"Fancy stalking a few Carp on floaters for a few hours". "Sounds like fun lets do it, I'll bring my fly rod". "There's no room to cast but we will catch um under the rod tip so give it a go". "See you later then"
That was the text conversation between Martin and I earlier in the afternoon and we met up at Warwick racecourse later that evening.
As the light started to fade we baited the margins with floaters and waited to see where the Carp turned up. The fly rod was loaded with *8 floating line, a six foot 8lb hook link and a glued-on dog biscuit on a strong size 12 hook. Before the first lips started breaking the surface and sucking in the free offerings. Most of the action seemed to be around an overhanging willow, full of snags including a dead tree that had several branches reaching out of the water like a zombie climbing from a grave.
I cast amongst the free offerings and waited. Several fish avoided the bait turning away at the last moment which was both exciting and frustrating at the same time before finally one waddled into the swim and fed with abandon, mopping up everything in sight including my bait. A solid strike met with the hoped for resistance and all hell broke lose. The fish made an immediate bee-line under the willow searching out the dead tree snag and inevitable freedom. I grabbed hold of the line and held on with all my might, the dead tree swayed as the Carp got really close but my luck held and enough pressure was exerted to turn the fish back into open water.
With the rod taking on its full curve I now had control of the fight and before long the net was slipped under a feisty 12lb 3oz Common, my biggest ever on a fly rod.
The commotion had ruined the swim so when Martin pointed out another fish feeding in a reed bed further down the bank I jumped in there.
The fish itself was not visible but the swaying reeds gave away its position all too often and I dropped a biscuit in the vicinity. It didn't take long before a big pair of lips came up between the fronds and 'gloop', my bait disappeared. Again no mistake on the strike and the fish on feeling the hook made a bid for freedom. In fact it made several runs that I was powerless to stop, only being able to slow it down by clamping my hand on the drum of the reel. The 'netsman' tried his best but to knock it off the hook but eventually the fish rested in the folds of the net after what had been a good ten minute battle.
Another common this time weighing 15lb 2oz, another fly rod pb, (rosettes for everything Jeff!)
I know I should have worn 'camo' but we did take the compulsory stare at the tail shot!