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The Country Park Off The Beaten Track
y love for park
lakes started
when listening
to stories about
big public
parks and all
the rumours they had built up over
the years, particularly one park lake in
the Lea Valley where the locals had
kept the tales going for the best part
of a decade to keep others away.
Every park has a story, or a myth –
whether it is a black cat or a bunch of
druggies – they all have them. This
particular park is within walking distance of Cambridge city centre and
the route to take to the local 24-hour
Tesco. I had been told of a couple of
incidents where anglers had been
thrown in and robbed for their gear,
but I believed it was stories like these
that kept the anglers away. I knew it
was close to the city but was certain
it was going to be tame compared to
the other venues I had fished in the
past. Somehow I was pretty confident
that it was going to be nothing like
the stories.
I started walking around the park
after work most evenings at the back
end of the year. I began by looking at
maps of the complex as it was like a
maze, and I was certain if it got dark
there was no way I would track down
one of these park signs, let alone the
van. I was shocked to learn that
nobody apart from joggers and dog
walkers used the park, but an old
friend told me that it’s still a bit early
in the year, and I would see no other
anglers. I knew nothing about the
lake whatsoever; its inhabitants were
either myths or uncaught. I spend a
couple of hours each day walking
around; whether it was before work or
after I would always be there. I spoke
to a couple of the park wardens one
morning, and they informed me that


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