Why do we go?
A question that is asked a lot to fisherman. “Why do you go fishing? You sit there for hours, days sometimes and when you catch you don’t keep it. You have a photo with it, weigh it and put it back.” “Yes putting the fish back is the best part” I reply.
I judge anyone to say it’s not exciting when your rod screams off and there’s a powerful fish on the end of the line!
When your down the lake you feel free, away from life’s problems, away from the outside world, even if you live just down the road.
This started for me when I was about ten, my mates said to me, “We are going up the river fishing.” I had never been before and said “OK”. We were lucky that Tim’s dad, Ken was a keen angler, he taught Tim and Niff, and they both taught me. This was the best way to learn no social media or YouTube vids, just knowledge passed down through the generations, the rest you worked out for yourself.
I had no gear but luckily my mates did. I remember Niff and Tim setting me up with a float rig attached to the last eye on a rod and I was set. “Watch the float when it goes under, strike!”
The Thames was a great place to be at that time, full of fish, no Crays or Otters. It wasn’t long before I had my first fish, a Gudgeon. That was it, I was hooked! This is where we would learn our craft, something that has been lost in fishing these days.
From then on all I got was fishing equipment for birthdays and Christmas. We would always go down the Thames around the Christmas holiday to try out our new gear, my birthday is on the 16th June so we always went down the Thames for that too.
The Thames was this magical place where we were free. We would sleep at each others houses then get up really early, ready to fish again. If we stayed at my house the old man would wake us up with a line that we loved,”Right lads hands of cocks on with socks” as young lads that was really funny. Get up, strap our rods to our bikes. and off we went. You couldn’t beat the summer mornings going through the village, off on another adventure.
For years we would go up the river chasing the dream fish, then we came across a lake called ‘Marlborough pool.’ An amazing lake with loads of character, steeped in history. A lot of our friends dads fished there, and other people we knew from the village. We started float fishing I remember on the day when we packed up for the summer holidays, me and Niff went there and caught loads of Rudd.
We then noticed that a lot of anglers were carp fishing. Catching what we would call monster fish, loads of mid double mirror carp and a dream fish known as Nelson. A 25lb plus old warrior, none of was lucky enough to catch him. But we caught plenty of carp, more than our fair share.
We would spend most of our summers up there, but that’s for another story.
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Thanks to Molly for the photos of the Thames https://www.flickr.com/photos/macfudge