As you know I am linked to Carp-Forums and as part of that link I was invited to a a social in the frozen wasts that are the area of the UK above Watford… other wise known as “oooop North” . With all inoculations in place and with a suitable supply of currency with which to impress the natives ( coloured beads, BIC biro’s and disposable lighters) I set off. After going through passport control on the outskirts of London…. enough with this frivolity 🙂
Anyway The lake was easy to fnd and a mere 2 hrs after leaving my house I was in the wilds of up north which was as kind of like the south but the people were friendlier.I was soon ensconced in a swim and set up ready for the 3 days of hard fishing that lay before me. I was told to look for gravel patches and so stick and a few boillies were dispatched on to a patch in the middle and 2kg’s of slimy pigeon conditioner was dispatched on to a margin spot. To cut a long story short apart from a tench and several screaming takes that came to nothing ( which as put down to the massive eels that the lake contains) as well as some pike attacking the fry with such force I managed to get splashed… the weekend was quite from an angling perspective.
However, that was not why we were here. This was a social, the social of the year and it was all for charity.
As you can see above some the sponsors had donated a huge amount of tackle and other prizes to be raffled off to the eager anglers, and so it began mainly with lots of beer and lots of interesting banter. It was really interesting to hear from some of the other carp anglers about their seasons so far and what has been working for them. I definitely got some tips I will put to use as well as making friends.
Something that you can see from one of the above pictures was that ECHO in the shape of Ruth Lockwood and Richard Crimp were also in attendance and although they kept the ECHO official line to the background it was good to see Ruth and Richard supporting events like this drumming up support at the grass roots level. I could see many anglers nodding their heads after finishing a discussion with one of them, no doubt many other angers at the event have now seen the light and have decided to join.
Then it was on the serious matter of the raffle, sadly yours truly only managed to walk away with 3 tins of sweet corn ( dynamite strawberry) but what the hell it was all for charity and some of the lads managed to win big, well done do them and well done to the people who constantly bid and re bid at the end to drive up the price of some of the collect ables in order to get a good amount for the charities ( ECHO and Macmillan Cancer Suite) which I am sure will be appreciated by the beneficiaries of the money. It really felt good to be contributing to something worth while as well as enjoying myself. The amount raised this year was 2500 Sterling, a massive achievement and the money was split 50/50 between ECHO and Macmillan Cancer Suite making this event a huge success.
The star of the show, was of course, the great Rod Hutchinson. Who despite his fame was a very approachable chap and even signed a sweatshirt that was eventually bought by Chris himself for a very grand sum of money.
If you click the picture you can just make out that Rod has circled a very strange stain… pointing out that it was most likely the work of his fishing partner, Mally 🙂
Anyway sadly carp wise the weekend was not so eventful and just as I was about to reel in and wander around the lake to join in the party that was going into the small hours, I had a massive run ( eels ? ) so decided to stay put. The evening ( for me at least) was ended listening to the sounds of Ruth Lockwood ( of ECHO and Yateley Angling fame) as well as Rod singing and playing their instruments on the other side of the lake. What a perfect end to a perfect day.
I leave you with a picture of Rod claiming in writing that he had noting to do with the mysterious stain….Don’t worry Chris, that top will be valuable one day and thank god it was the right size for you 🙂