I headed off early on a Wednesday morning to meet a good friend, Martin, at his home in Llandrindod Wells for five days fishing in the Lake District. The journey from Mid-Wales took four hours, a nice steady pace up to Cumbria and on to find the little treasure of campsite, with long grass and chickens running around. We set up camp and decided that it was early enough to grab a few hours on Derwent Water. We didnt have to carry the yaks far from the carpark at the water's edge and the view was breath taking.
The light was dropping off as we launched onto the peaceful lake for a few hours (we had to catch the pub for food before last orders) and paddled up and down the lake trawling a lure on the hope a nice pike or perch will indulge in a late feast. The lure of choice for me was the famous Mepp, foolproof and gauranteed a catch well most times, but this short trip was to prove a big blank for the two of us so we paddled back in a headed off to the pub for a late supper and to meet another Martin. Some nice beer and lovely food was thrown down and some good banter and talks of what Lake we will be fishing tomorow and then off to bed as we had an early way to early start ahead of us.
It was 5:15, middle of the night and I was made to wake at this god for saken hour just to cook a breakfast as we had a long day on the water and the lake of choice was Conniston, I love this lake, very nice paddle.
Lake fishing had me paddling some miles trawling lures, yet still to no avail. We hadn't had any bait and the plan was to travel back a little earlier to get some worms from the tackle shop in Kessington. The fishing wasn't going well, I had one nice take but that was it, the lads were not doing much better so we thought another hour or two and we would call it a day and head off. The time passed quickly with no fish whatsoever so we headed off for the tackle shop and to pick the brains of the owner who was more than happy to point us in the direction of Bassenthwaite Lake, so off we headed back to the campsite then to the pub again to talk tactics and to drink the local real ale again which was proving to be a hit with us.
Day three and it was up at silly-o-clock again and off to Bassenthwaite, as this was the place to be for perch. The order of the day was worm trundling! never heard of this method and have never caight a perch before. Martin had to show me how before the launch. Once the rods were rigged we were off and with the weather being so warm it was going to be a very pleasant day on the water with shorts and a T-shirt along with the usual safety gear.
This worm trundling was turning out to be a nightmare for me as the lads were catching and I wasn't! We were in for around three hours and I only had one bite. I think Martin mave me dodgy worms! Until bang there it was my first fish, a small perch. I didn't care about the size, it was a perch, and my first ever aboard the yak so one down and many more to follow and so far I was beating my mentor Martin.
Day four was similar, we fished the same lake, had some nice perch came out that day. I rescued a 15 lb pike that was caught by a shore angler and was unable to swim away due to lack of oxygen, I got him in to the deeps and he was off.
Day five had arrived and it was our final day fishing on the lakes. Thank god has I couldnt possible have another early morning! We had a change of venue, back to Derwent Water to meet some of the Heroes on the Water lads as this lake was free to fish for Trustees and veterans of the charity. The weather wasn't the best and was blowing quite bad and thought we are in for a hard slog today paddling into that wind.
Hard slog it was as well, after a trip down to the bottom of the lake and around I decided to head for a peaceful little haven I had spotted the first night we were here. This wind was really taking it out of me but round this corner it was like a mill pond, hard to believe we were on the same lake, I down anchor there to see if there was anything lurking underneath.
After a while of sitting there and not even a nibble I could feel my eyes getting tired. I could murder a nap now I thought and I could see an old picnic table on a deserted part of the bank so I headed over to get my head down, it was a godsend, after a quick thirty minutes' nap it was time to get back out and head back to the launch for an early supper before our long journey back in home in the morning. No fish that day but caught some sleep!
It was a fantastic five days in the lakes and would recomend it to anyone for a the lakes and paddling alone, it's a stunning place to visit, fish and paddle. We'll be back there next year, Ed.