It was always the plan to returning one day to fish, but only when everything felt right to do so. My appetite to fish there genuinely had nothing to do with the immense fish sizes; it was purely driven by the desire to go back to where fishing all began for me as a small boy. So, when in 2009 I received the offer of a syndicate ticket it was an incredibly tough decision to decline the opportunity to fish there at that time. The sole reason for declining, was that our eldest son, Ellis, was due to arrive in early 2011 and my life priorities had to be focused at home.
I elected to remain on the waiting list, but typically during the subsequent years the popularity of the syndicate grew and few if any members were dropping their tickets. Then, going into the 2015/16 season, I knew that I was second on the waiting list and not one person dropped a ticket! I was so close…
After another 12 months had passed, I was finally given another opportunity to fish at Welly when I received a phone call from the resident ground keeper and head bailiff, inviting me over for an informal meeting. After an hour talking, I was offered a ticket. The emotion I felt walking back to the car was indescribable. That day we had a family BBQ with close friends, and I spent most of that day and evening just shaking my head in pure overjoyed disbelief. I was going back to fish my happy place! OMG.
Finally, on 17th June 2016 the waiting was over, and my first session back at Welly had arrived. That first 48 hours passed with no carp, but I fished four different pegs to start off getting a rapid feel for different areas of the lake. This is generally my approach with any new water; purposely staying mobile, meeting syndicate members and learning along the way. I will always remember fondly the friendly and informative walk around the lake with a now sadly departed syndicate member, John Patterson. After a firm handshake when I first met John, he then invited me for a walk around the lake, providing me a swim to swim insight of his hard-earned knowledge. Within ten months, I felt I had validated some of this helpful information myself; though I had fully digested and believed everything I had been told at the time it’s still important to match information offered to day to day experiences. Big Jon was a true gentleman and I will never forget that day. Thank you John, RIP mate.
Lots of articles have been written about this now famous water. As a rough guide it’s around 35 acres in size with an average depth of around 4ft, which clearly means water temperatures can rise/drop rapidly within hours of big weather changes. It’s made up of large open areas of water, bays, islands, tree lined snaggy bays and shadowy canopies. Just how these canopies transform from winter to spring/summer is truly a sight to behold.