2018 has been a really memorable year, both on and away from the lake. My girlfriend ran her first marathon, running London in the spring and raising a superb £6000 for the charity Children with Cancer. I changed jobs, joining Dyson in the Autumn. Also with two young boys, Ellis (7) and Zach (3), juggling the usual life stuff around these two bigger time consuming events made both my preparation and fishing time more challenging. However, I do it for the challenge. It’s just as our children get older, I’ve have had to adapt my approach to try and maintain a healthy work/lifestyle balance.
What really does help with fishing at Wellington Country Park, is the openness of the warm and friendly syndicate members. Being away from the water, you are able to obtain a really reliable trickle of information. Being in my third and final season, that trickle of information adds up to a lot when teamed up with my own self taught archive of information.
Like many of us with a young family, winter provides that opportunity to spend time at home to rebuild the contents of our ‘brownie point’ bank and to also replenish and tidy the essentials for the fishing year ahead. That said, in recent years I have really started to enjoy ‘manning up’ and getting out on a few winter sessions; which offer a very different challenge to the more predictable spring and autumn periods. Whatever time of the year Wellington Country Park is a truly magical place to spend some time. But in winter, it offers all the same qualities but stripped back with the peace and tranquility that an absence of the public guarantees – it’s sheer bliss.
My year got under way with a very mild end of January night in the slightly deeper main arm of the lake. Although mild, the wind was fierce and I fancied being in the more sheltered deeper area. The night passed with no joy, but knowing I was coming back the following weekend I opted to spend a few hours walking around before setting off home.
The 4th February arrived and I had 36-hours to try and capitalize on the lakes recent slightly improved form, but typically the conditions had switched almost completely when compared to just the previous weekend when it had been awesome. However, when I have a window at home, I now go regardless as there is always a chance and the prizes are second to none. The initial surprise was rolling into an empty car park at 3pm on the Saturday afternoon! Instantly, I knew that would literally open up the whole lake and the plan in my head unfolded whilst I was loading up the barrow from the mountain of necessary and unnecessary equipment that was strewn in the van. With less than an hour until sunset, I made an immediate push with the barrow to one end of the lake. With the low sun already dropping out of sight, I settled quickly in to the ‘3 Trees’ swim which offered some protection from the bitterly cold north easterly breeze, also it offered a wonderful panoramic view of the lake. It really was cold, the wind chill almost making it unbearable to stand for any time in the wind. With the brolly up and two rods deployed with one to go, half way down the lake a rolling fish was impossible to ignore. So, it was inevitable that the brolly would be collapsed down, rods packed away and barrow loaded once again. With burning cold hands I was soon on the move in the dark. Mobility is always going to be pivotal to my angling; if I see or hear something I move.