Adam Clewer kicks off the first of his new blogs for our website during a period of reflection…
I have a confession to make… I haven’t been carp fishing for a while. Too long in fact. The rods haven’t been collecting excessive amounts of dust, it’s just in comparison to my normal patterns, my sessions have been more sporadic than consistent. During the spring, summer and autumn I fish at least once a week. I have a flexible job (church minister) so have the luxury of flexing my diary somewhat and fishing mid-week. However, during the winter months I tend to turn my attention to other species. As has been the trend over the last few winters, I have enjoyed the luxury of travelling light, watching an Avon float meander gentle streams with the hope that the floats disappearance will excite – and it does quite often in fact. Carp fishing is never entirely dropped; a combination of the busy Christmas period, an alluring river and long cold nights spent in the bivvy all equate to a reduction in my carp fishing pursuits.
Above: I enjoy my time fishing for other species in winter but now I'm looking forward to carp again!
Over the last few months I have carp fished occasionally, managing at least one session a month, but sadly with little to show for my efforts. However, all that is about to change… As a family man, my life can’t get quite busy. I try and avoid busy where possible, believing excessive juggling of any responsibilities rarely yields the best results.
Above: By planning your fishing you can ensure your time on the bank is as rewarding as possible.
So, I am something of a planner. My iCal diary is indispensable. At regular intervals, I have something of a diary session, and plan my fishing, with at least one night in a month, and an extended session once per month. Add in to the mix an overseas adventure or two and my thirst to be by the water is well and truly quenched. This weekend was one of those planning sessions, where from now on in, I’ll be in search of carp every week, with the river rod and satchel resting in the corner of the shed until next winter. I must say, I am super excited for what lays ahead!
As is customary in my planning, my carp tackle is currently enjoying a well-deserved spring clean. Spod mix is being dug out from the joints and mechanism of my spod rod and reel. New batteries are being fitted into my alarms, and everything is getting a good spruce up. So much of my tackle was filthy, with my reels caked in dirt from sessions spent camping in the mud. This weekend I re-spooled my reels with fresh line, the tackle box received an overhaul with new hooks finding their way in to my box, and all those old random bits we all carry unnecessarily removed. It looks good!
Above: Preparation for the spring ahead.
The mid-march close season on the river is a springboard into my carp fishing calendar. Amount of time at Sandhurst, with the occasional trip to Linear thrown in to the mix. Early Spring is such a beautiful time to be on the bank. My carp fishing seemingly syncs with natures wake up, with the long nights and cold winds slowly giving way for lighter evenings and warm skies. This is such a good time to be on the bank. We used to miss this period of the calendar before the traditional close season was abolished. Now we can angle all the way through, and reflecting on previous success, I’m very glad we can too! As yet, I haven’t planned my fishing calendar post late spring. I have several invitations that are very tempting, but need to be balanced as part of the larger picture of family and work.
Above: Take time to remember the good trips from your past to inspire you to put the effort in this year.
A number of years ago I wrote for an online publication in the USA, in return for a few sponsored trips, and made some great friends along the way. These trips have been hugely enjoyable, with a spirit of adventure and pioneering disappointingly scarce in the UK carp scene.
Above: Trips overseas can be real adventures...
Last year I a few weeks in the summer in Pennsylvania, before returning to the U.S for a week’s fishing on the awesome St Lawrence river in late autumn. Previous years trips included Nashville, L.A and Pennsylvania again, where I have family. Currently I have a return invitation to California calling for my attention, with a possible connection in Alaska which is also very appealing. Decisions, decisions. However, before I start reaching for my passport, the thing I am looking forward to the most is the regular, almost systematic pattern of going carp fishing every week. I love it, and credit a semi slowdown as beneficial in the continuation of what has been my passion for nearly thirty years now. Long may that continue. I’m posed, the tackle is primed and ready, tickets have been sourced and telephone numbers for Indian takeaways that deliver to said lakes are saved in my phone. On your marks, get set, go!