freeline-22 - Page 113



Made in England
not saying I would have caught those
fish if I’d been in the swims, definitely
not. As I was leaving the lake on Sunday, the wonderful Micky Gray had
just turned up and we discussed our
frustrations, but that was tempered
with the fact that we couldn’t think of
a better place to be, even if we were
blanking (although Micky doesn’t
blank anywhere near as much as me).
Talk turned to JP, and his regular successes, and I said that I just couldn’t
fish like him. For a bloke who is about
six foot fourteen tall, he makes himself very inconspicuous and is almost
anal about how and where he sets up.
Very rarely is his bivvy facing the
water, or anywhere near his rods. He
is stealth personified and his results
prove that he’s very good at what he
does. I couldn’t do that, have never
been able to do that, which is why I’ll
never catch as many as the likes of JP.
Maybe I could try harder but I just
love being able to see the lake and
everything that happens above and
below the surface. That’s one of the
reasons I never fished the Mere in
pursuit of the Black Mirror; I just
couldn’t warrant spending my precious couple of days fishing hidden in
the undergrowth and making noises
like an oak tree! There’s just too much
more to it for me. Maybe that’s just a
convenient excuse to pass off the
many blanks I endure, but whilst I’m
still willing to travel 300 miles, pay an
extremely large lump of money for the
privilege of being on the syndicate,
and doubling that with the cost of my
fuel bills to and from the lake, then it
must be an excuse I’m happy to
ignore.
Whilst in conversation with Micky,
we spoke about a ‘web-argument’
that he and Tel had had with a Norfolk
cow-pat earlier in the year. The said
six-fingered carpist was
adamant that Micky and
Tel were ‘selling out’ by
fishing for a ‘wrong’un’ in
the shape of Single Scale.
Micky, and Tel for that
matter, are very mild mannered chaps and don’t get
easily drawn into those
sorts of arguments, but
they both changed their
policy in this instance.
Even Mark had something
to say about it, but in such
a quiet, meticulous way
that I doubt that the dribbling Norfolkian even
r e a l i s e d h e ’d b e e n
stabbed until a few days
later. Suffice to say, we’ve
all seen photos of Single at
less than ten pounds, from
the very pond we’re fishi n g, s o w e h a v e l i t t l e
doubts of its ancestry – it
would just seem that
those who can’t fish for it
are the ones who have
doubts. Nothing new
there, then.
(Top) Nice northern sunset after a
pleasant day with Dave.
(Above) Full Moon Fever – worked for
Reg.
(Left) A lovely day with Pete and Ken,
we all agreed.
So, moving on from snivelling idiots
to wonderful chaps in one short
bound; I have had the greatest time
this month chatting with some proper
gentleman and top carp anglers. As
the Wraysbury book is getting closer
to completion, and the deadline has
been passed a couple of times
already, a couple of the original contributors have just not been able to
get their chapters done, which is a
pity. I totally understand the commitments of work and family and
although it’s a pity they can’t be
there, within weeks I’d had people
contacting me out of the blue asking
if I’d like them to do a piece for the
book. One was a chap called Simon
Garrard, and he sent an e-mail to
Freebird asking if I remembered him.
He was a mate of Chilly’s and back in
‘98/’99 was fishing on Wraysbury for
the eels and had popped over for chat
FREE LINE 113

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