Monday, 28 May 2012

A mirror in the sunshine.

At last weekend’s work party I asked if I could tag along with Pete and Jan on their weekly Friday night jaunt to one of the local ponds. They agreed and we arranged to meet at The Barns at midday on Friday, the plan was to fish through the afternoon and night and leave early to get to the work party, we didn’t want to miss the last one, one final push to have the water ready for the June 16th start. I hoped that there might be a chance of something from the surface during the afternoon but worried it might be too hot for them. Perhaps the night, once things started to cool down would be the best time, but a social with a few buddies was sounding better and better by the minute, and fish would be a bonus really.

I got to the layby and found Pete’s car already there, I walked down to the ponds and found him having a look around. We spoke about swims and decided on the left hand bank where the three of us could set up stall and command the majority of that side of the lake. We got back to the cars to load the barrows just as Jan arrived. The short trek to the pond was fairly tiring work in the midday sun but as excitement was high it didn’t seem too bad. Jan opted for the bottom dam corner by the overhangs, I went in the middle and Pete chose the top weedy end of the pond. Everyone set about getting things ready, houses built, rod out, but I just fired out a few mixers and watched the water in no rush to get rods out of put up the brolly.

It was hot, very hot, and there were tench looking to be spawning in the margins. The others had everything ready and were fishing, but I baited a couple of spots for the night and went for a wander with the stalking rod. The little stalking spot just past Pete looked good with a few fish milling around, I spotted a couple passing through in the deeper water so free-lined a piece of flake on the bottom. A few minutes passed and the line tightened, I struck and connected with the first fish of the session. It was a small fish, maybe the smallest in the pond, but we were pleased to see a fish on the bank so early. It was a common of around 3lbs, but it fought like a tiger, we admired it wonderful colours and released it back into the warm water.

After a little chat with the lads, and a bream caught by Jan, I returned to the stalking swim and saw a group of fish milling around in the weed. One was a mirror, and a very pretty one at that. The funny thing was that the mirror was the only fish that looked up for a bait mouthing at various things on the surface whereas the others were just basking in the heat. I flicked out a crust and the mirror inspected it a few times but swam off after not liking what it saw. It was around 4pm when it finally happened, I saw the fish looking interested again and waited for it to move off before I cast my crust. I lost sight of the fish and was watching the margin spot for signs of fish when I happened to glance back and saw the mirror engulf the crust and swim off. The strike produced a spray of water as the fish charged off into the weed, everything went solid for a second or two but I managed to get it moving again. Pete came running to the rescue with the net as I tried my best to keep it’s head out of the weed and away from the marginal snags. It took a few minutes until Pete managed to scoop her up in the net and we called out “It’s the mirror!” On the bank she looked even more pretty than she did in the water, big scales and a lovely hue. By far the biggest fish in the lake but probably the best looking one, I was made up. Jan took some lovely shots for me and we slipped her back home.


I tried on the surface for a while after, well into the evening in fact, but although I had a few fish interested in mixers I received no more takes. A bottom rod in the margins under a tree to my left produced a good size bream but not much else. Jan had a bream, a tench and two nice commons from his spot near the overhanging trees so action from that end of the pond was good. We sat well into darkness and to almost midnight chatting away with John, Tommy and Steve who arrived but as soon as our guests left we retired to our bivvies. The night was clammy and very warm, it was best to sleep on top of the sleeping bag but mozzies made for an uncomfortable night. At some time around 1am Pete received some interest to one of his rods but nothing came of it. Then the strangest thing happened, at 3am he had a full blown run, made contact and landed the same mirror as I’d caught less than 12 hours previously. He was made up as he admired the fish when I had her on the bank. We took some pictures and returned to our beds. Jan had a few more bream through the night and early doors I have an aborted take from the margin rod.

At 7:30am we were packing away and saying farewell to the pond. We stopped at the pub down the road for breakfast and onto the other pond for the work party. We were all tired and work was hard in the sunshine, but we completed the job and admired the completed task, the place was looking beautiful and June 16th couldn’t come soon enough.

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