Hopefully, by the end of October, I'll be back on The Other Pool. I haven't flung a line there since August, because some rule changes worried me. I'm glad to say that my concerns,
in some cases, have proved to be groundless and other worries have been resolved. The water is now members only, with no day ticket fishing allowed and absolutely no match fishing, of course; - but I will be allowed the occasional guest, which is important
to me. Even more important, I can bring my daughter too, for the occasional session. Previously, it seemed that all children, even in the company of adults, were to be banned. Meat baits will be allowed, on the hook only - a concession, but the ban on
floating baits will remain, and so I must live with that. However, I understand that zig rigs and suspended baits will still be OK. In actual fact, my best fish this year have fallen to bottom-fished bread flake, freelined close in. The finest boilies
known to man seem to fail there, because the fish have been largely left alone for two or three decades and they are used to Mother Nature's larder. The possibility of leaving this water made me realise how special it has become to me: it is still a virtually
unfished water with a largely unknown potential. The fish are mainly commons, and some members now think there may be 30lb commons in there, for some reason. I've certainly seen one very large common, but size is hard to judge at a distance - and
it was some way from the bank. In short, I believe it is the water I've been looking for all my life, because it offers a real touch of mystery. Fishing there reminds me of how much we have lost in our fishing. When Walker and Ingham cast into Redmire
and Woldale, they didn't really know what to expect. There were no named fish in those days and the size was anyone's guess. I want some of that!
I'm not sure if the pool
has ever been fished in the winter, - or whether it actually produces fish in the winter, but I expect I am going to find out. Unlike other ponds in my area, - which can be ridiculously easy - this snaggy little pool can be hard.
It is possible to blank there in the summer, let alone the winter.
The atmosphere of the pool is also sometimes "uncomfortable", but I like that with a carp pond. Strange
mishaps make me think that gremlins might be at work! - such as when a friend's bivvy was snatched from his hands by a freak gust of wind and ended up in 9 ft of water!
One more example will illustrate this point. This August, I fell in when my foot - most freakishly - got stuck fast between two tree roots. Luckily, I dropped into a relatively shallow area - my foot still trapped - and I managed
to keep my head above water while I waggled and waggled my foot to free it! It could have been very nasty indeed. I was alone. Yes, sometimes the pool seems hostile to anglers and, as few people fish it, the mood can be both isolating and intimidating.
This autumn and winter, all being well, I may see the pool in its darkest moods, as baleful clouds drift over its troubled sheen.
I won't mind that too much - so long as I manage one or two carp in the process!