FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 118

Off The Beaten Track
The Haunted Mere
By Jay Russell
very spring I like to
have a good walk
around some of the
lakes in my area,
many of which are
rarely fished, if ever. A
couple of these contain just a handful
of carp, and it’s just a joy to watch
these fish behaving in their natural
state without interference from
anglers. There is, however, one very
special place in which, until a couple
of years back, I had never even seen a
carp, despite plenty of trips over the
years. I had only seen a few tench and
a couple of very long, lean pike, but it
was such a beautiful place to visit,
untouched by humans for many
years, as if time had stood still. Many
of the locals didn’t know of its exact
location (many didn’t know of its
existence) because it lies hidden by
the dense trees and vegetation that
thrived in its habitat.
The stinging nettles seem to grow
taller than any I’ve ever seen before,
which meant trousers and long
sleeved tops were a must on these
visits, and the dense canopy provided
by the trees and years of unmolested
foliage meant the humidity could rival
that of any jungle! Many of the huge
mature trees around the five acres or
so of deep and crystal clear water had
fallen down over the years, making
actual access to water itself difficult.
However these did make excellent
vantage points for the keen-eyed
angler, if a little precarious at times.
On one side of the mere, a huge reedlined margin marked slightly shallower water, and several times it was
here I was fortunate enough to watch
members of the local deer population
venture down to drink the cool, clear
water. Despite the lack of fish, I was
still just happy to enjoy the peaceful
but rather strange atmosphere the
place had; its calming effect was perfect for dreaming about new seasons
ahead, and many plans were made for
the coming seasons from my old
favourite ‘looking‘ tree.
I had over the years heard rumours
that the mere had actually held a very
small number of carp at some point in
its life (a very long time ago, in fact),
but up to this point I was yet to see
any for myself, despite many years of
springtime looking. This tranquil
place was always put to the back of
my mind though, because after I’d
had a couple of fruitless trips in
search of the possible carp I never
really made any plans to fish it. That
was all to change after a chance
encounter with a friend. While fishing
a club lake in the Colne Valley, one of
the other anglers I often shared a beer
with most Wednesday nights (I was
fishing midweek at the time) invited
me over to have a look around a now
well known Colne Valley mere, which,
being only half an hour or so around
the M25 from the club lake, I agreed.
With no fish showing even the slightest interest in my baited spots at the
club lake, I pulled the rods in, gabbed
a couple of beers and jumped in the
most rusty and unroadworthy van I
had ever seen!
25 minutes later we somehow
safely pulled up in a little layby not far
from the entrance to a set of lakes,
one of which was to become steeped
in English carp fishing history. Hopping over the gate, we briefly skirted a
short section of the lagoon next door
until we got to the most awesome
lake I have ever seen (well, I say
“seen”: it wasn’t actually easy to see
much of it at all). It really did remind
me of the little mere closer to home,
albeit a slightly smaller version. We
both felt the same kind of atmosphere: the mystique, and a little of the
unknown. We walked a little way
around the mere, kept back from the
water by the thick undergrowth, and
had a quick look at the water from a
couple of the more accessible parts.
We quietly drank our beer as the sun
started to get lower in the sky and
raised a beer to the BM before we
made our way back to the club lake. I
really got into my fishing down in the
Colne Valley that spring and summer,
and I put all my efforts into trying to
catch a few of the most paranoid carp
I had ever fished for (but that, as they
say, is another story).
It was now nearly into autumn, and


Powered by

Full screen Click to read
Paperturn flip book
Download as PDF
Shopping cart
Full screen
Exit full screen