FREE LINE 03 - Page 136



Springing into the Valley
of trips to the lake with my mate and
self-appointed 'International Playboy
o f t h e Ye a r ' , M i c k K r a s s o s , w e
encountered some monumentally
inclement climatic conditions, which
resulted in virtual bivvy confinement
due to the relentless rain and high
winds. Over the course of a few
weeks I seemed to be catching a lot of
the smaller residents of the lake, but
many of the longstanding members
on there intimated that this was the
worst spring fishing that they had
encountered over the past several
seasons, which was bloody typical of
my luck because we only joined
because spring permits were made
available at short notice. I kept telling
myself that things could only get better as the weeks went by, and the fish
I was catching were still at the lower
end of the weight spectrum, being
mainly upper doubles to mid-20’s,
which is nice to put a bend in the rod,
but not really what the spring fishing
on there is usually all about. The
water began to take on a rather unappealing murkiness, with a distinctive
yellowish clouding of algae that
seemed to be spreading at quite an
alarming rate through the venue. I
was a tad concerned about this, and
22lb 7oz mirror.
136 FREE LINE
the members seemed to think it could
have been something to do with the
poor fishing over the spring, as the
carp didn’t seem to be actively feeding or showing themselves.
During the slack moments, I spent
a bit of time with the camera trying to
capture some of Mother Nature’s
bounty from the flora and fauna
worlds, and one of the minor triumphs
was getting up close and personal
with a large dragonfly that I noticed
whilst emptying my bladder one
morning! I managed to get some
great close-ups on the tripod; they
really look spectacular when blown
up, and I have included one for your
perusal. Another early morning photographic opportunity presented itself
in the form of a very friendly field
mouse that ambled down to a slab
near my rods and began to eat some
old casters. I got very close to the little blighter, and then after it ate a few
more casters, it jumped in! Maybe it
had a death wish, but the next thing I
knew, it was clambering up my rods
to safety although it was half
drowned. I got a quick picture, then
tried to dry it off and put it in the sun
to revive, and after about half an hour,
it was firing on all cylinders again and
went back to the field behind – a
funny experience that was really
quite mad! The waterfowl on the
venue are another source of amusement, and to say they are extremely
vocal is an understatement. The running battles between the swans and
the geese were a constant occurrence, with often violent confrontations, which generally saw the geese
beating a hasty retreat as the larger
swans flexed their pecs (excuse the
pun!).
Anyway, I digress… A few fish
were getting caught on the maggots
by the resident carp slaying Hofgartner brothers, and it was certainly a
pleasure meeting these guys because
they were both very successful on
here and thoroughly good company
as well, which makes the fishing all
the more enjoyable. Between them
over the previous two seasons they
had caught most of the venue’s residents, and Terry was only hoping for
one last big’un to complete the set,
before moving onto pastures new. I
don’t mind admitting that my fishing
results were at best becoming a trifle
patchy, and with intermittent spells
where they were feeding, it was just
the nature of my rota at work that I

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