After my first foray on the canal last week I was keen to return and have another go at the carp that had been appearing nightly in my dreams. But the combination of a decent case of man flu and my still lingering hangover from Friday nights drinks with Jeff, Keith and Pete rendered me incapable of getting up any where near early enough for the canal. So I instead opted to spend a few hours at Ryton.
After coughing and sneezing the whole way there I took some time and stood on the duck platform trying to spot any signs of fish. The only other angler on the lake was Andy who was on morris's. After waving him good morning he yelled over that he had already had a few runs. A quite morning in the woods away from the busy road bank seemed like a good idea. So after getting my gear I wheezed my way round to the log swim down the bank from Andy.
Feeling a bit lazy due to my delicate condition I set up both rods with a method feeders with the idea of punching them onto the gravel bar on the centre of the lake and leaving them well alone. I had already cast one out and was in the process of making the method ball for the other when a nice carp breached a little to my left. I never look a gift horse in the mouth and cast that one within ten feet of the jumping fish. With everything set up and my rods fishing silently away for me on the indicators I wandered off to the empty swim in between me and Andy to chat to him.
Andys baits were getting regular attention from something and whilst he recast one of his rods I went back to my peg to check everything out. As I did one of my indicators began screaming and I began running. Lifting the rod It felt very solid, weedy solid that is. The line was going straight out and the fish was swirling twenty feet to my left. All I could do was hold tight and see if it fancied giving me a break, which it eventually did and kited straight into my other line! After threading my rod up and over my second rod a couple of times it was finally in open water and ready for the net. It was defiantly the same carp that jumped, a stocky common of 11lbs.
That was it for my bites for the morning. Though Andy managed to hook a suspected ghosty which weeded him up and then bagged a nice tench before we both left.
As we walked round the lake and we got near the disabled peg we began to see dark shapes just below the water. There must have been between twenty and fifty carp of all sizes cruising round in the shallow water.
We were like kids looking in a sweet shop window watching as more slowly appeared and others left. Though none of the fish we saw were monsters, the huge number of smaller carp can only mean good things for the future of this lake.