FL09June - Page 108



In Search of Monster Carp
31lb 4oz.
lucky; there were three trees in his
swim, very thick trunked trees, and he
had his umbrella tucked underneath
them. Although the trees were bent
right over, they didn’t touch his brolly
– it was incredible. I think he was the
only one on the lake with a brolly still
standing. I remember Tony Hall being
on the Point, and Bruce said to me,
“Tony was holding on to the bivvy
and it blew away with him holding on
to it, so it pulled him as well, and the
bed chair, and everything.” Everything
he had, the lot, was in the lake –
e v e r y t h i n g, t h e w h o l e s h o o t i n g
match. Anyway, a little bit later that
morning, I tried to have a walk round
and see what was what and if anyone
was hurt, and getting round there
was unbelievable. There were trees
down everywhere, and we were
climbing over one, then getting
underneath another one. I thought cor
– we’ve got some sawing to do here.
Everybody had been blown out. One
guy, believe it or not, was playing a
fish on the Colne bank while the hurricane was blowing. He lost all his
gear, but he got the fish, I think it was
the 30lb Italian. It was a very scary
night. I’ve had some bad nights since
108 FREE LINE
then, but nothing quite that bad.
Anyway, in the aftermath of this
hurricane so many trees and things
had blown down all over the Colne
Valley and a lot of them had gone into
the River Colne, which caused flooding, and actually put Savay in flood. I
think in fact we lost a few fish; we
must have done. There was talk of a
fish that Stevie Alcott caught at one
time, which turned up in the Grand
Union Canal, because the Colne actually meets the Grand Union Canal at
one point. So some fish definitely got
out, but when I wrote my book, I don’t
know if anybody has read it, I was
sceptical about the fish getting out.
Where the water came in was a part
of the lake that we call the channel,
which was a sluice area, and it was a
tremendous place to fish. It was one
of the hottest spots on the lake for us
for many years. We caught a hell of a
lot of fish from a swim called the
Bailiff’s Bush and another swim down
there called the Tank swim. Yeah, we
caught a lot of fish from there, me,
Peter, Keith Selleck, and two or three
of the boys who fished on the Ruislip
Island. It was a really good spot, but
after that hurricane and after the
flooding, it ruined it because all the
sewers burst and sewer water went
into the Colne. We had toilet paper
and detergent and everything in the
channel, and it never fished for many,
many years after that. So you know, I
thought the fish would be more
inclined to stay away from it than go
into that part of the lake anyway. It’s
Withy Pool rig – first carp.

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