freeline-29 - Page 174



Road Lake Remembered
ple of hours.
I fished a few more sessions up
until late October at which time I
decided to pull off until the spring, as
the winter form wasn’t great according to the existing members of the
syndicate. Whether I was thrown a bit
of bum steer I’m not sure, as that winter it did fish well for those who persevered with it. By the time I came
back in February there had already
been half a dozen fish out with the
Big Dink being one of them. There
were six weeks left of the season and
I had been thrown a lifeline – as I was
getting married the next year, my
fiancée was going dress shopping at
the weekends. The best bit was I
wasn’t allowed to see the dress until
the big day, so I suddenly had the
green light to fish most of the weekends up until the end of the season.
The first session back I fished in the
Boat Launch, and it was quite busy
with around six of us on. The weather
was nice and mild, and from memory
Tony Green had two from the Chestnuts. I had no action, and this was the
recurring theme over the coming
weeks. The fish were stacked up in
Chestnuts and consequently it was
very difficult to get in the swim, and
by the time I had made my way to the
lake on Friday evening it was always
taken. I fished around the top end of
the lake in the Dogleg and No.2, as I
was seeing bubbling in the silt but it
was still the same result – a blank!
The season’s end was fast
approaching, so I decided to take the
Friday off work and fish the last 48
hours of the season. It was likely to be
busy but as we were having a BBQ
and a few beers on the Friday, which
would be the last night of the season,
it would still be an enjoyable social if
nothing else. I arrived just as it was
getting dark on the Thursday night,
and after a quick look round I got my
gear round to the Bars swim. All long
this bank was a covering of floating
dead weed that stretched from the
margins to about five yards out. There
was a nice clear spot on a sloping
gravel shelf, and by parting the weed
with my marker rod I could place a
bait on it and replace the weed back
over the spot. The head bailiff had
given me the heads up as he had a
taken a fish from the spot as few
weeks earlier. I only fished with one
rod, as it was a tight swim with all the
weed etc. I had a few beers with Pete
the Painter who was fishing just up
the bank and then got my head down
about ten o’clock, as I wanted to be
up at first light.
It was very mild and it drizzled all
through the night until first light
when the rain stopped. I was up at six
o’clock, made myself a brew and then
walked round to the Grassy Knoll, as
from here I had a view of 90% of the
lake. I was sat on Tony’s fallen tree
when all of a sudden a nice dark mirror head and shouldered out in front
of No.5. That would do for me, and I
ran back to the Bars to get my kit
round there ASAP. I just chucked the
whole lot on the barrow and legged it
round there, as I wasn’t sure if anyone
else had seen it. I left the barrow at
the back of the swim and went to
have a closer look. There was a lot of
fizzing along the sunken island that
separates No.5 from Chestnuts. As
the fish were there and feeding, I just
flicked out a single critically balanced
tiger to the area where the most
activity was. It landed with a dull
thump in the silt; I slackened off the
line and placed the rod in the rests. I
then sat at the back of the swim and
made myself some breakfast and a
brew.
Jason, who was fishing in Chestnuts, wandered down and was surprised to see I had moved so early in
the morning. I mentioned that I had
seen a fish show and there was quite
a bit of fizzing going on, so I thought
it was worth a move. The rod had
been out about an hour, when all of a
sudden a massive sheet of bubbles
appeared over my hookbait and the
spool started to spin. I was momentarily confused but then I remembered that I hadn’t turned the buzzer
on. I grabbed the rod and slowed the
fish down, and as I did the fish hit the
surface and it looked like a mid
twenty mirror. It was coming in pretty
easily then all of a sudden it kited to
the right and started to take line
down the margin. I plunged the rod
tip under the water and clamped
down, and the fish kited further into
the bank. I was getting worried now,
as they were a lot of overhanging
branches and tree roots along the
margin. By this time I had Dan and
Jason alongside me and Dan went
down the margin and thrashed the
water with a branch to try and move
the fish out. This did the trick and it
kited back into open water.
We got another glimpse of the fish
as it boiled on the surface about ten
yards out, and it suddenly looked a
whole lot bigger. I played the fish out
in the margins and it sent up huge
boils and vortices as it powered up
and down the margins. We could see
the fish twisting and turning in the
gin clear water as it tried to shed the
hook. Dan had got in the water with
the net as the swim was flooded and
he had wellies on. Gradually I could
feel the fish tiring as its lunges got
less powerful, and all of a sudden it
popped up ready for netting. I kept
the fish coming on the surface and
walked back until I heard Dan confirm
it was in the net. I rushed forward to
see what fish it was. There in the folds
of the net was large grey mirror with
A misty Road Lake dawn brought the
season to a close.
92 FREE LINE





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