge reed bed where I was fishing. The fish made open water and battled well. run after run it made and when it rolled on the surface, turned out to be a good mirror carp. This was to be the only view I would get. As it powered down again it snapped the line. Darn it!
I re-tackled with a grain of corn. re-cast, poured some tea and settled back down.
After some time the reel once again sprang into life, and the vintage rod bent over. Again after an arm-wrenching , rod creaking scrap, I eventually won the day.
What a cracking morning. The only thing to better it would have been if the Carp had been a Tench. Never mind, there is always next time.
Well, after weeks and weeks of anticipation it is finally here, the last day of the course fishing season.
Meeting up with friends for a river session targeting its beautiful Roach. A great variety of fish were caught and everyone had a good time. The weather was quite cold though and the wind was pushing through somewhat which made the old ‘Wallis’ cast somewhat hazardous ending in numerous tangles.
A quick hop over the well worn wooden stile, and I arrive at my favourite lake which is very pleasingly deserted, I have the whole place to myself.
Fishing two rod lengths out, between large patches of water lillies, sitting watching my float for some time until they arrive!……. bubbles everywhere! indicating feeding fish all over my swim.
I am now focused on my float like never before, in glorious anticipation of it darting under the surface and making contact with one of the monsters of the deep.
My float starts to sway and quiver now and then, this signifies there are now fish feeding very close to my hook bait. But it never goes under? Just then, a car rolls nonchalantly down the farm track and a good friend hails a wave. He comes round for a chat along with a guest he has brought for the day. Both grand chaps, they deliver some jovial banter as to why I am not catching then depart to the lower lake that they will have all to themselves.
I sit back down on my creel and recast. It really is only a matter of time I tell myself, surely I will get one today.
I did not have to wait much longer as the float rocketed under the surface. A great cloud of mud rose up from the lake bed like an underwater nuclear explosion. My Edgar Sealey ‘Octofloat‘ rod bending violently, I clearly was into a Tench. With only a 5lb b.s hook length, I would have to be ultra careful guiding this fish to the waiting net. With all the water lillies around I anticipated being cut the moment the fish reached any cover. I need not have worried, the fish was easily guided and what a cracking Tinca, no record fish, but an absolute joy to catch.
I went on that day to land six Tench in total, what a lovely day. I packed up towards 6pm, made my way to the bottom lake to bid farewell to my friends who were having great sport with Crucian’s, and ended the day at a local pub with a well deserved beer.
Just when I got back to my car after another great fishing trip to my lake I was fortunate to be able to get a snap of the farmer bringing in his crops for the year.
It is very evident just how short this crop of wheat is. I presume this has been modified in order to stop so much wind damage and the fact that hay is not made anymore, produces less ‘stalk’. Not a poppy to be seen, producing the highest ‘yield’ possible.
One of my favourite things watching a combine at work. Many years ago they also used to burn the stubble following the crop but that now never happens and it is simply ploughed in.
Parked up at my local lake around 06:20 and after a ten minute walk across a couple of farmers fields I was at the waterside, where I was greeted by a mirror like, flat calm pool. There were no signs of any fish feeding at all. Normally as I trudge along the bankside, I will sometimes ‘spook’ the odd fish, but nothing today.
Presented with an azure blue sky, punctuated only by a perfectly formed cotton wool like, thick, small cloud that drifted nonchalantly towards the horizon, then out of sight.
Nobody else was present at the pond, I had it all to myself. Armed with my Edgar Sealey ‘Octofloat‘ rod today and the usual 3.5″ Aerial, I quietly tackled up and threw a handful of sweetcorn close to overhanging grasses. Fishing lay-on style, using the classic ‘lift method’, I cast a single grain of corn on top of the free offerings, sat down on my creel, and opened my flask.
Almost immediately the float lifted and I hooked a Roach.
By now it was around 07:00 and the day was getting very warm indeed. After about an hour the float lifted once more and I thought I had hooked into one of the small Carp in the lake but after a 5 second fight I knew what my prize was as a Bream came to the net like a wet cloth after a spirited 5 second battle.
Cleaning the slime of the hook link, I recast to a different area and again baited with a handful of corn.
I was joined after an hour by 2 local lads, who although they said they fished the lake, were definitely not members, non-the-less, I unusually made time for them as they were knowledgeable about their fishing. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my float ‘zipp’ away and I was in to a small carp. When I got it closer one of the lads, who was standing higher up the bank watching the action, said it was a Crucian, just then it rolled and I too could see what it was. No doubt, it was a Crucian. I could not believe it. I had no idea all the time I had fished this lake that there were Crucians’ present. I was absolutely over-the-moon with the catch.
The sun was still blazing down when I left the lake around 12:30, what a day!
Today, “working from home” ,I snuck away to my lake this morning, arriving around 08:30 armed with 2 tins of Sweetcorn and my old Mark IV. Amazingly there were 2 people at the lake which I did not expect, but thankfully no one else. Neither were fishing near my favourite swim.
I fished close in and landed yet more Tench. After years of not catching any, I have caught more this season since I started fishing many years ago. I also stopped counting at 15 the Roach I caught today.
What a day, warm, over-cast, with a little rain in the air. There are not many days like this-magical. O, and I also saw a Kingfisher today!
Very privileged to be able to fish this lake. Stayed at the manor for 2 nights whilst in Dorset.
The lake is an anglers paradise which has been left in a natural state without any resemblance at all to a country park. Had the whole lake to myself for the 2 days. The only visitor I had was an Adder that got a little too close for comfort. No fish, but really enjoyed my trip.
Will have to return one day for another crack at the wildies.