FL12Sept - Page 142



Made In England
and lost it, and that was about the
extent of the fishing, but there was a
bit more to it than that. (Monty’s in
now, shouldn’t be too long before the
end).
I didn’t fish the off, which was quite
fortunate as there were twenty-three
people there. The lake, however,
fished very well and by the end of the
second day about twenty-five fish
had been caught. Rob Marsh had the
Big Common at 37lb, which is a big
post-spawning weight, and a couple
of other thirties were amongst the
haul. Lane Chittenden (we’ll just call
him Lane from now on) had a good
start, and was to do even better the
following week. Now, Joe has been
telling us all how he’d got his ‘fishing
head’ back on, and what he was
going to do, so when I popped over on
the second night for a chat, I was
unsurprised that he’d only had a small
double. Even that was a fiasco, and it
just goes to prove the saying ‘Don’t do
what I do, do what I say’.
One of the rules that we get
branded into our buttocks at the start
of each season is the ‘don’t leave your
rods’ rule. Well, Joe was fishing on a
landing stage, with his rods at the
end, and was on the bank chatting
with Lane and Marshy. After a little
while he decided to wind in and go
back to the cabin for a bit of trough.
Picking up one rod, he looked at the
other and noticed that the indicator
was rammed against the alarm. He
mentioned this to Rob, then picked it
up and began retrieving line from all
over the swim, the carp having got so
bored it had tried to recreate a dodecahedron in nylon! Eventually the carp
gave in and was soon netted. Rules
and regulations, eh?
Later that week, Joe moved into the
Bridge Bay swim, where the fish had
been stacked up. Lane had moved in
there for a night and had bagged six,
including one of the big linears at just
under thirty, but when Joe moved in
after him the action just seemed to
stop. By Sunday morning, Joe had
managed just one fish before moving
out and letting Lane move back in for
24 hours. Within an hour I’d received
a text from Lane that he’d had a
thirty-two. Then another thirty an
hour later. Then the Big Common at
37lb. In all I think he had half a dozen
fish – maybe it was his hooks or
something.
I arrived on Friday, the first weekend of the season, and anticipated a
car park full of cars but, once again,
Broad Oak amazed me. I arrived at
midday to see only three cars, one of
which was Joe’s – amazing. I went to
the far board, quite fancying a bit of
peace and quiet as it was bound to fill
A great way to start the season. Stuart Harrison with the Royal Forty at 46lb.
140 FREE LINE
up by teatime but I was wrong,
because by nightfall there were only
six people on the lake. That’s why I
love it, but not the only reason. I sat
out on the board as the sun sank a little lower, and lessened in intensity, as
did the wind. Looking across the lake
I saw a bird coming towards me, and
when it was ten yards away I could
see that it was a barn owl, clutching a
small rodent in its talon. It flew past
and behind me so I grabbed my
binoculars and ran to the back of the
swim to watch it disappear into a
copse of trees three or four hundred
yards away. Contented, I walked back
to the brolly, then thought that it
would surely be back for more. I
grabbed the camera and put on the
long lens, but just as I reached the
back of the swim, there it was, hovering ten yards away. I was all of a
dither and clicked off some quick
shots as it set off across the field, all of
them blurred and rushed. It flew
across the lake just on dark, and that
was the last I saw of it for that weekend, but it made the whole thing so
worthwhile.
I had no action by morning, but was
unsure whether to move or not. A
swim called Beavers always looks
good, being a little bay that is fringed
by lilies on the far side, but is also
tricky to get fish back from some-

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