5th September 2021
Having had a kind invitation from a GAIA instructor friend Paul Hughes to have a day fishing for carp on a lake near Saffron Walden with other GAIA instructors , I jumped at the chance as it has been on my ‘to do ‘ list since I retired. 

The weather was unusually warm for this month with bright sunshine and 25 degrees and no breeze.I was told to take a bag of Pedigree biscuit mix. Apparently this gets the carp up to the surface . It certainly worked and soon the fish were on the surface feeding.

I tied several spun deer hair flies on wide gape #12 hooks , the deer hair needed trimming to various widths. If I go again I would get some different coloured deer hair to ring the changes through the day as the fish got wise to our offerings. We also caught on foam back daddies later  in the afternoon.

The mirror and common carp varied in sizes from approx 2lb to double figures. The fish would nuzzle the fly and more often than not leave it. This is the challenge of this type of fishing. I used my 10 ft #5 fly rod with 10 lb leader line. I  managed to land my biggest common carp of the day at 12 lbs (officially weighed by Paul, see pic attached), my first fish was approx 5 lbs, several others were between 2 and 4 lbs. They gave a good fight and one shot across the lake stripping line off the reel., that one never saw my net!

It was a very enjoyable day, lovely setting  with good company and I will definitely go again.