freeline-21 - Page 223



A Surprising End To The Year
other end was asleep before doing the
self takes. I waited until midnight
before getting the mirror out. I
weighed it on the tripod at 34lb 2oz
and then took a few shots of each side
down in the Dogleg before returning
it and hiding all the wet stuff away.
Just as I was tidying up, another fish
cleared the water right in front of me
and a yard or so to the left of the middle rod. It definitely wasn’t the fish I
had just returned, as that had gone
back in the Gravelly, a couple of
swims down from where I was set up.
I stayed up until about 2am but nothing more showed. The fish by the way
was one known as Cat’s Eye, and as
far as I was aware it was a best
weight for it too, which made me
think that they had really been on the
food that I was giving them.
I got back up at first light the following morning but the day passed a
quiet one. I saw one set of ripples at
4.32pm come out from the right but
that was it and from then through to
when I packed up the following midmorning I didn’t see anything. This s
to be my last session before Christmas as it was now the 22nd and I still
had presents to buy. As I drove home
though I looked back on the month
and couldn’t really believe what I had
actually caught. Four winter mid to
upper-30’s is good enough, but when
they’re from the Road Lake, a place
that’s hard enough in the warmer
weather, it really does make it feel
special to me.
Christmas Eve and Day I spent
with my kids, and then on the Boxing
Day mid-morning I headed off to Horton to have a Boxing Day dinner with
ten or so guys up there. The day was
a good one and the meal was superb,
so hats off to Del and Bob who did the
cooking. Copious amounts of alcohol
were consumed, and I think it was
around 4am before I climbed in to my
bed that I’d set up outside the lodge,
but a good night was had by all. I
think it was late morning before I
managed to get over to the Road
Lake, as my head was a little worse for
wear (due to lack of sleep of course).
Luckily for me, when I arrived at the
lake the Hump was free so I obviously
went in there, and within the hour I
had the rods out. After setting up the
bivvy I almost went back to bed, but I
forced myself to stay up as long as I
could. By 9.30pm though it was all too
much, and I got some much-needed
sleep. As I got in the bag I half
expected to be woken up by a take,
but nothing happened and I got a
decent night’s sleep, 11 hours’ worth
in fact, and I didn’t wake up until 8.30
the following morning.
At 9.38am a good fish rolled over
right on my left hand rod, and I
expected it to go at any time. Nothing
did happen though. The day was
really quiet and nothing showed in
the corner or anywhere near me, and I
started to wonder whether they had
in fact moved out of the area. At
10.21pm a fish went over at range in
open water and when another did the
same thing a few minutes later I was
sure they had moved. Nothing happened through the night, and I woke
to my first blank in six sessions. I felt
I needed to start looking into where
they had gone. It would have to wait
until next time though, as I needed to
get off home as I was picking the kids
up at lunchtime. I spent a few days
with the kids, but managed to grab a
quick overnighter in on New Year’s
Eve. I had a walk round the lake hoping to find where they had gone to,
but when I got back to the Hump it
was clear they were back in there, as
I saw a fish show straight away.
Although I saw ripples in the corner, I
knew I didn’t have a hope in hell of
catching that night as there was a
massive party in the house behind me
and all night I could actually feel the
ground vibrating with the bass of the
sound system. I packed up at 7am
(with the party behind still going
strong) totally knackered, as I had
managed to get no more than an
hour’s sleep because of the noise. I
headed for home hoping the kids
would be worn out too and that they
would be keen on having an afternoon nap. Fortunately for me they
were, and a lazy day was had by all.
Well that’s it again for this month.
I’m more than happy with how things
have gone, and I just hope that they
continue next month.
Till next time… n
(Top) The Hump on a rainy day
becomes a waterlogged bog.
(Right) Boxing Day in the Horton
Lodge.
FREE LINE 223

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