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   Old Thread  #101 7 Jan 2017 at 4.46pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #100
Stalking on Rashleigh had been a great preparation for the smaller lake and there were quite a few places where baits could be seen on the lakebed and the carp's reaction to them assessed and noted. Thus we arrived at what seemed like optimum levels for the various EOs Tim and Bill sent down. By the end of the summer of (iirc) 1983 me and Tat had compiled a table showing the results we had observed to varying levels of inclusion of the oils and these were gratefully accepted by the pair as a good starting point for their yet-to-be-formed bait company. These tests were ongoing throughout the three years of testing prior to the official launch of Nutrabaits.

I was also sent the prototypes of the three Addits, Addit Attract (amino acid-based), Addit Taste (nucleotide taste enhancers-based) and Addit Digest (enzyme-based). At the time we got them they came in the form of unlabelled tubs of powder with instructions written on the tub in black felt tip; the labels came later when Nutrabaits was launched.



I'll go into more detail about our progression deeper and deeper into the murky world of carp bait later on but for the moment suffice it to say that not only were we very excited to be taken on by Tim and Bill C, we were also astonished! After all, what had we ever done to demonstrate our skills, or lack of, to them? Sure, Tim knew my thoughts on bait following our lengthy correspondence and my results on College and other venues, but to be honest they didn't know me from Adam and so I guess it was simply a matter of trust in me on their part to do the testing properly. I think it may have been partly due to our results on a venue they both knew well, though we didn't know it at the time. We had been travelling up to Waveney Valley Lakes with Speedy Bill for about three years prior and had caught a few. To be honest I think this was mainly down to Bill's bait knowledge but we coat-tailed him admirably! This is Speedy with a Waveney (E lake) mid twenty common from about 1981.



As I say, Waldon was the perfect venue to test baits, as we could actually see them feeding. Sadly it is to my lasting regret that we didn't do more photos of Waldon as it was back then, as it was once the most glorious little pool you can ever wish for. The banks were steep, heavily overgrown and there were only three or four actual swims on the whole lake. Sadly in the early 00s the Club in its wisdom decided on another of its infamous (IMO) 'tidies', tearing out the snags, removing most of the trees, plants and bushes, and building silly little platforms all around the lake that had now lost so much of its original character. This is Tat playing a small Waldon carp in the late 80s. Note the ironworks on the right a deadly snag that the carp knew all about!

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   Old Thread  #100 5 Jan 2017 at 3.19pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
Up until the early 80s I had no interest in bait other than what would catch carp and what would not. I'd been through all the old school trends; breadflake, floating crust, luncheon meat, even potatoes, but until my pal in Surrey got into carping in the Home Counties, which in turn got him more into bait, I was not at all well versed in the subject.

Then, as you'll know if you have followed these tales so far, I got into sea angling, which in turn lead me to getting to know Bill through the Hurst Deep Sea Angling Club. Initially he too was not interested in carping being, like me, well into sea angling. However, after we moved away from the London area and moved to Cornwall to work the wrecks with John, Bill and his mate Keith started fishing for carp and this soon became an obsession. Naturally an interest in bait followed and when I told Bill that I too was interested getting back into carp fishing he got me into the Ockenham Lakes Syndicate run by Peter Mohan.



Particle bait fishing was all the rage at the time and eventually my angling progressed along the lines of: General coarse fishing > so-called Specimen Hunting > Cut Mill 1968 > Bill 1974 > carp fishing > Ockenham 1978 > particles > Haith's of Cleethorpes 1978 >ingredients > boilies > SW carping > Robin Red > better baits > more knowledge > Carp Society 1981 > Devon & Cornwall ROs > regional meetings > Tim Paisley & Bill Cottam 1982 > Pre-Nutrabaits 1983 > my growing ability and growing success 1983 onwards > Formation of Nutrabaits > Bingo! Simple when you look at it like that!



Our association with the Carp Society gave me the confidence to write to Tim for advice on the more complex aspects of carp bait and to my surprise he not only replied to my, what must have seemed, highly naïve questions, he also more or less took me under his wing as an apt pupil, as SK might say. At the time Tim was working on developing a more advanced carp bait and he had a team of testers working with him on Darenth and other venues down south, along with a few trusted friends based in Sheffield, one of them being Bill Cottam. Tim Paisley was a huge influence on my early thinking on bait, my guru, if you like.



Tim and Bill were also testing ingredients and mystical potions in conjunction with Nick Elliot, working out of his tackle shop in Sheffield called Bankside Tackle. Some of the attractors they were experimenting with were essential oils and for some strange reason I was invited to test some of these for Tim and Bill. I had no idea that they were thinking of starting Nutrabaits but when the company was eventually formed in 1987 I had been working with Tim and to a lesser extent Bill for four years, which put me onto some pretty useful secrets of the time.



By happy coincidence we had started fishing Waldon Pool for the carp that had been moved across from Rashleigh following the Broughton Report on how to develop the later as a good specimen carp fishery. While they were not exactly thriving in Waldon, they were pretty as a picture and more than willing to approach a carpet of test boilies scattered before them on the shallows of the four-acre pool.
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   Old Thread  #99 24 Dec 2016 at 4.14pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #97
Thanks for the "South West Memories" Ken. It must take a while to compile it all but it's much appreciated.

Hope you and the wife have a happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Kind regards.
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   Old Thread  #97 19 Dec 2016 at 3.53pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #96
The originals found a new lease of life and even dear old Busted Tail climbed to mid twenties, with others touching and even passing 30lb. This was the heyday of the Club when everything in the garden was rosy. De-stocking Rashleigh and creating a much improved water quality and getting more light onto the margins all helped increase productivity but no matter how hard we tried there were always a few of the Suicide Squad that evaded capture so we carried on plugging away, moving them when caught into Waldon or to other of the Club's lakes. They were pretty as a picture and many of these little beauties were retained to be grown on in a stock pond. This is committee member Tony Chipman (remember him from my very first cisit to WR?)with one of the prettier ones.



Overtures were made to local angling clubs and after Section 30 consent was granted we sold some of the Suicide Squad but not before they enjoyed a year or two of comparative peace and quiet in Waldon. During this time a few of the Squad showed their true potential by cracking on the weight and believe it or not, after a few years we were able to start moving fish back into Wheal Rashleigh and other Club venues. Here Steve Churchill returns a nice chunky ex-Suicide Squad mirror to Rashleigh after catching it in Waldon where it had at last started to realise its potential.



Not all the Waldon transferees did well. Some of them remained in single figures, but others really jumped ahead.



All in all, the Broughton Report did exactly what it said on the tin. The Club's finances thrived as more members joined, we extended the number of quality carp waters in the club and soon the program had proved so successful that we had to close the books on new membership for a while. By now Roche AC had probably half a dozen twenties and at least three thirties in Rashleigh plus a high thirty and back up twenties on the Club's other venues. Brilliant…



Too good to be true? Of course it is when the otters arrived...but that sad tale comes a bit later. In the meantime a lot of good fishing was enjoyed by one and all. Waldon especially became me and Tat's me's our new home from home as we discovered an almost totally unfished stalker's paradise that was filled with ex-Rashleigh carp that were small but very willing!

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   Old Thread  #96 19 Dec 2016 at 3.51pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #95
While it lasted the stalking on Rashleigh was incredible and even as a steady stream of obstacles seemed to get put in the way of anybody who actually wanted to practice this wonderful form of fishing, we still managed to find a few new spots where we could drop the baits at our feet and then watch as they came in for a feed, and hopefully to make a mistake on a hookbait. The most productive were also the most inaccessible and a fair amount of jungle creeping was involved just to get a bait in the water. It was often hazardous, but always rewarding.



While we continued to enjoy Rashleigh it was clear that all was not well with the lake. We had expected the Suicide Squad to do well and gain weight, and while one or two did so, the majority remained at the 7-8lb mark. OK, that was double what they went in at, but nothing like what was hoped from them. Mind you, they still pulled your arms off and would always brighten up a dull day.



By now I had joined the Club Committee and other committee members were more sympathetic to the growing carp angling faction within the Club. The fact was that Rashleigh was in dire need of some expert loving care: the Suicide Squad was a pain in the arse, the water pH was low, natural food sparse and the water colour was getting worse with each passing season, so much so that stalking in the usual spots was nigh on impossible as you couldn't see if the fish were there or not. The root cause was the Suicide Squad that was eating every scrap of natural food, churning up the lake bed, discolouring the water and holding back the weight gains that should have been happening now that the lake was getting more heavily fished (more bait going in). The originals in particular were suffering.

We needed expert advice so the Club turned to Dr Bruno Broughton. I knew Bruno from NASA and it was decided to invite him down to prepare a report for us on what we could do to improve the lake. He identified the main problem more or less immediately, namely the sheer number of fish in there, which were directly responsible for all and any of the lake's other problems. He told us that we had to de-stock the lake of as many of the Suicide Squad as we could catch…Yes, catch! This would be a serious rod and line only effort as the topography of the lake bed, and the depth of the lake meant that netting was out of the question.

As for the banks, well the rhododendrons were talking over, growing out of control. It was these 'foreign' plants that were responsible for ruining the pH of the lake as they leech acidic substances into the soil which in turn is washed into the lake by heavy rain. At the time if I remember correctly the pH was in the low 6s so we needed to raise this considerably to at least pH 7.1 or higher. This would encourage natural food to thrive but first we needed to trim the bankside cover to allow more light to reach the shallower marginal areas of the lake. This in turn should allow the weed to grow which in turn would harbour yet more natural food. Finally the Club was advised to make the lake water more rich by adding well rotted horse manure in November followed by crushed limestone in the following March. This also would have the effect of encouraging natural life to thrive.

The lake next door also belonged to the Club, a gorgeous little four acre lake called Waldon Pond and this would make a great stock pond for the smaller carp until the Club decided what to do with them. This is the lake in all its glory.



The work was carried out by mainly the members of the committee, which by now was much more amenable towards the carp anglers and fellow committee members Steve Churchill, Tony Chipman and Nige Britton and myself were among those involved in getting this work off the pages of the Broughton report and making it a reality. Nothing happened overnight but in time Wheal Rashleigh thrived to such an extent that we had carp pushing on through the twenty and even the thirty pound barrier.
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   Old Thread  #95 19 Dec 2016 at 3.49pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #94
As carping's popularity continued to grow the Club's membership soared and much of the new membership comprised of comparatively inexperienced anglers, many of whom had a very cavalier attitude towards fishing in the snags. They thought nothing of getting a dozen takes a day and losing every fish! Something had to be done so in a way the committee's hand was forced and as detailed previously much of the area around Rashleigh was made out of bounds. Unfortunately the knock on effect was that members with a bit of gumption about them who could be trusted to stalk fish responsibly also had to suffer. It was desperately sad to loose so much of the prime stalking but such is modern carp fishing these days, the majority have to suffer because of the actions of the idiotic minority.

One of the most abused areas was the snags at the far end of the lake in the southern bay. These could be fished from a couple of swims in the bay and the sad sacks were deliberately casting into the thicket of branches, knowing full well that there was no chance whatsoever of getting a hooked fish out of the snags. Following a particularly nasty open meeting at which the Club Secretary, an old boy in his seventies was offered outside by a younger idiot who was nevertheless old enough to know better, the committee decided enough was enough and strung a rope across the bay buoyed up so as to form a floating barrier roping off the snags once and for all. Get out of that!



While single rod stalking as we had enjoyed it previously was now more or less lost, we did manage to get back among the fish by fishing areas generally ignored by other members. This is a small area of Rashleigh at the opposite end of the lake to the snags, behind what we called the Top Island. Compared to the rest of the lake this area is shallow and silty and as you can see what little weed growth there was at Rashleigh could be found at the top end of the lake. If you were quiet and unobtrusive you could stalk the fish all the way along the dwarf lilies on the right of the picture, and in the small set of pads in the middle of the photo.



The tree line, as usual invariably attracted carp and so the small bay became a new stalking area for us, as did the margins of the Top Island which were dotted with small areas of pads and other weed growth. In addition the trees on the island provided good overhanging cover

This is the set of pads at the top end of the lake. The Top Island is on the extreme left of the photo. The pads acted like a magnet to many of the members who fished the lake back then and while the carp did get in there, it was by no means one of their favourite feeding areas, as it was close to the car park and thus easy to get to and easy to fish so it got a fair amount of pressure.



This shows the rest of the island. The brickwork you can see is the old crib and equipment hut that dates back to the days when the lake was a working limestone open cast mine. The carp loved to get in there but it was impossible to fish as it was festooned with old equipment and the like. In addition the brickwork you can see is only a tiny part of what you cannot see below the water line. Snag city and no mistake.



The Top Island offered plenty of scope to anyone willing to stalk fish as there were sets of pads dotted all around its margin. The fish were not exactly shy of showing themselves, just shy of picking up a bait!



Funnily enough the track on the far side of the Top Island, while pretty slippery and muddy, was not one of the out of bounds areas so it was possibly to get right round the back to fish to the pads where the fish loved to patrol on sunny days. The most effective way of fishing the pads was with float gear but it was vital that you kept out of sight and avoided making the slightest sound. It was only a couple of rod lengths from the main bank to the pads and the fish were pretty twitchy. If they spotted you there were gone in a flash, same if your footfall was a tad too heavy. For this reason I used to fish with a couple of rods spread well apart, both on the float but also on front buzzers and rear rests. Then sit tight and pretend you are a rhododendron bush, resisting at all times to get off the chair to look at the floats.

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   Old Thread  #94 19 Dec 2016 at 3.48pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
We fished Long Chuck on and off for the best part of 25 years and I have to say, it was in its day the best swim on the lake. The swim gave me and Tat some wonderful memories to cherish. By now Long Chuck had become a very popular swim and it was not often that we found it free. However, when we did managed to get in there we knew that the cave and the far treeline was getting more pressured by the day. We still caught by casting tight, but one session when a botched chuck fell short and produced a fish almost on the drop, we found that fishing as much as ten yards off the trees produced more takes. Serendipity plays her part again! This is one of the old originals that fell to a bait dropped short, deliberately this time!



The east bay did not get a lot of attention once the path at the end of the bay was made out of bounds and stalking that area became impossible. However, we could still cast across to the stalking area, which often produced the goods if there was someone in Long Chuck. The swim there was called The Concrete after a broken concrete shelf that lay a few inches below the surface at your feet. I have no idea of its purpose but it did make a handy place to cast from if the big oak that dominated the swim decided it wanted to eat your rod tip!

One guy who fished there a lot was a nice old boy called Peter Rich who I have mentioned before. Pete would travel up from way down west from his home near Camborne and he nearly always fished The Concrete, and very accomplished at it he was. The cast required to hit the top of the shelf was tricky in the extreme, not a long cast but you needed to flick it underarm so as to get the lead and bait under the overhanging trees. If you missed the shelf the bait would either go straight to the bottom in about forty feet of water or end up in the brambles so accuracy and a strong nerve were prime requirements.

Pete fished locked up and thus stopped a hooked fish from reaching the snags, which took na strong nerve and strong gear. I enjoyed many long chats with Pete when he was fishing the concrete and he was one of the finest anglers I have ever met. He landed countless carp from the swim, casting with unerring accuracy to the shelf, never allowing a hooked fish to get up steam to reach the snags. Here's Pete in action playing a lively fish hooked on the shelf. Once the fish was clear of the bank and the snags he could take his time and play the fish out in the clear, deep water. In the background over Pete's shoulder you can probably make out some large coloured buoys, and I'll come back to these in a minute. Incidentally, if you know what you are looking for the stalking area we called Brackens is just about visible in the centre of this photograph, just to the right of the large bankside bush.



I had a lot of time for Pete. He was old school with a real pride in his carping, who respected the lake, the anglers on it and the fish it contained. I imagine he must have passed on by now as he was no spring chicken when I knew him. Pete was a member of the Carp Society (remember that?!) and I first met him at one of the regional meetings me and Tat held when we were ROs for the Devon and Cornwall region. He had a son, also called Peter and they often fished together at Horseshoe. Pete was a contemporary of Dick Walker, Fred J and others of that time. When he spoke you listened. I swear he was in league with the Devil for I never once saw him blank!

I last met Pete over twenty years ago and I had a huge respect for the guy. If he is still alive and anybody who reads this knows him, perhaps you could tell him about this blog. Here's Pete in a familiar pose!


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   Old Thread  #91 11 Dec 2016 at 2.51pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #90
I had not been sitting there long when the Abu's clutch sang out. I grabbed the rod butt and forced the rest of it up through the bracken so I could play the fish over the top of it. I had cleared a very small landing area to the right of the swim so I could net a fish without too much difficulty and after a very angry confrontation I landed a nice near-leather of fifteen pounds. This is the first fish to come from the swim we later called the Brackens



it was one of countless carp Tat and I caught from that tucked away little spot and I cannot begin to describe the incredible excitement we felt when those grey shadows materialised out of the black depths to feed avidly on the bait we would provide for them. Even when the bracken died down in winter and the cover was sparse those fish still came in for a bite to eat before bedtime! This is a sight that will gladden any stalker's heart.



I shall never forget one hot summer's day when Tat and I were fishing conventionally in The Bar swim. She said that she fancied a go in the Brackens, which was only about 75 yards away, so she wandered off with a bucket of bait, a single rod and landing net. I fished on through the hot afternoon and must have dozed off for I awoke with a start to hear her calling me. I dashed down to the Brackens and there was Tat with the rod in its full fighting curve as a big fish gave her grief. She played it like the old hand she was and eventually she landed a lovely old original of just over 24lb, a PB for Rashleigh and a very worthy capture. It was made all the more worthy by the fact that rats the size of cats kept running backwards and forwards over her feet as she sat like a statue on the bait bucket. A lesser man or woman would have cleared out sharpish! Not my Tat! This fish came to be known as Big Vern...? Ask me one on films!



Unfortunately we were sussed by a couple of members who had seen the commotion. Soon the word was out about the Brackens and in no time at all some bright spark had cut it all down to make room for a battery of three rods! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

Undaunted we kept one step ahead of the stop-having-too-much-fun brigade which seemed determined to turn the lake into a sterile wasteland where all the secret stalking places were deemed out of bounds. On any lake you will always find a few spots where nobody has thought of fishing and our decade or more of experience stalking at Rashleigh lead us to new areas to try, some good others no so good, but the magic of Rashleigh kept calling us back for more. Tat in full on stalking mode, pretending to be part of the undergrowth, rod tip sticking out only a few inches, waiting for the reel to scream as carp feed on the gravel right under the tip.

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   Old Thread  #90 11 Dec 2016 at 2.44pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #89
9. Before the new rules were imposed we caught more than our share from the far treeline, not just from Long Chuck but all the way along the main bank where more tempting caves could be found.



Sadly still more rules were introduced to make stalking ever more difficult and most of the far bank treeline was deemed out of bounds, not just no fishing but no walking either! Thus fully 40% of the previously available fishing was lost, along with some of the best stalking we have ever experienced. Here are just a couple of the old originals caught in Long Chuck, both stalking them from the far bank or casting across using the washing line method.





Crazed with power and a misplaced sense of their own competence, the committee then decided to make much of the area at the end of the small east bay out of bounds too! This was another of our favourite stalking spots, but it could also be fished conventionally from the swim called the Concrete. In a way this was understandable as the snags opposite the Concrete were long, thick and vicious but at the time nobody was stupid enough to cast into them as you would never get your gear back, let alone land a fish. This is a great angler and fantastic guy to talk to, Peter Rich. The Concrete was his favourite swim on Rashleigh and he knew it like the back of his hand and his casting accuracy meant he could put a bait in places nobody else would even consider, AND get them out every time.



One of our favourite stalking spots lay at the bottom of a long flight of steps that lead down from the top car park. 99.9% of the members continued walking when they came to the bottom of the steps. We didn't! The margin here was bright gravel, small stones and one of two larger rocks. The steep contours found elsewhere on the lake were nothing like so acute here and bait introduced right at your feet would stay put until the fish came along…which wasn't long! The bed of the swim was hidden from view by a long, thick stand of bracken growing at the water's edge. By gently parting the bracken the bright gravel lake bed was revealed. It clearly got frequent visits as there was no weed or silt to be seen. It was crying out for a hookbait!



You can just about make out the little orange boilies on the lakebed below my rod tip. These are early Richworth frozen Tuttis...I was getting into bait a little by now.



That swim was hugely productive for a time and each evening when I finished fishing I would pop a bit of hempseed and groats in along with a handful of boilies and hoped they would disappear overnight for my visit the following day.
Returning at first light I would creep into the swim and part the bracken (which I returned to its original state before leaving the previous evening so the swim didn't get clocked). I would bait up with a blend of hempseed, groats and a few Tuttis and sit down on my bait bucket with the Polaroids in place to see if the fish would put in an appearance. If anybody has spotted me sitting there I was rumbled but I had the lake to myself. Somebody could stand right next to the bracken and never know there was bait right at their feet, and not only bait, there were a few fish too. To see then go straight down on that bait carpet was a magical sight but I was in no hurry to disturb their meal. After about and hour they drifted out of the area and I felt it was safe now to put a hookbait there and some more free stuff.
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   Old Thread  #89 11 Dec 2016 at 2.43pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #88
By huge coincidence the first two carp I caught from Long Chuck were also the first two I caught on my very first visit, namely Busted Tail and the Big Common. This is the common.



As the carping membership grew in the 80s and 90s work was done to 'tidy up' the far bank to try to prevent too many anglers from chucking baits and leads up the trees. The undergrowth was trimmed back making the cave a bit more accessible without totally removing the cover that the carp clearly liked so much. This worked up to a point but as advances in rod and reel design allowed heavier leads to be used and longer casts to be made there was always plenty of line left festooning the trees after a long summer! To give the Club its due, they did remove a lot of the line on a regular basis but still the lead-eating trees ate their share. This more modern photo shows the swim in its late-80s guise.



Sadly the swim suffered again when a work party decided it would be a great idea to remove much of the woodwork that formed the cave in Long Chuck. The result neutered the swim making it sterile and unchallenging, a far cry from its former overgrown beauty. While they were at it they also cut back the Corner to such an extent that the previously voracious tackle-grabbing silver birches now stood alone, bare and stripped of all dignity. Now you could cast to the far bank with your eyes closed as there was nothing to get hung up on over there. It's carp fishing, Jim, but not as we knew it! This photo from 2014 shows Long Chuck after it was 'tidied'.



By now the number of carp anglers joining the Club had increased a fair bit and pressure on Rashleigh and Waldon next door was increasing year on year. However, the call of the far end of the lake seemed hard to resist for many and they walked straight past LC and even The Bar. This left me free to indulge myself in the swims to my hearts content, as if there was nobody in them I now preferred to fish from the far bank rather than cast across.

Of course, this was clearly out of the question if there was anybody fishing the main bank, which happened with increasing frequency as the years went by. However, this did not stop me from having a whale of a time fishing single-rodded round the back, watching the carp as they fed, even seeing them pick up (and reject at times!) the hookbait. I fished like this when ever the opportunity presented itself, which was happening less and less now as carping became more popular with local anglers. Then the Club decided to make the far bank out of bounds and this left little alternative but to cast across....Mind you, there was nothing in the rules to say we couldn't walk the far bank so we came up with a little wheeze that we had seen in use at Waveney in the early 80s. The washing line method. This is the far bank up the lake from Long Chuck showing some of the features to which we fished.



The only drawback to the washing line trick was the Suicide Squad! The number of times we would get a take from one of these little blighters who would invariably get to the bait ahead of one of the originals was most frustrating, as it meant the whole process had to be repeated time and again only for a member of the Squad to frustrate one's ambitions.

We bumped into quite a few of Rashleigh's originals in Long Chuck. While no size at all, this is one of them, a near-perfect leather displaying all the distinctive genetic traits of its birthright, the curtailed, deformed dorsal with almost non-existent rays.



The Suicide Squad came from a weak strain of carp that found it hard to make ten pounds but they were pretty as a picture and could always be relied upon to get the pulse rate up on an otherwise quiet day and there was always a chance that one of the big originals might pop in for a bite.


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   Old Thread  #88 11 Dec 2016 at 2.41pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #82
Meanwhile, back at Wheal Rashleigh...

We had not really given much thought to fishing elsewhere on Rashleigh, as we were catching so well in the Bar and the swim next to it, but we realised that sooner or later we would have to look at new areas on the lake. The first new area we fished was the swim that became known as Long Chuck. It acquired that name because even though the cast across was only some 30m longer at about 80m than the one we had been fishing previously, namely to the bar from the Bar Swim, that extra 30m was a long way given the rather limiting rods and reels we were using. The Google image shows Long Chuck as well as the other swims we had fished, the Bar, Next Door and the Beach. The red and blue dots are the areas we fished, namely the bar itself (red) and the snaggy corner (blue).



Though I did not appreciate it at the time, the whole of the far bank comprised much of the carps' patrol route and in later years we found out that as long as you could get the baits - freebies and hookbaits - to stay at the top of the steep underwater slope, you were in with a chance. Of course, if you were prepared to risk life and limb by going round the back and fishing at your feet, then you could more or less guarantee a) to keep the baits in the correct places, and b) to get at take. Unfortunately it could be a bit dodgy underfoot and if it had been raining and the bank was slippery it was lethal, but it was worth the risk.

This pic is of a couple of Roche AC members in action after hooking a fish on a bait cast across to the far trees. The single spindly birch tree on the extreme left of the picture marks the corner overlooking the Long Chuck casting area, with the treeline stretching away further to the left.



There was a lovely overhang across on the far bank and we had already discovered how much the Rashleigh carp liked to patrol the full length of that bank, passing between the 'caves' formed by the gaps in the treeline. Though there was a very small cave in Long Chuck it was pretty hard to get the cast right but to begin with getting right deep into the cave was not essential, though it certainly helped to get as close to the treeline as possible on the cast. However, in order to reach it meant dropping down to 8lb main line, which in turn meant risking a lead in the trees and lots of line left behind in the event that you had to pull for a break.

That said, anglers being anglers we tried ever harder to put a bait right into the cave if conditions allowed, though the trees on the corner to the right of the cave and those on the far bank behind it would eat a carelessly cast lead for breakfast! Risky? Yes, of course it was but bear in mind that tackle has advanced by leaps and bounds since those far off days when we first started fishing at Rashleigh and clipping up was unheard of as there were no line clips! In this photo taken from the Bar swim you can see the cut back from the corner to the tree line itself in Long Chuck.



The red dot on the right marks the far corner of the bank opposite the Long Chuck swim, while the left hand red dot shows the treeline to which we cast from the swim. I mentioned the far corner opposite the swim last time I wrote about Rashleigh and though at that time we did not even consider fishing there, later on, when we started fishing 'round the back', we cleared a small area of the undergrowth on this corner which allowed us to fish directly down the edge into the treeline previously fished from Long Chuck…But I am getting ahead of myself as all that jungle creeping came a bit later on.

Clearly the carp had become a bit wary of feeding on or behind the bar. Yes, it continued to produce and until we started fishing Long Chuck the Bar Swim was still the hottest we had so far fished on the lake. However, the prospect of fishing the far treeline from Long Chuck opened up further possibilities and to prove that point the first time I fished it I caught dear old Busted Tail at nearly 20lb in weight. Here's Busted Tail with the corner and the lead-eating trees and the far treeline clearly visible. You can also see the cave into which we attempted, and mainly failed, to cast the hookbaits.

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   Old Thread  #87 30 Nov 2016 at 5.37pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Another major flood of the Valency also occurred in 1958,where upon the local schoolmaster lost his life,as you rightly said it was a miracle no one lost their life this time..My brother lives where all the flooding happened,opposite the Riverside hotel...he lost virtually everything...

He was also a coastguard,and it affected him and the village greatly...

It will happen again down there,as there's been three similar incidents in living memory.
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   Old Thread  #86 30 Nov 2016 at 5.01pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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George Clooney...my arse!

Yes, Adam, the boat was named after the Boscastle river. Though that awful flooding took place over 12 years ago I can remember it as if it was yesterday. My mum was suffering full blown dementia at the time and she was convinced I had drowned in the floods, even though we lived on the south coat (Boscastle is on the north!) and there was no loss of life that day, a miracle in itself.
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   Old Thread  #85 29 Nov 2016 at 7.49pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
You really should bring a book out Ken, the ladies will love it with all those old photos with you looking like the thinking man's George Clooney
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   Old Thread  #84 29 Nov 2016 at 7.40pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
Thanks for sharing all this Ken,especially of interest is the Royalty piece,it was a place where I spent a lot of time in the 70s with my father...he caught a huge ,for that period barbel from the Royalty well over the 11lb mark in the early seventies' on bacon rind,he was in the angling press for it...

I can still remember the anticipation of going into Davis's tackle shop nearby...Also.....back in the eighties my father left Cornwall...never to return just to fish the Avon at Christchurch,he used to fish there regulary ,weekly until his passing..

Also the Valency,was she named after the trout stream in Boscastle,the river that destroyed the lower part of Boscastle along with the Jordan and Paradise streams which form the catchment into the harbour..it flows under my mothers house...!!!!!
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