A trip to Marsh Farm to see if the crucians wanted to play but the weather had turned and conditions were against us. So me and the Canal Carp King decided to have a match, 4 points for a crucian, 2 for a tench and 1 point for anything else over a pound.
It was tough going, we both fished hard and both landed nine fish, James had nine tench (18 points) but I had eight tench and a bonus 2lb 1oz first crucian of the season (20 points) - the points system and a bit of luck had worked in my favour - I lifted the gold!
And with a misguided canal bream match coming up - I’m getting this win on the record!!
Just last week it was winter coats, waterproof boots and trudging about in mud - now London is experiencing a heatwave; shorts, t-shirts and Converse. To celebrate James and I skived off for the afternoon, walked 12.3 miles and stalked a few bream and carp - lovely afternoon!
Second trip to this famous trout fishery, and once again we’d left it a bit too late in the year - it was far too warm. I was accompanying the fly guys; Steve and Dylan - and the scores from the last three trips (not that we keep score) were Steve 2 wins, Dyl 1 win and me, well, I’m yet to win one... Perhaps this time...
I couldn’t out fly fish these guys so my plan was to go stalking - but the recent rain had coloured the water - still, I could see into the margins. Steve and Dyl began by casting to moving fish, I started lapping the lakes searching for fish with my polaroids (2.0 yellow lens, everyone who tries them asks).
After a lap or two and a few casts to likely looking features I spotted a couple of rainbow trout heading in my direction - cast to them - and quickly ripped the fly out of the way when I saw a big brownie lurking about in the roots in front of me. It followed and after a couple of taps on the fly it engulfed it - fish on - and the fish I wanted!
A few shakes of it’s head before realising it was hooked and a powerful run across the lake to the island. A strong fish and a hell of a fight, back and forth before being ready for the net - I struggled to get the net off my back - fearing a last second hook pull - but it was mine. A double, 10lb 15oz, brown trout! Get in!!
My trip was made - my dream trout was on the books - but the fishing remained tough. Both Dyl and myself lost a rainbow each, I managed to snatch my fly out of the mouth of a monster rainbow and had a repeated follow by a jack pike about two pounds. But it wasn’t until well after lunch Steve had his first hit.
Rainbows fight differently than brownies, deep dives followed by smashing about on the surface, Steve took it steady and I eventually got the net under his fish. A beautiful 6lb 0oz rainbow trout just as Steve had resigned himself to a blank... Had the fish come on the feed in the late afternoon?
Short answer: No! We thrashed the water to a foam for a few follows before I spotted a rainbow cruising across a shallow bay, I quickly flicked my fly in front of it and bang, a 7lb 11oz new PB rainbow (end of fight video below). And that was the last of the action today, time for a curry and a few pints - the day was mine!
Not a great trip for the guys but two new PBs for me, including a double, the double brownie I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid - it’s better to be lucky than good! Thanks Steve for the superb photos. We will be back - but next time I think we’ll wait for some better conditions (only 4 trout were landed on the lakes all day).
*Edit: The Video is short because Steve had to run right around the lake before starting filming (also explains the heavy breathing). Dyl always nets fish one handed while on the phone because he’s too cool for school. And yeah, 3 photos of the same fish because next to a 30lb pike, a double brownie has been top of the list.