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Get camping...and fishing

June’s blog had a real treat install. Not just fishing, but three days camping. I love camping, it reminds me of being a Cub Scout, camping at Drum Hill near Derby. Of summer nights in the back garden, a small white canvas tent, no groundsheet like these modern tents.

Anyway, I headed back to Springwood Fisheries where I’d camped two years ago, but due to the pandemic, I hadn’t had the chance to go last year. I chose a quiet pitch near the woods at the top of the field, and after setting up basecamp and having the obligatory cup of tea, water boiled on a stove, I headed for the top lake.

I set up my 12’ split cane rod and Mitchell Match reel and fished a peg between some reeds, with lily pads to the right. Fishing a small balsa waggler, size 16 hook and a single red maggot I cast near the lilies, and it wasn't long before a fin-perfect Roach took the bait.

It was a warm day with some clouds and as the afternoon wore on, I enjoyed the sun on my back, landing Roach and Ide steadily until it was time to eat. Fish and chips washed down with a few enamel mugs of Shiraz and then back to the same peg to fish until dusk.

I'd chatted with a few fellow piscators during the afternoon, one of which was disappointed he hadn’t caught any of the Crucian Carp, which were plentiful in the lake. As the evening’s fishing ended, I discussed tactics, methods and the charity match taking place on the bottom lake the next day.

The next morning, after a cooked breakfast, I headed back to the top lake via the bottom lake to watch the charity match for a while. I got plenty of complimentary comments about my old cane rod, Mitchell Match reel and greenheart landing net handle from nostalgic anglers with thousands of pounds worth of carbon-fibre poles with their different end sections and matching seat boxes. I’m biased towards older tackle but I do wonder when people say how fantastic Mitchell reels were/are, why people don’t still use them. Especially when they’ve “got one somewhere the shed.”

I left the anglers to their match, 40lb won by the way, and being a creature of habit, went back to the peg I’d fished the day before. My rod still set up, I took the hook from a line guide, threw out a handful of red maggots, place one on the hook and cast out. Once again I was catching quickly and probably catching the same fish I’d caught and returned the day before! It is interesting how we anglers can sit in the same place and catch the same fish day after day. I think it’s part of just switching off, enjoying your surroundings and, of course, the fishing. Day two went much like the first, a satisfying days fishing. The match finished about 4 O’clock and I went and chatted with the anglers congregated on the bank of the bottom lake.

My evening meal consisted of stove-cooked chicken curry and rice, and enamel mugs of Shiraz. In the evening the temperature dropped, and the wind got up, so I decided not to fish. Instead, settling for an evening of Shiraz, reading the latest issue of Fallon’s Angler and an early night.

The final day began with sausage, egg, baked beans and coffee, and as I enjoyed my al fresco breakfast, I wondered what to do next. Fishing for the whole day felt like it may be a bit of an anti-climax, so I read for a while and enjoyed the sounds of the woods. Then I packed up basecamp, fished for a while and used the last few handfuls of maggots before heading home.


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