I set out on a whim yesterday afternoon to fish 'Clay Farm Pond', despite the dire weather forecasts. The pool isn't what it was, following pollution and a fish kill in the bad
winter of 2010/2011.
The previous time I fished it, last spring, I was horrified by the level of bankside clearances and the litter.
There's still a litter problem, but not as bad as before, and the banks are again rather overgrown, with little signs that folks are fishing it much. I must confess, I went counting my chickens - because good "bags"
of carp are often possible at Clay Farm Pond. But the carp drove me insane and I fished badly. I really need an old-fashioned gudgeon session to get my strike in order again - I was either too weak or too hard, and I missed perhaps ten takes - off the top
and also on the sight bob. I also lost a fish which ran me into a bankside snag; as I say, I don't think I was anywhere near my best. Perhaps it wasn't entirely down to bad angling. I couldn't see what the carp were doing with my sight-bobbed prawns and flake
- but I could see how, when they took crust off the top, they were usually holding the bread between their lips and not taking it in. Why they were so cagey yesterday, I can't really say. It's possible they were only making a half-hearted effort at feeding!
A switch to fluorocarbon, both for surface work and for the "bob" levelled up the odds a little, and I ended up with four carp, all commons, with the best two just a little over average for the pond. It wasn't a bad result, all told; but I left the pool slightly
frustrated and, because of the showers, more than slightly damp.
The autumn's here, I guess...