In the following account I have been asked to change names to protect the innocent…
A wonderful man I know very well, FRED, decided to go fishing for carp recently. The trip was, needless to say, a long time in the planning stage, I’d say about two weeks. Then, two days prior to departure and having borrowed the work van (the seven seater people carrier wasn’t big enough) I was sent shopping for the expedition. I all but cleared Tesco of their supplies of spam, sweet corn, luncheon meat, dog biscuits, “just the right type of white bread” and pot noodles. I am assuming these were for Fred not the fish, but I may be mistaken as they are apparently a vital component of any successful carp fishing adventure. I then had to proceed to the tackle shop where I bought vast quantities of boilies in various flavours, LIVER and NUT? (carp have an adventurous palate it seems), ground bait, bottles of syrup and maggots (Yuk!) until I had so many heavy bags I had to leave them and go to fetch the car.
When I returned the front lawn was no longer visible! It had been covered with what I can only describe as “things”. I say this because I only have a limited amount of ink and paper and time and inclination to bother to tell you what was there, you’ll have to use your imagination, but suffice to say that Scott of the Antarctic travelled light in comparison and the level of planning made the D-Day landings look like a Friday night out with the boys! The items were laid out in neat rows and bundles and would have been labelled if Fred had been able to find the sellotape. I left him to it and went inside to clean the house, do all the ironing, make a cake and cook supper.
After our tea and into the twilight, with the help of a wheel barrow Fred loaded the wagon, sorry van and the next day, after a lay in, (he was very tired from the previous days excursions) off he set into the fog, rain etc. and I seriously wondered if he planned to return he had such a forlorn look about him. He certainly didn’t look like the sort of angler who was expecting to enjoy any kind of fun! On his return two days later the smell that accompanied him as he came down the garden path was horrendous! He had to undress in the porch while I ran a hot bath (it was a bit cold to put the hose on him like we do the dog). When he had recovered with warm clothes and a hot drink out he went to spend the rest of the day unloading. The “things” that had gone into the van so neatly beforehand were now dumped unceremoniously in a sodden, muddy heap in the middle of the lawn to be scrubbed, cleaned and packed away and I, to celebrate his safe return treated us to a fish ‘n chip supper.
…The following weekend Fred kindly suggested that it was my turn to enjoy a fishing trip – I needed no further encouragement. I slipped on my vest, picked up my net, my rod was already in the car (I never travel anywhere without it and my lipstick) and skipping up the path I was gone in five minutes flat! I returned that evening with four lovely pan size trout and cooked us a delicious supper of oven baked fillets wrapped in Parma ham. (Recipe book to follow, when I have a year to spare).
You see my point… What is it about Carp fishing? I’ve tried really hard to understand. I’ve watched all the programmes on the telly and am still none the wiser. It all seems so complicated and contradictory but don’t get me wrong all you carp fishing enthusiasts out there. Being outdoors at one with nature in all its unpredictable elements has the same thrill whatever fish you are “hunting”. My father has a small lake in France where we do fish for carp. We use fly rods with bread crust as this is the only un-natural food we can persuade them to take, but what FUN! A lean, fit, four and a half pounder on a seven weight, with a size 10 hook puts a good bend in the rod and leaves your arm stinging for a while! I also see no reason why, with a little training they would not take a bloodworm on an intermediate line with a slow retrieve or a large white Muddler on a floating line tweaked across the surface or even an epoxy fry pulled along the margins. Just as some fisheries are now adopting a more tolerant approach to “any method” angling to land a trout some course fishermen are starting to appreciate the simplicity and fun of using a fly rod and line to catch and play one of their big carp. The weird and wonderful flavours of carp bait are not that far removed from some of the flashy and fantastic fly patterns. So, each to his own, live and let live I say and with this spirit of mutual respect for each other’s sport I feel a joining of the minds, a coming together of fellow fools, a renewed camaraderie among us. I feel a new fraternity emerging of fluff drowning, maggot chuckers perhaps?
… Here at Brick Farm Lakes…
Looking through the returns book this month I see a good few 3lb plus fish have been caught from both Well and Brick Lakes. The best fish recorded has to be a 4lb 8oz rainbow, caught on Brick Lake by Ron Carson from Hailsham using a Black Fritz. I have spotted Stick Flies and CDC’s recorded for the first time and a Black Booby on the surface was a little unusual. Orange and black and green colours have been popular and Blood Worms, Damsels, Montanas, Cats and Gold Heads are “must have” flies for your visit here. We impose no fly restrictions at Brick Farm so the world is your oyster!
Other recent rainbow catches include a 3lb 4oz by Steve Mewett from Hailsham on a Green Eyed Cats Whisker, a 3lb 4oz by D Hunter from Hastings on a Montana Gold Head, a 2lb 14oz by David Smith from Windmill Hill on a Damsel, a 3lb by Neil Bianchi from Plumpton College on an Blood Worm, a 2lb 8oz by Dennis Rickett from Eastbourne on a Montana and a 2lb 5oz by Norman Wood from Bexhill-on-Sea on a CDC.
Anglers will notice we have begun a program of re-surfacing the approach to some of the fishing platforms around Brick Lake that had become very muddy and slippery in the bad weather we have endured this winter. We also have plans afoot to add a few new ones when building the platforms on the new third lake and repair the disabled station in front of the lodge ASAP.
With regards the new lake… any last minute ideas for a name should be sent in to us soon as a decision will be taken and a winner announced shortly. This is your chance to win a voucher to be one of the first to cast a line over the lake and a place in Brick Farm history. Two red stags recently paid us a visit and were seen inspecting the new lake.
Our Spring competition was won by Alan Williams from Hailsham with a 6lb 12oz 4 fish bag and Bernard Cornford won the largest fish prize with a 2lb 7oz rainbow.
We have begun to clear the overgrown banks of the small stream that enters the99 top of Brick Lake. Apart from the area benefiting from a “spring clean” this is an experiment to open up new possibilities for some stream fishing?? Watch this space!
On May 10th. The Eastbourne and District Fly Fishing Club are joining us here for an open evening to introduce new-comers to the sport of fly fishing. This is an evening for you to come and have a go for the first time or gain some expert tips and advice from members of this wonderful club. The evening will run from 4pm until sunset and the lodge will be open for refreshments. So why not bring a friend or partner and join in the fun. Please ring lodge to book a space, details can be found on our website. All our up and coming events and significant dates for your diaries can be found here or on our Facebook page.
And finally…I heard the Cuckoo! Not only does that mean that Sumer is here but I have nearly gone full circle writing our monthly report and the longer daylight hours are here at last. Time flies when having fun!
Tight lines for May…!