Caught by the River

In The Prescence Of Leney Carp…..

16th July 2007

….Justin & Jeff caught Crucians

They were a real surprise and it was such a beautiful place. Couldn’t believe that day really. Read a mention of the ponds on the Waterlog forum and off we went to Hampshire.
It was midweek and the first day in ages that rain wasn’t forecast ( it lied.). I never really mind the rain but after Glastonbury and the weekend that Andrew and I had just had in Dorset, I really fancied staying dry.

6.45 am and out of Shepherds Bush. An hour later and we drove off of the main road and into dense woodland. We parked up and were straight out of the car and onto the path in search of the water. What was suddenly revealed was mindblowing. A lake that fed a lake that fed another. Surrounded by trees. Tall, old trees with gorse and heather underfoot. We followed the water down the hill not knowing which lake to fish first, wanting to see them all before deciding.

At the bottom lake our minds were made up. “Look at all those Carp”. Easy one.

There were six, ten, twelve of ’em, all grabbing some sun. Bugger, forgot the bread.

Justin started to set up and I took a stroll round the lake, baiting up a few promising spots. Under the tree, next to the lily pads, hemp, corn and caster. Other side of the raft of pads, red maggots. The place had a mystery about it, no doubt.

All the time, there were Carp swimming past on the surface. The sun giving the water a green glow.

Set up, with a small waggler a few inches over depth, Justin was first in. Maggots on the hook and a pinch thrown at the float. Straight away, a small Roach. In again, straight away, “what’s this?”. It was a Crucian. The one in the picture. Yes!! I love Crucian Carp but rarely fish waters that they live in. So, there are Crucians in here, some cracking Mirrors that may be linear and descended from Leney stock…..on cue, the bailiff arrived.

Brilliant, slightly bonkers bloke who asked our names (not for the ticket just a polite chap), told us his (I’ve forgotten. doh), then told us all about the lakes. He’s a local, about 65 I reckon, known the place all his life. He’s one of us but only on rivers. He confirmed that they bought Carp from Donald Leney in 1957. He couldn’t remember how many fish, but he still has the receipt. He’ll show me next time. He says that two or three of ’em are still alive. He’s seen them in the water but not on the bank. Fifty year old, linear Carp, were in the lake we were fishing! He reckoned that all the Carp in there are descended from that original stock ‘cos it hasn’t been stocked since. With anything. That’s Crucians (“you could fish for nothing else, all day”), Tench, Roach, Perch and Rudd. Last stocked Fifty years ago with all those species. “What about Eels?” asked Justin, bringing in a 12 inch ‘lace. “no eels in here” he said. Said the same about Trout too and I got a six inch Brownie on a worm a little later. But as I said earlier, just bonkers, not a ‘shitter.

The place is hardly fished. A couple of young lads came down with bread and biscuits and tried getting one off the top but were roundly ignored. One of the boys had actually had a ten a few weeks before, so it’s possible, but it’s the magical atmosphere of the place that’s drawing me back. That and the fact there are mad old Carp in there. Obviously.

We got a couple more Crucians each, I got a couple of nice Perch, Justin had a bag of Roach, the surprise Brownie…then it rained. Absolutely pissed down.

Home. Listening to Joe Purdey, all the way back to the Bush. Knowing that I was gonna dream well tonight.