Finding time to write blogs isn’t my strong point I’ll admit, but then I’m always out fishing so I have an excuse of sorts. The problem is I now write blogs or diary pieces for several companies so the obvious answer and one which has been on my agenda for a few years now is to get my own website up and running and then il only have to write one diary and it will be so much easier to keep it regularly updated and that is my plan for the coming year. Im of course excited about it as it means il be able to upload a huge amount of content and images about the sort of carp fishing that i pursue and enjoy.
So what have I been up to? Well, since my last blog I’ve done a lot of fishing both here and abroad and I’ve been lucky to have caught lots of great fish. So many in fact, trying to remember them all and put them in any sort of order is difficult without spending lots of time going through my image files, so I’ll just recount a few as they come to me over the next few blogs.
Now as many of you are no doubt aware I have a burning passion for my fishing and for adventure which means I spend much of my time searching for fish which are special to me and more so as I get older in special places. My surroundings when angling are nowadays as important as the fish themselves and in recent years this has seen me travelling far and wide in search of not just unique fishing, but unspoilt places far from other anglers. I guess as you get older different things become important and you definitely get choosier and from a personal perspective this is definitely the case. Now I love to fish in Europe, but as the number of carp anglers in England has grown by an incredible amount, it means I have to search harder every year for my own little piece of heaven.
These days of course travelling anywhere is expensive, but this does not deter me in my quest; indeed I now find myself driving further than ever before in a bid to discover truly wild carp fishing away from the crowds and this year has been no different.
Last autumn my good friend Trev and I headed out to France on our annual pre winter trip and invested our time looking at a new area that I’d been tipped off about from a like-minded Belgian friend. The area was a good slap from Calais, entailing a drive of nine hours! We stopped off en route in the east of the country to check out another water, but were greeted by cold conditions with night time temperatures below zero. Upon checking the weather via the net it appeared that our furthest intended destination looked to be much warmer, despite being at much higher altitude in the mountains, so we pressed on toward Lyon before branching off.
We arrived in the mountain valley well into dark and stopped at the nearest lake in the chain where we put the beds out for the night and crashed out exhausted from the long drive. Arriving in a new area in the dark is so difficult, but Google earth has made research prior to a trip so much easier and enables me to get postcodes to punch in the sat nav which gets me straight to any lake without hours getting lost trying to get to the water.
Waking in the morning and reaching for the kettle I got my first look at the high peaks that surrounded us on all sides and what a sight to wake to - it was simply breath-taking! We spent the day wide eyed; exploring some of the many lakes in the valley and to say we were excited would be the understatement of the century.
Not only were the lakes crystal clear and beautiful, they also showed very little signs of being fished, which only served to get us keener by the minute. By late afternoon we had worked our way right along the valley and decided to check out just one more lake before making a decision and setting up somewhere for the night. Well would you believe it, we had only just pulled up at the water’s edge at the final lake when a big fish crashed out close to shore and not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth we grabbed the rods from the car and hurriedly set up a rod each. Within minutes I was by the water’s edge and ready to cast a rod with a stringer of boilies attached to where we had seen the fish show. The cast went down in deep water no more than twenty yards from the bank, as did Trev’s, and we returned to the car to make a sandwich and survey the scene. There was a warm wind blowing into us down the full length of the lake and it looked really good for a bite, so it was no surprise when after only a few minutes my rod was away to a ripping take. The fight was erratic as you’d expect from a fish that didn’t know what was going on, but eventually I had it in the net . The first bite from anywhere is always memorable, but as I took in my surroundings and breathed lungful’s of the clean fresh mountain air, I realised that this place really was magical. Needless to say, we spent the remainder of the trip leapfrogging from lake to lake up and down the valley and both of us enjoyed some great sport. For the first time in a long time I really didn’t want to leave as I loved it there so much, so I left for home after a very tiring trip with a heavy heart, but there was absolutely no doubt that we’d be back as soon as possible!