The bit you should read.

I’ve always been an angler and after around the country moving I wanted to discover and document the best places to fish (where ever I might be) in the way of rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. When previously fishing in South Wales I often fished in club and winter league matches, however living up north presented me with new challenges, venues and angling clubs that I acquainted myself with. Now down in the South West I plan to do the same.

This fishing blog details my angling adventures around the UK (although depending where I am in the country I also sea fish from both Boat and Shore, Carp, Pike and Fly fish). I will be giving a summary of 3 values considered by most anglers as well as the additional Disabled Access rating. Since being diagnosed with CIDP and regaining my motor function Disabled angling and Disabled access is now something I always consider when visiting venues. They will all be rated on a scale of 1* to 5*;

1. Fishability *****

2. Accessability *****

3. Value for Money *****

4. Disabled Access *****

I think these 4 points are the key issues which are readily identifiable with all anglers. Feel free to take a look and add your own comments along the way!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Trip #30 - Carp on the Fly

This was a trip that I went on whilst home in South Wales in the autumn of 2012.

I have been talking to my brother recently about his most recent fishing trips and he has done his best to gloat about his extraordinary catch rate using this particular method. On a recent trip back to the Welsh valleys I thought, what better an opportunity to try it out. So my father, brother and I made our plans and I looked forward to trying out this method for carp. Our venue was a small two lake fishery, which I have fished numerous times in the past, called Riverside. Normally when I go fishing, even if it’s a short trip, the car is full of everything fishing, from waterproofs, to carryalls, and rod bags to bait buckets. So when we got to the lake with just a bag of chum mixer biscuits, 3 fly rods and a landing net I was sceptical about what we were in for. 

Plenty of fish this size or better at Riverside 

I know that there are a lot of carp in this lake, having fished it several years ago and primarily because my father and brother have allegedly caught dozens of them. We chose what is known as the back lake, setting up on the far bank closest to the river. Our tackle a 9ft fly rod, a WF8 (weight forward) line, 6 – 9 feet of 6 – 8lb fluorocarbon and at the business end, a fly comprised of shaped deer hair. 
Imitation dog biscuits should do the business
2 pouches of dog biscuits later and without warning the fish arrived - In force. The lake contains fish to over 15lbs and fish of all shapes and sizes descended on the biscuits and began devouring any free offerings, all before our flies even touched the water! I’d seen enough to whet my fishing appetite and seconds later I was placing my fly in amongst the remaining offerings and was poised to strike. 
For the other anglers it must have looked absurd. 3 anglers arrived, fly rods in hand and began fishing on a renowned carp lake, these guys must be daft. I was the first to catch after minutes of being in the water. A perfectly scaled common carp of around 3lb, quickly followed by my brother and then by my father.

My brother with his first of the day
 It wasn’t quite a double hook up, but more like a continuous flow of reasonably sized carp.  It wasn’t long before my brother was in again. He banked the one fish within a few minutes and was back out amongst the feeding fish before he hooked up again! We had been fishing no longer than 30 minutes and had 5 carp between 3. 

The old man had a few too!
For anyone who may think that fishing may be boring, they should try this type of fishing and will be instantly hooked (excuse the pun). It is one of the most exciting forms of fishing for the following reasons. A fly rod is generally more flexible than a normal rod and coupled with the fly line, when you catch using this method is it one of the most exciting fights you will have and I haven’t even mentioned watching the fish take your fly. Unlike conventional fishing where you are sometimes likely to sit and wait, staring at a float or the tip of your rod waiting for that elusive bite, this method enables you to watch the fish as they take your fly.  As you can see everything, it only adds to the excitement. 

My brother showing off with another fish!
I was also amazed at the continued ferocity which with these fish were feeding. Normally when fishing, it is not uncommon to have a quiet spell or to change tactics to keep catching fish. This was not the case here. Every pouch full of chum biscuits was met by a queue of hungry carp. After an hour of fishing we were well into double figures of fish caught. Spying a gap in between some biscuits I cast out the fly and began to wait. A few seconds later and a fish was on! This one was bigger than the previous fish I had caught; furiously fighting away, the fly rod I was using was bent double. After 5 minutes of tug of war the fish began to tire and I brought to the bank a fish tipping the scales at just over 10lb.  

Biggest fish of the day!
But the action didn’t stop there. The three of us fished for just over 3 hours and we totalled over 20 fish between us, all weighing between 3 and 10lb’s. It was an unbelievable morning session and one I cannot recommend highly enough. It was definitely one of the mostly exciting fishing outings I had had in some time, and I will certainly be trying the catch some carp on the fly in the near future.  As a fishery, Riverside has almost everything you need to have a great day’s fishing. There is a small shop, which sells basic fishing tackle and bait, as well as a cafe serving warm food (which makes a difference when the winter arrives). One thing I think it would benefit from is having definite pegs. In this instance an open banking suited us perfectly, however it did mean that those anglers who weren’t free to roam up and down the bank had a free for all when it came to getting a position around the lake. 

Still, for the princely sum of £6, anyone with a fly rod can have a break from conventional fly fishing and absolutely bag up on carp for a change. I seriously recommend giving this method a go, and if you are ever in South Wales give the place a go, it’s somewhere you can’t go wrong. 

As a rating I would say:

Fishability: **** ½
Accessability: ****  ½
Value for Money: **** (£6)


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