Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Delightful Evening...

Last evening I set off for Tithe Barn after work with the sun shining and thoughts of surface cruising dark shapes etched firmly to the inside of my eyelids. I arrived at the lay-by and could get the kit out of the car quick enough; the lay-by was empty too which is always a good sign. Through the archway of trees I marched, out into the field (where the sun’s intensity on my head had me reaching for the flat cap) and onto the head of the top pond. There was nobody fishing, but also a distinct lack of carpy activity. This end of the lake is weedy so I expected, as many times previous, to find carp sunning themselves among the think Canadian pond weed. I stood for a few minutes, realised that nothing was around (at least not high up in the water anyway) and headed off to the clearer, deeper end for a looksy.

I call this my ‘Celestial Garden of Piscatorial Freedom’…
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Peering into the margins all the way (as we do) I got to the end of the lake and still hadn’t spotted anything remotely fishy, apart from the odd shoal of miniature rudd. The corner is always a good bet but upon inspection I only spotted three or four small commons, and these were deep among the snags just lying motionless. A quick scan of the water’s surface and it was off to the middle pond for a brief look, this pond is smaller, more enclosed, has an island and as much weed as pads. Three bivvies were nicely spaced out meaning they commanded all the best water, I looked around the other areas anyway but the only fish I saw were where they had their rods pointed to.

The bottom and final pond is the one that really has me excited and, in a way, I was quite pleased that the other ponds had drawn a blank. I soon remembered just how overgrown this pond is, the smallest and weediest of the three, and the most little fished. After fighting my way through brambles and other thorn ridden beasts, all with the sole intention of causing me harm, I entered the clearing at the head of the pool where I caught the scaly mirror a few weeks back.

Through the Willows…
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I spotted one carp nudge the underside of the weed whilst I was setting the rod up. I felt like a Hit Man setting up the travel sniper rod he has just taken from a little black suitcase. When the crust was attached to the hook, I looked up but the carp was gone. Over the space of the next hour I saw three separate carp rise through the weed and nudge the weed, but each time my cast was too accurate and landed too closely, spooking the fish. Then, just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse, a guy started throwing a ball into the pond, which his two dogs jumped in to retrieve. This went on for half an hour or so and after that I saw no more fish.

A quick peek into the middle and top ponds on the way back to the car and the decision was made to visit Carron Row for a peek to see if the opportunities were any better there. The ponds were fairly quiet, but it was apparent that here also there was very little action on the surface, and this was a very hot summer’s evening. It was 6pm so I had a few hours still at my disposal. I wandered the ponds looking for something to cast to and found it on pond 4 among the reeds where there was some disturbance. I set up the Mark IV, attached a small crust to the hook and cast a foot or so from the reeds that were twitching all the while.

Light beginning to fade…
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Something made me jump; it was a rudd leaping clear of the water. I’m not aware of any predators in this particular pond so thought maybe he was trying out for the “Rudd Arrows”. I snapped out of silly thoughts when I heard a cloop, looked down and saw my crust disappear. I struck and felt an almighty lunge as whatever I’d hooked decided it was going to be landed and shot off through the reeds at an alarming pace. The line broke and so did my heart for a moment. Then the rudd jumped again and I managed a little smile. Off I went, new hook tied on hoping for another chance but more than happy enjoying the evening.

After an hour or so and with the light fading I spotted a few carp, albeit small ones, I felt sure they’d be great fin on my relatively light tackle. I threw out a few crusts, sat back among the long grass and watched as the small wildie looking carp circled, observed and finally decided to begin feasting. I waited until they started to compete for the bread until casting among them, it landed, two carp headed straight for it and within seconds a feisty little scamp of a common was doing a great impression of a 20lber. I unhooked the pretty little fish in the net and released her back to her buddies. Before home time I caught two more similar sized fish, spotted two jays and a kingfisher and left for home at around 8:30 with a lovely big smile on my face.

Great fun…
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