"The young lad was doing his best to learn the art of spinning for perch and pike. Below him, the powerful river roared and swirled in a foaming torrent. High above the young angler a huge willow towered, but every now and then his small spinner snagged in the lower branches. The young man's uncle, yet again, risked life and limb to retrieve the spinner and offer words of encouragement."
Many years passed by, but the young man never forgot his uncle's kindness and passion for angling, for he, too, now had angling firmly embedded in his soul.
Recently lots of text messages and the odd phone call sailed back and forth between my uncle and myself. We eventually planned to meet and fish together on a famous Cornish reservoir, which was around forty acres and situated in a magnificent rural setting - indeed the only noise you`d be likely to hear is from the local farms.
Sadly the last time I had fished the venue was in the early 90s, just before the venue was closed for so-called 'essential maintenance'. This caused huge uproar and sadness to many local anglers, as the lake is truly special.
Anyway, this lake is up and running again and some say better than ever before. As mentioned above, the phone calls revolved around the tackle, tactics, and, of course, bait.
Now my uncle [let's get over the formalities] Phil is definitely no stranger to the bait, tackle and fishery management/owner world as - in the past - he owned and managed the famous Sky lakes in France, a bait boat manufacturer, founder member of a very famous bait company...[which use Haith's ingredients]. He's also a record holder of the most 20lb plus fish in a season from a day ticket lake...and so on. So I was very happy when he asked for a small heads up on products from the Haith's stable. This led to a phone conversation between Phil and Simon [head man at Haith's]. Anyway, it wasn`t long before many, many kilos of the finest Haith's ingredients were winging their way to Phil's home.
A date was set to meet and angle; slowly, the days ticked by, until it was time to meet up once again and angle in earnest.
Phil was to travel down from up country, a night time jaunt of some six hours. I had to be ready to meet Phil at the lake at 6am as I only live half an hour or so from the lake. The excitement of it all meaning that as usual, I couldn`t sleep one iota. So I arrived at the waterside an hour earlier just as the mist was rising from the mirror-like surface of the lake. I made myself a coffee on my mini Trangia and watched the water excitedly for any carp activity. My phone rang, and it was Phil. I drove to meet him and escort him to the lake. We shook hands, had a laugh or two then we got down to the serious business of the carping.
We settled on two swims near to each other, and the car park...yes that's right, we didn't need or want to walk miles, and as the shower/toilet and water tap was nearby. So, all was perfect...It didn`t take Phil long to set up home and although I had to wait for what seemed an eternity for the angler in situ, in the swim nearby, to slowly pack down, I, too, was soon set up and angling...
Interestingly, Phil was set up in the very same swim that I last fished in the early 90s, and I put this down as a good omen.
I have written quite a number of blogs about my adventures and I thought I`d dedicate this one to Phil...
Phil tells me that he mixed Haith's Red Band [the famous pigeon conditioner] and the awesome new SuperNut ground bait 50/50 as a carrier for his spod mix. It wasn't long before he was methodically picking his spots with the spod and markers, and then casting his rigs to them. His traps being baited with Icelandic Red Caviar and cream pop-ups.
Although we were both a tad tired after the lack of sleep and Phil's long journey down plus -as you'd expect - we talked into the early hours... Eventually, though, we decided to get our heads down,but both agreeing to let each other know if anything occurred from the carp...
All I can remember is the crunch, crunch of the gravel - then this excited voice saying, 'I've got one in the net!' Quickly, I donned the wellies and shot over to the next door swim. In the net, safely waiting in the margins, was Phil's first ever Cornish carp. This was a nice moment to cherish for both of us.
After releasing the common carp, hands were shaken - congratulations proffered and it was indeed happy times. Just as I'd hoped.
I returned to my shelter pleased for Phil. And I soon drifted off to sleep once again...
I have no idea how long I slept for because I again heard Phil calling out for me...something along the lines of, 'I've got one! It's a ballistic battle!` Again I carefully walked to Phil's swim and - in the margins once again - peacefully lay a lovely common carp. He'd done it again! Hands were again shaken and photos were taken. After all the excitement, I really was whacked and fell into a deeper sleep in my shelter.
In the morning, I had a text message from my very good friend John (aka Green Giant), he too used to fish the famous lake in past times and was anxious to join us and meet Phil.
I had planned to fish for three nights, a real treat for me and Phil for five nights,`Green giant' who by now had arrived, was now fishing a long way away from us and was jokingly calling himself `Billy no-mates!`
It was at this point that the weather came in a tad grim and we all agreed it had a detrimental effect on the fishing. In fact, at that point, it went dead - not even the marauding perch in the margins showed.
Although the weather had cleared somewhat, it was soon time for me to pack up and leave. Phill was planning on doing a further two more nights and I was envious as I was sure the lake would soon give up some more of its precious jewels. However, work and bills were calling.
After the trip, Phil and I planned to meet up for a family meal and a much-anticipated game of darts - again something we both enjoy! (We've both previously played to a high standard).
Whilst at work [up a ladder!] my phone indicated that indeed Phil had again seen the carp gods smile upon him as he was saying the fishing had picked up and that he was still continuing to bait up with his special Haith's spod/spomb mix. I think Phil ended up with eight lovely Cornish carp to over twenty pounds. Not bad for someone who`d never fished the lake before! Certainly, he felt using the Haith's products gave him a significant edge to his already honed carp angling...
Anyway, we did indeed meet up for a meal with all my family and a game of darts, which was fantastic. Good times with great company plus my 138 check out was nice!!!
Just before Phil left he was handed a homemade `Pasty pie' to eat on his long journey home, made from real steak by a proper Cornish maid of the moor.
Enjoy your fishing and the countryside.