FL11 All pages - Page 165



In Search of Monster Carp
course the Horse and Barge was just
across the road. The Horse and Barge
was famous already as the meeting
place for the carp anglers in the Colne
Valley, and it was brilliant. We had
some great times over there – great
evenings.
A couple of weeks later, I was back
in the same swim and I had Small
Pecs again. I didn’t go up the pub that
night for some reason; I just felt like I
was going to catch one that evening,
or I was a bit keen or something. It
was about 10.30 and I had another
run, and it was the same fish. It was a
little bit bigger the second time at
35lb, and I had another one the same
night, a 25lb mirror. I think I was four
weekends into my Harefield fishing,
and although it was the same fish
twice, I’d caught a couple of 30’s, and
two personal bests, so it was going
well – the old fishmeals were working,
and life was good. Joan was finishing
up the bar at night and coming down
with pizzas and stuff after the Horse
and Barge, so we had a good time up
there. It was certainly a change to fish
there; I mean my experience of fish-
ing the Colne Valley had been Farlows
where you were 10yds from the bar, or
Harefield where you had the Horse
and Barge just across the road, and it
was that style of fishing. In the Darenth Valley that sort of thing didn’t
really go on; they were all super keenies, and you stayed on the lake and
you fished. But in the Colne Valley,
you didn’t fish in the evenings; you
reeled in and went over the pub. It
was a different side to carp fishing for
me, but at the same time, a really
exciting part, because you didn’t have
to be sat on the bank all the time,
twiddling your thumbs and waiting
for something to happen. You had
something to look forward to; you
could reel in that evening, meet up
with everyone, and have a good chat
about what’s happened and this that
and the other. Then you’d get back,
cast your rods out, and you might get
a fish in the morning. You used to go
(Top Left) Harefield was noted for its
good commons.
(Top Right) A cracking Harefield
linear during my first year.
(Left) One of the named fish, Stripes,
which fought incredibly hard.
FREE LINE 165

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