freeline-20 - Page 181

One Last Season On The Church Lake
bad enough, later that day word
spread round the lake that Wallace
had also been found dead in the Rip
swim. Though I was more than happy
with my result it came on a very sad
day, and my celebrations were somewhat subdued. This meant Horton
had now lost four original mirrors in a
year (three that season): Shoulders,
Dumpy, No Name and Wallace, meaning they are getting very few and far
between. Horton now had as many
original mirrors in it as the Car Park
did when I first fished there, which
left, or so I was told, only three of the
Fox Pool mirrors. Very good fish
indeed, and I was becoming increasingly certain that I was not going to
get one!
After fluking out the Thorpe Park
Common I moved into Captor’s after
Pete left. Ladders had been in there
for a week, got it rocking, and it had
been steadily producing fish for a
couple of weeks since, but been constantly occupied. Now it looked as if
they had finally had enough, as a couple of anglers had blanked in there.
Although I thought it might still be
worth a go, it wasn’t! That night in
the Captors swim I had my worst
night ever anywhere for mosquito
abuse; I had run out of mozzie coils
and was getting mobbed. In the end I
had my bag pulled right up over my
head (not pleasant in midsummer),
and it sounded as if there was a mini
moped race around my bag as they
tried to find a way in. When I flicked
my head torch on to look at the top of
my brolly it was horrendous. There
were hundreds of them, not the usual
big brown ones, but little black ones.
I moved swim the next morning,
partly to preserve my blood and sanity, but mostly because fish were
showing in Weedy Bay again. It was
taken, but a few were also showing in
the Salt Circle, which is next door to
the right and was a swim that I particularly wanted a capture from. In
the time that I had fished Horton it
had not done a great deal of fish
despite having almost all you could
ask for in a swim. The weedbeds
close in make for a dodgy line lay, but
now the fish were nice and close in I
was able to have at least one line
flush with the lakebed.
I had under-armed my left hand
bait down to the beginning of the
Weedy Bay weedbed, put one spod of
hemp and corn onto the foam when it
surfaced, and the right hand bait in a
bag on the back of the weed in front.
The vast majority of shows were
slightly to the left and it was looking
good for a bite. With the brolly up and
all sorted it was time for a bit more
lounging about with the kettle on; I
love it when I’m on ‘em. I rang my
mate Aiden for a chat, the kettle
started boiling, and as I lifted it off the
Coleman it made a little ‘dink’ noise.
My mate asked if that was my alarm,
to which I replied, “Nope, I wish.”
Almost immediately my left hand rod
tip was whipped round, and as my
alarm screeched, I said, “That is
t h o u g h ! G o t t o g o , m a t e,” a n d
chucked my phone. After a short
explosive scrap due to having to keep
the pressure on to keep it out of the
weed it was in the net, a fairly scaly
stockie that the Cabbie recognised as
Pebbles, which weighed in at 33lb
14oz – lovely!
With the photos done it went back
and the swim became devoid of fish. I
stayed in there for the night but in
hindsight a move would have been
wise, and the next morning I was off
to try and locate some again. Speaking to Aiden appeared to induce several bites in the next few weeks, and
it got to the point that if I’d been a
while without a bite I would ring him
for some luck. Though I claim not to
be superstitious, I do look for patterns
in what often really should be considered meaningless – too much spare
time perhaps, if such a thing is possible.
Whilst walking up the Church Bank
Another night at Horton.
I noticed Horton’s resident hobby flying around over the field and soon
noticed there were loads of dragonflies doing the same. Standing to
watch for a bit, it became clear what
w a s o c c u r r i n g, a n d I w a s l u c k y
enough to witness it catch and eat
one in flight. Another day I was sat
outside the lodge chatting with Del
when all of a sudden a very worried
looking blackbird came rocketing up
the path from the Plateau swim and
into a tree, closely followed by a sparrowhawk.
The blackbird then left the tree,
dive-bombed into a bush and the
hawk did the same. After a lot of
rustling and occasional views of each
bird, the blackbird popped up out of
the bush and flew away. A little later
the sparrowhawk appeared looking
about trying to find it, and realising
blackbird was no longer on the menu
it gave up and did the off. Another
first for me was stag beetles, and the
first live ones I had seen were at Horton. Although I only saw small
females they were fascinating, and
they walk like they are powered by
hydraulics. They are brilliant critters,
and simply watching them was a
pleasant way of waiting. It amazes me
the difference in the creatures you
can expect to find after just a twohour drive inland – not just the
species but the size of them too. Horton was educating me daily.
Best of luck! n


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