The Road to Nowhere – Lake District

Certain places that you visit stick in your mind forever, Ennerdale Water in the Lake District is one of these rare places. Its immense, quiet and has that inhospitable beauty that only truly wild glacial lakes have. It’s surrounded by huge peaks contrasted with lush woodland, the perfect place for wild camping. There was even chance of a huge wild brown trout from the crystal clear water.

I think no mater how bloated and obese a man becomes pushing pencils round a desk all week, there is always a primeval part of a man’s brain that simply wants to go back out into the wild and just survive for a few days. I always feel a boyish excitement building for weeks before big trips like this one. It’s such a simple pleasure, just being out camping making a fire, keeping warm, keeping dry. In this situation the fishing really does become secondary. Sharing a trip like this with someone like Jamie is even better, a proper boy’s own adventure.

We had wanted to fly fish at Ennerdale for months and months, but when we arrived we just sat and stared at the water for hours. We did wet a line after a few hours but I was more fulfilled just sitting by the water taking in the stunning landscape in front of me. Jamie, I think, shared my sentiment. There are very few places which have had this effect on me. We did eventually get bored, however, drink a box of wine and set a branch on fire, the Ennerdale trout were safe on this trip.

 

Cold Weather Coarse Fishing

These days if I’m lucky enough to get a fishing session authorised by the other half, I really want to have the best chance of catching. This means I need to find somewhere that is fishable and I have confidence tht at least some kind of fish are present. This normally means a few hours of scouring through forums and the Enviroment Agencys website checking river levels, which are inevitably unfishable every time I have a session planned. If anybody out there is a domesticated father, like myself, with responsibilities limiting your fishing time follow this strategy.

With flashbacks of nearly drowning fresh in my mind during my recent outings on the River Taff. The descision to avoid running water was easily made because of reports of high water levels at all my local fishing spots. The low water temperatures also crossed a lot of still waters off the list of proposed hunting grounds. Eventually, me and my fishing companion for the day Jack, decided to fish Cefn Mably Lakes close to Cardiff. I have fished the complex once before on Horsehoe Pond and somewhat uncharacteristically I really bagged up as well.

I really wanted to fish the float during this trip, I was even armed with a couple of pints of maggots, but the wind and low temperature lead to a really so start so I copped out a set up a simple method rig, as modelled by Jack below. As usual the key is to hit the same spot time and time again, although when it is cold you do not need to recast any near as frequently as a warm summers day. On the day though, I was chucking bombs all over the place, it seems that the media stereotype is true and now that I have a child, I have become the spasticated dad that can’t complete menial tasks like casting a method bomb at least within a few feet of where it has just been retreived from. Despite my casting inaccuracies I did manage to bag up a few nice bream but all the carp where had by Jack who had built his swim much more effectively throughout the day and really cashed in as the sun set.   

Canada Lake Lodge

I have always said that instead of getting married I would rather spend my 15 thousand pound wedding savings, on a nice shiny BMW. I honestly think this is a sentiment shared by most red blooded exectuive men. However, I recently visited somewhere that rocked my staunch anti wedding beliefs. The place in question is Canada Lodge Lake, a seriously picturesque fly fishery tucked away in the valleys a few miles North of Cardiff.

The fishery also functions as a wedding venue, I can see why. It really is a lovely setting, almost of out of place, tucked between farms in typical welsh countryside. My old fishing buddy Ben came along for the day, his second ever fly fishing outing for rainbow trout. As we sat on the love swing overlooking the lake we held gently held hands and discussed tactics. We were only interupted by the showing fish from all corners of the lake and the wedding party which was in full swing next to us.

The weather on the day was warm but it was overcast. I decided to try and stalk some fish out of the margins due to the waters clarity and lack of sun. I fished one fly, just a small black buzzer. After creeping around the bushes for a few minutes I managed to hook into a 2lbish trout hiding under some overhanging branches. The fight was short but sweet and the trout was quickly skating towards my awaiting net. Not many pictures from the day but there will be more from this fishery in the future.

 

2014 a statistical review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Tri-Nant Fishery

Unknown to most the Royal Mint where all coins are crafted nestles in the South Wales Valleys, a stark juxapose between the rich and the poor. Perhaps, the Royal Mint was set in the Welsh hillside to create jobs and industry after the decline of the pits. Perhaps it was a good ol’ fashioned “Fuck You!” from England to Wales, both of these options appeal to me as a well natured southerner.

The untold wealth of the English and the miserable existence of the Welsh was not the only set of opposites in the valleys last week for there was also a show down between perhaps the finest coarse fisherman and the worst. Jack v Ben round II.

We fished at Tri-Nant Fishery just north of llantrisant, a small complex which was empty on the day. We fished the carp only lake, both opting for different methods. As any true sportmans will tell you the nature of the pursuit amounts to much more than the weight of the bag. Hence, I loaded my rod with a subtly balanced float rig, the thinking mans approach.

Of course, Ben opted for the all together less rounded, knuckle dragging method feeder. The easy way out, if anything. Below are the results, Ben had biggest bag and biggest fish….. but he basically cheated.

Forgotten Photos

Yesterday, I rediscovered some lost photos captured within a dusty old memory stick tucked away in my old oak desk, which I write from now. They were taken by my time served fishing companion Jamie, a Yorkshireman living in Manchester, fishing with a Hampshire man residing in Wales.

My own photos usually require an accompaniment to supplement the story told. Fortunately, bumf is not a prerequisite for these photos instead have some words which start with P: Jamie’s photos portray proceedings perfectly, a perpetually parched panorama painstakingly pictured …….errrrr penis.

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