Bit Of A Plan
James announced he had booked France again , back to where hippos swim , with his best mate John as company . We quickly booked paying for Sue to fish gave us 4 options on swim choice , but we also hatched a cunning plan between us. James was keen to fish off the dam wall , with John fishing the main body of water and the entrance to the bay to his left ( lake is sort of Y shaped ) . We decided if we fished opposite John we could fish the entrance to the other bay , but more importantly leave the bays as day only / short session areas to give the fish a chance to move into . With the swims already sorted the trip down was a less rushed affair . James and John decided on the train crossing , as they like it , also they had Neo the swimming machine to book in via the pet passport . Me and Sue took the ferry , more laid back , obviously an hour longer , but it breaks up the driving and you can have a coffee and food . This time we all agreed to go via Paris as we kept getting reports that it knocked off about an hour off the drive , so as we rolled off the ferry we knew the lads would be hoofing it in front of us , so i hit the cruise control and headed south after them . We gave it the beans at the speed limit for long stretches , cut around the périphérique ( their M25 ) and stopped for a break at one of the many fantastic picnic areas that litter the empty roads over there . We then found out that the "faster train" was in fact held up with the boys now chasing us down , catching us just north of Limoges. A stop for beer etc 5 miles from the lake then see us pull up at our bit of heaven , a place that i think about all the time , and a beer with Danny , now someone we regard a an old friend . Setting up was easy , dropping into the spots we had planned , with me and Sue doubling up we did cut our rods down to 4 between us a lot of the time to give us a bit of space . There was also another little plan that came up amidst the pre fishing watsap banter , as in fact there were 3 lakes there , a challenge was put out there of catching from them all . Apart from the main big fish water there is a little overgrown pool where the wildie common type fish were moved into during a drain down of the main lake , these were fantastic colored commons that nobody bothered with , and it left the pool untouched. There was also a bigger water up the valley that had been stocked , and with some work in the future it will become another carp lake , but it still had few swims , just a couple of clearings really . So there lay the plans , and another week in paradise started . I wont go through the story as it happened , but because some of the captures were a story in their own right I will tell the tales .
Something happened early on , first morning actually that carried on all week in a sort of ritual . I got up in the first warm rays of the sun looking through a gap in the trees i could see James sitting with Neo outside his bivvy , Sue then made a cup of latte , and took it round to him , and this pattern went on all trip . It was during one of my stretches as i got up that i looked across to see if James was up only to see him hanging onto a rod , so i scooted round . I manned the net , but the fight in the deep margins was long with deep swirling boils coming up . Eventually the fish rolled into the net , and he hoisted up a carp I would dearly love to catch . Incredibly long brute of a fish with a big scale on its lateral line , we was blown away , he had broke the 50lb barrier again . I knew that no mater what came out , that was my fish of the week .
What a fish , I covert that fish , one of 3 over 50lb for James.
With John catching opposite me in the entrance of the bay with fish up to 40lb , and James picking off gooduns on the dam wall I was scratching my head . Im absolutely sure that fish passed over our area , perhaps not stopping long enough to make a mistake . Sue had a little look in the top corner of the long bay to my right , and see some fish tucked up under a bush , so it was time to put part of our plan in action taking a couple of rods etc I was going to spend part of the day snag fishing . Now my record in this bay is poor , but Jame knew the swim well extracting them relentlessly last trip . He had come up with idea of wading around the edge in an arch lowering the baits in front of a cave in the overhanging trees that he had seen the use . I went armed with my waders , and he came out first drop to show me their path . I was worried about a new snag down to the right , a big dead bushy tree laying in the water , but was assured by no1 son it would not come into play . 2 rods were lowered in a i sat with waders ready locked up tight waiting for the tip to pull round where no line would be given . A couple of hours in and on bleep from the delkim see the 3 1/4 tc rod at full compression in the rest ! . I hung on fro grim death walking stederly away from the snag . It worked as James predicted , but as i predicted it swung out into open water pulling hard for the snagy tree . It pilled in just beyond it with little i could do with the angle i was at . I jumped into the waders walking to the tree taking up the line genteelly , with Sue standing with the net on the bank . I got to the rig slowly teasing the tubing up when up popped a 30lb+ common as good as gold just sitting there . It then pulled hard for the middle so I played it out in the lake after Sue threw me the net . I loved every second of that fish , guiding it in the net it just felt right to slip the hook out and lower it back in without the hassle of lifting it ashore . I kissed its head as she went back , with Sue saying the whole episode looked awesome from the bank . They bay was to give me something else to think about as well !.
Under the rod top on a Brazil nut.
Sue had stated before we went that all she wanted to catch was a 20lb+ fish , as she struggled with the real super tankers , but the week was to be more varied for her with our plan of the 3 lake challenge . I woke to another glorious day with the sun beaming through the bivvy door , and as i stretched my back outside i see James sitting outside his bivvy waiting for his coffee . Just then i herd Johns buzzer scream and we sat on the grass watching the fight from across the lake . John called across saying it was defiantly a good 50lb+ and could i pop round and do the pics . I passed James on the way , and was more or less dead opposite Sue when I herd her buzzer scream out , what a pickle because now James had to wind in as help his mum with the net . The next 15 mins was unreal , as I weight and photographed a 60lb fish for John , and we stood watching Sue play and land the upper 20 mirror she requested , then we all wound in for a proper full English , as it was job done for Sue .
Sue , happy with her twenty .
John , happy with a 60 !
Got to say that James fished like a machine all week , fishing tight to a tree line see him picking off fish fairly regular , but he had a cunning plan as well . There was a little area , an old swim in fact to the left of the trees he was casting across to where he planned to cast a rig as close to as possible , then he walked round in his waders picking up his line with a spare landing net pole . All it was left to do was to walk along the tree line to his baited area dropping the rig , then taking up the slack back at the rod . Although the area was fairly shallow the trick worked , giving him rewards for all the hassle . Iv always said he is the best caster iv fished with , and he constantly dropped the bait on the money beside a tree across the lake , where i was often waiting with a bucket of bait to drop on top . These top tactics see him land 3 over 50lb during the week along with other 40,s and 30lb mirrors and commons.
A proper French lump , I love them , another over 50lb with the clever tactics he used .
After a few days the 3 lake challenge raised it head as James and John grabbed minimal tackle and maximum beer heading off to the bigger lake to try and catch from the lake that was new to all of us . Me and sue grabbed a couple of rods baited with sweetcorn ,a float rod with a pint of maggots , and cheese and french stick . In the blazing sun we sat in the shade under trees fishing a glorious overgrown pool . We got a few Rudd , roach and perch going fishing sprayed maggots on the drop when Sues rod that she flicked around a near bush absolutely melted off , making us both jump a mile , and it see Sue hanging on just as much as the with the massive chunks next door . This happened a couple of times , magic stuff , magic fish long lean lovely wildie commons , and this obviously see the second lake ticked off for Sue so we had a wander up to where James and John were fishing to see what they were up to . I could hear them laughing from 100 yds away , walking into the rough clearing they were fishing from Johns rod blasted off !. In fact it was one of many bites they had from a spoded area out towards the middle of the lake , with bites coming regular they told me stories of fierce fights from mid to upper double fish , and spectacular takes as well . They were thinking of packing up after catching around 10 fish in a afternoon session when James pointed out the fish had probably never seen a bait on the far margin tree line . It was a fair cast but after a couple of attempts he dropped it right in a bay on the tree line . Not bothering with buzzer he just laid the rods on a tree stump . Not long after he made us jump leaping forward winding down of a fish tanking across the front of us , watching them both playing fish I could see that the tales of how hard they fight was true , and even James turning down a run forcing John to pick his rod up !. I thought it was best that me and Sue got in on the action the next day . We almost repeated their action the next day , we wandered up late morning on a scorching day with james dog Neo as company , and I just cast Johns spod rod out to the clip dropping 2 rods together on the bait . The first take was just the rod shaking , with the fish falling off half way back . Sue commented that it was not the melting runs she loved , but was to regret that as the rods constant action see her knackered in the end . But as the first of her mirrors slipped over the net the 3 lake challenge was complete .
The magic pool , Sue hanging on , and the lovely lake up the valley
As i sat in the dentist chair , I thought yep , worth it all day long .
How can you finish off a week like that ?. Well we packed down a lot of the gear on the Friday evening so we could chip off as early as possible the next morning , having time for a big brekkie to send us north on that 600 mile mind numbing drive . John called across saying he had a 40lb mirror to photograph , so we started the last of the packing . I herd John shout over about James moving swims on the other end of the dam with literally 1 hour to go , was it worth it ? . 10 mins later I herd him call out that he had a double take ! , you could not make it up. I ran round to help and what followed was a fantastic piece of angling in a serious situation . During the double take the line on one of the reels ha tangled behind the spool somehow , and caused a bit of a birds nest . There was no way line could be retrieved at all . I maned the net as far out in the water as possible , but even walking back the fish would not come close enough . The fish swam past the net by about 10 foot , in the clear water a blatant 50lb+ although I never told him that until later , so something needed to be done . James walked up to me , standing above me as i crouched down playing the fish as a fly fisherman would , stripping and giving line at the butt ring . The fish used its weight , powering off a few times but the fight was won and a massive cheer went up , absolutely quality bit of angling . With minuets to go of our week in France the fish were hoisted up together , an epic end to and epic week .
Friends from kids , friends for life , fly fishing tactics catch 50`s .