The theory of the Golden Age is that everything decays, from initial perfection to dissolution, and most anglers have seen a good many favourite waters conform to this unhappy pattern.
The poet Shelley expressed this theory well, when he wrote, “Worlds on worlds are rolling over/From creation to decay...”
I’ve not been fishing now for several weeks, partly because other matters have intruded, and partly because the mood has not taken me. Why is that so?
Well, the last time I fished The Other Pool, I caught nine carp and I must have had twenty bites: a good result, you might say, - except that seven of the carp were very small indeed,- between, say, 4oz and 8oz; so only two from my catch were typical
of the pool. My brother thinks the pond has been stocked by the club, but the bailiff has assured me that it is still “completely untouched”. Either way, although the presence of such tiny carp may be evidence of spawning, and bodes well for the
future, I don’t want to fish a pool where you get twitch after twitch each time you cast out. There are large carp there, and this situation makes it all the more difficult for an angler, doesn’t it? Of course, I can try larger baits and strategic
stalking, and I will. But for now, the fire has left me. I’m like that; I think that most of us are like that, - we fish with real passion or not at all.
I once said,
in an article, that to write the history of a carp pool is often to write an elegy. So many great waters have vanished – not least Cheshunt, for instance, which was turned into a housing estate, so I understand.
I can recall the first carp I ever hooked, at the Stack Pool in Kidderminster. I was ten, and it broke me almost instantly, while carp leapt far out, far away, in the extensive lily beds that were such an appealing
feature of the pool.
The banks were overgrown, and lovely, and several willows trailed their fronds into the ripples and the darkness.
My brother returned there many years later, to find the banks sanitised, tidied up, with much of the atmosphere gone, in his opinion.
of atmosphere; - only yesterday I took a walk around Clay Farm Pond, and I was horrified by the “improvements”. Until this year, there were several tangled corners where it was impossible to fish; - not so any more. These natural havens for fish
have been violated. Trees have been cut back or removed – large swathes of undergrowth have been industrially flattened, - and why? Could it be down to the regular Saturday matches that are now taking place there?
We anglers will always be dismayed by happenings like this, simply because commercial interests challenge our visions.
undergrowth will come storming back, and the trees put out new shoots and thrive. But in the meantime, the pool has been uglified for convenience and material gain.
on worlds are changing ever,
From creation to decay...”
is of Clay Farm Pond, as it was.