The good – good for me anyway – start to the coarse season has continued. I returned to Cuckoo Drain on Monday evening and caught a nice bream of about five or six pounds, and two tench. Both the tench were probably nudging five pounds which, considering we didn’t see anything over about three last season, was nice. Then yesterday evening I fished Wallington Hall for the first time this season and caught a carp of almost ten pounds. However, as happened on numerous occasions last season the session ended with me feeling slightly puzzled and frustrated. I caught the carp at about half-past-five, and with the weather being nicely overcast – in fact it rained for about half-an-hour – I was expecting the evening’s sport to be good. But it wasn’t. I didn’t get another bite, and ended up wishing I had gone to Cuckoo Drain again. At least there when twilight falls you know the tench are going to start biting, and at Wallington, because you have to be off before dusk I always feel a bit under pressure.
I find human beings have a disturbing propensity to want to tidy, cut, chop, disturb and generally piss about with nature. I fully understand that the countryside is managed; it’s farmed so to a certain extent has to be; we don’t live in a natural landscape. However, there’s always someone who wants to cut lillies out, remove dead trees, move fish from lake to lake, etc. etc. Leave well enough alone, and the fishing would improve I have absolutely no doubt; I’m also sure the fish would get bigger. The lillies and the dead trees are a natural part of the lake. In river restoration currently the trend is to introduce dead trees – large woody debris – not take them away! And yes lakes are not rivers, but trees die and fall down; sometimes trees next to rivers and lakes die and fall down – leave them there. The trees and the lillies are not only the fishes protection from predators, but also their larder.
The other evening at Cuckoo Drain I was speaking to someone who said the Internal Drainage Board are considering dragging or dredging the weed out. I hope they don’t, but at the same time the drains were originally designed and dug for drainage purposes, and if it is necessary then I suppose it must happen. But it will kill the fishing for weeks.