A slightly shameful endeavour


I’m not proud of this and on the scale of angling challenges it rates somewhere near the bottom. But curiosity got the better of me.

We were visiting my sister, who owns a glorious 70 acre estate on the Suffolk/Essex border, a mix of pasture and woodland and with two lakes. One of the lakes is stuffed full of carp. It is rarely fished so the resident carp are naive and uneducated.

I thought I’d try and catch one on the fly rod, so I took my seldom-used Shakespeare travel rod, 9ft, 6/7wt. I found an old reel loaded with ancient line and took that (see, I wasn’t being entirely serious in this exercise).

I did however have a quick search on the internet for effective ‘flies’ for carp. Some awful concoctions were thrown up, notably the ‘dog biscuit fly’, essentially a sphere of deer hair.

I couldn’t be bothered with that, so at first I tied a ball of foam onto a size 10 hook, encasing the foam in nylon. But this was essentially a white ball, which didn’t much resemble a dog biscuit. Then I had a brainwave and actually wrapped a dog biscuit, or more accurately a pellet of dry dog food, in nylon and whipped that onto the hook. So it wasn’t even an artificial, it was actual bait. I am ashamed:

The lake, maybe 1.5 acres in size, is tranquil and beautiful and carp were swirling around on the surface all over the place:

I flung in a couple of handfuls of dog kibble and dozens of fat carp came a-slurping. Casting my line was not easy with such a heavy weight on the end and it slapped the surface in a horrible way.

Nevertheless, I got the bait among the fish and watched as a large rubbery mouth sucked it in. I was sensible enough to wait a second or three for the bait to be fully taken before striking. A decent struggle ensued, and I pulled in a three pound (?) common:

It was a bit like mugging a granny, so one was enough for me. The hill lochs in Scotland next week will prove somewhat more of a challenge I think.

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  1. Carp on a fly rod, that must have been fun. Try and bring some good weather with you. it has been horrendous at Scourie this week.

    1. Playing it was ok David; catching it a bit, well, unsporting. Just looked at the forecast for the coming week…oh dear.

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