A ghost from the past

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Carp Artist
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A ghost from the past

Post by Carp Artist » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:11 pm

A story I wrote a few years back

Eddie was from the old school of carp anglers, a solitary man preferring the small wooded ancient pools with their sunken trees and overhanging bushes.
He had often said that from such pools he could just fish for the carp on his own terms. When he did manage to land a good fish; it would be unknown and not one of the over-caught and named fish seen in the angling press every other week.

The clock struck 5.30 a.m. It was a blue and silver July morning. The sun was slowly rising over the huge mass of granite which had been forced up from the bowls of the earth some 300 million years ago. As the clouds lifted , Dartmoor could be seen in all its glory, with its rolling hills, smooth slopes and valleys dissected by clear streams. Situated deep within a dense forest of mighty oaks and towering beeches, a glimmer of blue sky reflected in the deep, inky black water of the pool.
Eddie left the cottage and made his way around the slippery path which wound its way over roots and around trees. Turning right off of the main path and along a steep little track that twisted its way around an ancient mound of spoil, he arrived at his chosen pitch. He was soon set up and baited up, then casting out towards the half submerged tree that had toppled in to the left of his swim.

There are no hard and fast rules at the pool. But its not generally heard of for anyone to fish after dark. The pool takes on a sinister atmosphere at night, almost as if its telling you that your not welcome. It was his third day in the pitch and he thought by now he should have had some action. The main worry he had was that he had yet to fish a whole night , usually he would wind in at about 10.30 and retire back to the cottage. Although not keen on the idea he decided that to gain full potential from the pitch he would complete a night, at least to make sure that he wasn’t missing a feeding period.

Throughout the day Eddie noticed most of the carp would cruise in and out of the various dead trees that had toppled head long into the water. It was rare to get a take from the fish from off the top. The day passed slowly by. It was now getting on towards dusk. He organised his gear, placed 20 or so free offerings around his hook baits and settled back into his bed chair, having no need for an umbrella for the overhanging trees formed a canopy above the pitch keeping him quite dry. Strange he had not heard the usual row created by the crows and rooks as they flew in to roost in the treetops above the pool. Surveying the lake towards its far bank he could just make the distant trees where the darkest shadows cowered black into the inky black water. Glancing at his watch. He noticed that it was almost 12.30 laying back he slowly began to doze of into a fitful sleep. Crash! An explosion of water shook the pool as a huge carp leaped out of the water over his baits.

Within seconds Eddie was up and knelt by his rods, his trembling hands hovering over the reels. Time passed, it had been a good half an hour since the carp rolled; slowly he climbed back into his bed chair. Awaking from his daydream Eddie got that overwhelming feeling that he had forgot something. His landing net! In the excitement of the morning he had left it propped up against the cottage wall. Now a decision had to be made; should he wind in the baits or not? The chances of getting them back out in place again in the pitch black of the night would be impossible. He would only be gone a short while he thought. So decided he would leave the baits out.
Quickly pacing his way back along the path and through the woods he was soon back at the cottage. He caught site of his landing net in the bright beam of his torch. Grasping it, he made his way back to his pitch. Laying down the net, the first thing he did was to check his rods for possible signs of action. Everything appeared how he had left them, that’s until he heard a splashing sound coming from the margins to his left. Turning on his torch he pointed the beam towards the disturbance. To his utter surprise! Fastened to a overhanging branch was his carp sack and judging from the commotion it contained something? Eddie had by now turned quite cold and was shaking with fear as the reality struck home. How could this be? He hadn’t had a run all week let alone a fish? He was the only person fishing the pool, no other anglers had fished the place for at least a week before him?
Without hesitation Eddie quickly packed away his tackle and stumbled his way out of the pitch , leaving behind the carp sack still tethered to the branch.

Back at the cottage he through in his tackle, strange thoughts ran through his mind. What was in the carp sack? Grabbing his coat and rummaging through his pockets he found his car keys. Speeding down the narrow country lane that lead from the pool, he was soon onto the main road. Eddie drove like a man possessed the five or so miles until he reached the familiar sight of a large white house just off of the main road which belonged to his old angling friend . Pulling into the drive at gone 2 in the morning he banged on the front door waking the entire house. Bob could hardly believe his eyes to see Eddie standing there. Never the less he could see that he was in some kind of shock, hurriedly he invited him in. After a while Eddie calmed down enough to tell him what had occurred during the night. Bob knew the pool, he had often fished with Eddie there himself. Bob told him he could stay over for the rest of the night and in the morning they would both return back to the pool.

It wasn’t till nine the next morning that Bob awoke Eddie. Asking him if he still remembered what happened last night? Yes, Eddie could remember alright. After a good breakfast and a mug of hot tea each the two of them set off for the pool. The journey soon passed and it wasn’t long before they pulled up along side the cottage. Both men got out of their cars and were soon making their way through the woods and along the path towards the pitch. Sure enough the carp sack was still tethered to the branch. Eddie was relived in a funny sort of way. He had suspicions that Bob thought he had imagined it. Bob took hold of the tethered sack and untied it from the branch. He then lifted it from the water , untied the opening and looked inside. To both Eddie’s and Bobs astonishment, laying in the bottom of the sack was a leather carp of 25lbs or more. Carefully Bob lifted the carp from the sack. There was a long silence, it was Bob who spoke first. Do you recognise the fish? Yeah replied Eddie, it’s the Big leather, it was the only leather carp in the pool. We found it dead in the shallows last year and buried it at the southern end beneath the willows. Bob went to his car to fetch his camera and Eddie kept an eye on the fish which had been placed back in the sack. Bob returned, Eddie got the carp back out of the sack, and Bob did the honours with the camera taking several shots of Eddie holding the big leather in various positions. Feeling that the carp had been out of the water long enough Eddie released the leather back into the pool. No sooner had the fish touched the water. A gust of wind blew through the pitch, throwing up dust, twigs and dead leafs everywhere, yet not a ripple appeared on the surface. Both anglers agreed it had certainly been a bizarre coarse of events. Slowly they made their way back to the cottage. Bob stayed to help Eddie tidy away his gear and lad up his car.
Eddie did manage to finish his session but not at that particular pool. Both Bob and himself fished another lake.
Two weeks passed after that strange events at the old pool. Eddie was watching a documentary on television , when the phone rang. It was Bob. He had got the photo’s back from the developers. The first two frames were fine, also the last twelve frames came out ; but the ten frames in between. Of Eddie holding the leather were not as they should have been. Eddie was their alright with arms cradled, but the leather was nowhere to be seen.

Image

Image
And when the clouds depart And the path is clear, Follow your head, follow your heart And should you reach paradise before me. Mine's a lager

R Hutchinson 1983 From The Carp Strikes Back

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Julian
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Re: A ghost from the past

Post by Julian » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:09 pm

Very good story - I enjoyed that :Thumb:
There is no peace on earth like the peace of fishing in the early mornings

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Carp Artist
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Re: A ghost from the past

Post by Carp Artist » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:21 pm

Julian wrote:Very good story - I enjoyed that :Thumb:
Thank you kind Sir, glad you liked it.
And when the clouds depart And the path is clear, Follow your head, follow your heart And should you reach paradise before me. Mine's a lager

R Hutchinson 1983 From The Carp Strikes Back

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Scott
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Re: A ghost from the past

Post by Scott » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:58 pm

Thanks for that CA, a nice little read....

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Carp Artist
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Re: A ghost from the past

Post by Carp Artist » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:55 pm

Scott wrote:Thanks for that CA, a nice little read....
Pleased you liked it Scott
And when the clouds depart And the path is clear, Follow your head, follow your heart And should you reach paradise before me. Mine's a lager

R Hutchinson 1983 From The Carp Strikes Back

GazTheAngler

Re: A ghost from the past

Post by GazTheAngler » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:26 pm

Brilliant CA.

Gaz

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Loop Erimder
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Re: A ghost from the past

Post by Loop Erimder » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:05 pm

Excellent loved it :Scared: :Thumb:
Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish

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Carp Artist
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Re: A ghost from the past

Post by Carp Artist » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:56 pm

Thanks Gaz and Loop I'm pleased you liked it.
And when the clouds depart And the path is clear, Follow your head, follow your heart And should you reach paradise before me. Mine's a lager

R Hutchinson 1983 From The Carp Strikes Back

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JimmyBobkin
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Re: A ghost from the past

Post by JimmyBobkin » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:47 pm

Great stuff. Are the illustrations yours?

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Carp Artist
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Re: A ghost from the past

Post by Carp Artist » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:59 am

JimmyBobkin wrote:Great stuff. Are the illustrations yours?
Glad you liked it JB Yes I did the illustrations also
And when the clouds depart And the path is clear, Follow your head, follow your heart And should you reach paradise before me. Mine's a lager

R Hutchinson 1983 From The Carp Strikes Back

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