The Catch

Dave Levy - The Last of the Kings Part 1

RidgeMonkey’s Dave Levy knows what it means to hunt for the fish of your dreams. We’ll be bringing you his story of the hunt for massive carp in a reservoir that was believed to be empty from his fantastic book ‘Fallen Kings’

The last of the Kings

“The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd.
The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.”
-Albert Einstein
They say sometimes after catching the carp you’ve been dreaming of there can be an anti-climax. I never seem to suffer with this and find myself excited for the next step on my journey.
I hadn’t really thought beyond that last carp and I spent the next few weeks wondering where best to go, the natural move would be from the Mere to the Top Lake at Cleverley.
The top lake contains some of the nicest carp I’ve ever seen but they seem to go unnoticed. I won’t go in to much detail at this point about the Top Lake other than telling you I fished the five acre lake from the October to the May and in that time I landed 34 carp including two different 36lb mirrors. The biggest carp in the lake; a mirror carp badly named Geezers was caught once in that time at around the 43 mark. I’d looked at photos of that carp and it was in a different league resembling a Leney strain, a long bronze coloured mirror carp with a dip in its back.
Although I caught well in the colder months the big “G” as I now called it kept a low profile, come spring the warm weather brought out the fair weather anglers and with the lake only having 9 swims it became very busy and I retreated looking for some space but promised a return the following winter.
Things had gone from bad to worse in the Oil refinery where I worked and BP oil had sold the place and to cut a long story short a lot of people got made redundant and lost their jobs me included. I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason so just rolled with it. I was soon again employed. That may seem a little lax but work has always been a way of giving my family what the need and that’s where it ends. The new Job was working for a water company and I was running water treatment plants which by Refinery standards were very simple. You’re wondering what the hell this has got to do with carp fishing, read on..
Water treatment plants mostly get their water source from rivers and big reservoirs, the one I was stationed at was next to three huge reservoirs. I will keep the location a secret but a lot of anglers will know them.
I’d been with the company a few months when I asked about fishing the reservoirs, I was told under no terms could anyone fish them. The one I was interested in fishing had once contained carp but a string of disasters in the shape of a massive fish kill then a netting for any remaining fish saw the end of that, even after all this it again suffered an bad summer of agley and a crash in oxygen turn up what seem to be the last of what carp and other silver fish that were left.
I was told nothing lived in the reservoir any more or had done for five years. Let me tell you a bit about this place dug by hand in 1900’s it was then made deeper after the first world war when they employed ex-servicemen to lay bricks by hand increasing the volume of water. To walk the perimeter round the Reservoir was five miles and it was a colossal 485 acres and deep, a monster.
I walked its banks a few times looking across the waves thinking this is more like a sea front than a lake. My mind wonder of what may live beneath the surface, what secrets did it hold there could possibly be anything it was so vast who would really know. Over the next few months I walked the Five mile pit as I called it another six time and even though I didn’t see a carp but I did see Cormorants coming up with silver fish and I started to think, if roach are here then there may be some carp did survive. I asked again about fishing the reservoir and was told there was rumours of Terrorist threats around the Olympics and now all drinking water Reservoirs are patrolled twice a day and used as police helicopter training grounds at night so anyone within the fence who wasn’t there with permission would be arrested! After some badgering and a few phone calls I was told I could fish but I must wear a life jacket and high visibility vest as the bank could become dangerous when water levels dropped. So I now had accesses and permission. I started to bait a few spots.
We’ll be bringing you the full chapter on Dave’s hunt for the elusive carp in the coming weeks. If you want to hear more about his angling adventures check out his book Fallen Kings which is available now https://www.gifts4anglers.co.uk/Fallen-Kings-Dave-Levy.html .
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The Catch
20 May
Dave Levy - The Last of the Kings Part 1
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