freeline-24 - Page 190

Made In England
they need to do is stand in the same
spot when a big south westerly is laying the lake to waste, turning water
into stinging foam and boiling the
lake up into a decent facsimile of a
wind-lashed North Sea coast. No, not
for the faint-hearted at all, but, as with
any lake like this, the rewards, however fleeting, seriously outweigh the
hardships. Good luck.
On a much smaller scale, Ashmead
is proving a very difficult nut to crack,
but spending a few days down there
is so much more than just going fish-
ing. Micky Gray was at Wraysbury
and we discussed the coming season
at Ashmead. Mick declared that he
needed to change his approach down
there, which I found a little surprising
as he’d caught a few fish to mid-thirties last year. ‘No, I have to stop sitting there and just smiling,’ he said,
and I knew exactly what he meant.
‘Every time I go down there I feel like
I’m going on holiday – I just love it!’
W h e n y o u r e a d Ti m P a i s l e y ’s
accounts, in ‘More from the Bivvy’, of
a couple of gruelling sessions he did
on Ashmead last year it could seriously dent your confidence, but Tim
still eulogises about the wonderful
wetland that Mark has created, and
for every struggler like me and Tim
there are guys who have got the measure of it and catch fairly consistently.
I had fish close by on this session,
just the other side of an island and no
more than twenty-five yards from my
nearest bait, but if they ventured any
closer, I was unaware. As I packed up
to leave, Mark was in the throes of
hooking and losing a fish at the other
end of the fishery. Had they moved
from the other side of the island? Possibly, but with a head of about 150
carp in a 16-acre lake you can imagine that they’re pretty well spread
out. Mark has plans to cut back the
stock over the next few years, initially
removing some of the successfully
spawned fish, which are around lowdoubles at the moment. His ultimate
Single Scale at 10lb, 15 years ago…
...and a dozen years later at mid-fifty.


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