This weekend saw some of the years warmest weather so far and it seemed rude to ignore the opportunity to sneak out for an hour or two with the fly rod. I headed out to Newcourt Barton ponds and took my eldest daughter with me to act as official photographer. As it turned out on the day, it wasn’t just her taking the photos.
We’ve fished Newcourt Barton ponds a few times in the past and had some nice fish from here on the fly rod. There are 4 ponds, mainly stocked with carp, although the first pond when you enter is supposedly a tench and skimmer pond. Given the great weather we were surprised to only find one other angler on fishing – always nice as e’d pretty much have the pick of the swims. Rhianna and I parked up near the 2nd pond when we arrived and could see a couple of nice sized carp cruising the surface as we set up the rod. The trip was all about catching fish, rather than worrying about catching them on ‘natural’ flies only, so we went straight to the dog biscuit imitation fly. In this instance I used one I’d tied myself so I wasn’t initially that confident it would do the trick.
We lose fed a half dozen dog biscuits at a time and eventually the fish started taking the free offerings with confidence. When I introduced my fly it wasn’t long before it was taken without hesitation. I was using my #7 rod and a floating line with a 7lb tippet. The rather scruffy, self tied fly was tied on a meaty size 10 barbless carp hook so on the snag free pond I had very little to worry about. Even so the fish wasn’t to be beaten that easily and really put up a scrap. The end result being a beautifully conditioned carp of around 7lb.
After the commotion of this first fish, we struggled to get the fish to fed again and It was only by casting right against the overhanging vegetation on the island in the pond that I managed to tempt another fish – this time smaller at around the 4lb mark. No more fish were forthcoming after this so we switched to one of the other ponds.
It was only a matter of seconds after throwing in a half dozen lose fed offerings in our new swim before the place seemed to come alive with fish. we lose fed a little more and the fish were really going for it, often competing with each other for the dog biscuits. Needless to say, the fish came fast and furious from this point onwards. Over the course of the next hour we had another 10 fish – mostly around the 4 – 5lb mark. Rhianna caught 2 fish which was a major milestone for her as she usually uses a pole. This time, she had her first go with a fishing rod, cast out herself, hooked and played the fish all by herself with my role limited to landing and unhooking the fish. Definitely a proud daddy moment! The smile on her face said it all. Think she would of stayed there all night catching fish but my arm was aching from the action so we called it a day.
What a great session though! Caught lots of fish on my self tied fly. Rhianna caught her first fish all by herself on a fly rod – and a nice fish at that. What better way is there to spend a summer afternoon?