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Meanderings of a lost angler: Fred Bonney

Into the Valley: Pioneering? Part 5

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It's Friday August 18th , the start of the FM Species Race, and what better place to get me up and running, than by my lake in the valley.
We've decided to have skate and chips for dinner, so after discussing what we had planned for the rest of the day, a decision is made for an early dinner at 3o'clock, which as usual in our house, I will be cooking.
This would give me the opportunity to get to the lake at about 4 o'clock, and fish through until about 9pm. All through the day, on and off, very welcome rain had been falling. It was the good soaking type of rain which gave the garden a welcomed drenching. So part of our plan for the day, which involved the garden, was put on hold.
Anyway dinner time came and went, and in came the big clouds and the blackness descended. We had an almighty storm, which put paid to any idea I may have had, of going out at 4 o'clock. I wasn't going to be waving 14 feet of carbon fibre about in these conditions, not even for charity!
At 5 o'clock I decided that it looked safe enough to go out and wave my wand around, so off I went. The lake was looking as serene as it always does, and now the sun was well and truly out, making it quite a warm, early evening.
Once again I had decided to float fish, but this time, with my Enterprise plastics as back up, I decided to try out Dynamite's Swimstim soft pellets. I also decided on a different swim, where the lake narrows at about halfway along it's length, near the island, and where a small lily patch lay, but with no reeds (which was not apparent there on my first visit to the lake).
There was something about this swim that reminded me of somewhere else in my past, where I had many a good Tenching session. So I was keyed up for this. A couple of hand full of BFW 3mm pellets were strategically placed and after a few attempts at hooking the soft pellets, I got the idea how it was done. This didn't give me a great deal of confidence though, as I suspected for a while, that they would not stay on the hook, especially as the Rudd population would have other ideas too.

Second cast, second catch! A tench of 3lb
On my first cast I landed a Rudd, maybe about an ounce and one point for my Species Race tally. Just in case this was my only Rudd, the appropriate photograph was taken, and the fish then returned to the lake.
I quickly talked myself into moving my shot down the line to get the bait down quicker, which worked well. Believe it or not I landed a Tench of 3lb. Two casts, and already two points! My firm belief that there was more than one Tench in the lake was also justified.
By now the swim was fizzing. These pellets of BFW's certainly seem to be an attraction. I next landed a 12oz roach, my biggest so far from the lake and was very soon into a snotty, of no more than half a pound. 4 points. Then came the carp, a small common of about 2lb. Following this was a smashing Linear/Mirror of 6lb.5 or 6 points. Same fish? Common carp? No doubt I would be put right at the final tally.
All went quiet for a while, after the truly mad tussle with the Linear, but soon, after another good handful of the feeder pellets, the fizzing restarted. This time it was the tench that were in charge, and in very short time I had landed a further 7 of the beauties, ranging in size from a 1 pounder, up to the biggest at 4lb 15ozs. I wasn't going to call it 5lb, as it was one of those that hovered between on the scales.

Another point on the board
As you can imagine I was well chuffed! The prospects for even better fish kept me plodding on.
Now comes the gripe. These so called soft shot from Dinsmore, well they're not. After struggling to get them on the line, without biting them shut, I was constantly having to replace them after each decent fish. And eventually this told, as my Fluorotec hook length parted through the constant wear and tear of shifting and putting on new shot. There must be a better way?! Bring back lead shot I say!

A crucian makes a show
Anyway, a new hook length and on my way again. By this time darkness was setting in, and with 5 or 6 points in the bag, I was looking for the Crucian to make a show, which of course they did. Two on the trot, one of 14ozs, the other a pound. This then followed by a few more of those slimy things, bream I think they're commonly called!
I wasn't putting up with them and besides, it was getting difficult to see the float, so it was off home for me.
Being well and truly pleased with my evening session, a celebration drink was called for, and as expected, a bottle of red was ready and waiting. Ah, this is the life! Roll on the next visit to my lake, in the valley.

Updated 13-04-2010 at 09:32 by Fred Bonney

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