On Saturday with my colleague and compadre Jon Atkinson I paid a visit to Brookfield Fishery on the Lancashire / Merseyside border. Jon is a dyed in the wool coarse fisher and wine genius. Like myself Jon loves his Spanish wines and sherries but his overall knowledge and experience is immense. He also loves his coarse fishing and regularly spends his weekends catching roach, perch, carp, bream etc but like a lot of us has a real soft spot for Crucian carp.
We were talking during the winter about crucians and Jon mentioned a small commercial stillwater Jon fishes called Brookfield which apparently has a number of them together with the usual mix of carp, bream, tench roach. The place is left in quite a natural state and having only 8 small pegs to fish from and a lack of carp over 8 pounds, it escapes from the attention of the more lunatic fringe and Jon assured me, that I’d like the place.
Now that we’ve had a bit of warm spell to get things going we decided to meet up and have a go. After meeting up at a local garden centre for the compulsory fried breakfast, I followed Jon down a maze of country lanes to the water and was pleased to find as promised a lovely little overgrown water.
I even considered abandoning my fly fishing for the day and pole fishing for what must be one of my favourite species… well a leopard never changes it’s spots and as I packed my gear a couple of fly rods went into the bag. After a hour of catching dozens of small rudd and bream on the pole, a bigger carp moving round the margins had me reaching for the beetles and the seven weight. After a couple of hours stalking, I bungled my only take due to over hanging branches and despite resting the spot and later putting a few mixers into the margins, they weren’t really having it so I decided to leave the carp alone and get back to crucian fishing but on the fly.
Not a crucian
A duo of buzzers (black and olive) was sent flying out and a “figure of eight” retrieve soon brought the attentions of hoards of little rudd, leaving the buzzers to drop to the bottom and a crawling retrieve brought a small mirror carp and a dazzling goldfish, before I lost a good fish whose jig jagging fight felt for all the world like a crucian. I was really enjoying this and had a couple more small mirrors on what was proving to be a very effective method. It was soon time to be packing up, as I had some wine to deliver before getting home to watch the champions league final. Jon on a conventional coarse approach had had a mixed bag of mirrors, rudd and bream, no crucians but we agreed It was a great day and we made plans for a return. A crucian on the fly is now definite target for the year.