When I arrived there was just one swim available to fish, and that was really only half a swim, the rest was under water. The whole lake now was so flooded that another foot would have put the water over the track and flowing out of the gate onto the road. Record levels indeed. The water itself was very cold and the bay that I was sure the carp were holding up in was 80 yards away with the banks surrounding it 3 feet under water. The first session of the week coincided with yet more rain and very strong winds. Mild though, so conditions were good for a carp or two despite the floods.

Waders were only just adequate to wade out and punch the PVA bags out into the rain splattered lake. In fact the left hand rod I had to sort of punch sidewards due to the overhead trees but with a lucky bit of timing it flew out to the channel between the two islands onto hard gravel bottom. The other rod as usual I pushed out two thirds of the way across towards the bay I mentioned. I retreated to the shelter and gazed out across the lake listening to the wind whistling in the branches above me.

I cracked open a can of beer and sat expectant, well hopeful anyway. I need not have worried however as a couple of hours later with the black skies beginning to clear, the odd star shining, the rod I had punched out to the islands belted off. The carp was tearing off at 100 miles per hour across the lake when I hit it hard. The rod bent over well with the line singing in the wind, a couple of heavy lunges through the rod tip told me this was no double figure common.

The fight was superb as I waded out further and further with the water lapping perilously close to the top of my waders. The carp was close in before I knew it but perhaps too close in, as below it was the small wooden fence that was usually the front of the swim. But, I managed to keep the rod high and the carp on top before scooping it up in to the net. I sighed in relief before carrying out the usual preparation for bringing a carp ashore onto the mat.

In the torchlight I could see it was a good mirror - all blacks and dark browns, a right result! On the scales it went round to 25lb 10oz, a real peach of a fish. It was well hooked a couple of inches inside its mouth so it really wanted the bottom fishmeal boilie I presented to it. It behaved beautifully for the photos before it powered away back into its flooded home. There were a few leaches hanging off it which was a bit surprising as the weather had been mild. The rest of the night remained quiet but I couldn't wait to get back down there two days later.

The weather was the same when I arrived, rain with strong winds forecast. Once more I punched the baits out but this time the water had come up even more so I had to park the car in the main car park as the surviving dry land was getting muddier by the hour. I sat expectantly as the time that the mirror took passed by but there was no repeat performance, nothing showed either so I sat with the thought that perhaps it had been a one-off. The wind increased around midnight to such an extent that branches began to fall around the lake and with every ever increasing gusts the trees above me groaned more and more. Around 3am I decided that no carp were to be caught that night and I packed away and retired to the safety of the car for the last couple of hours hoping the wind would drop so I could resume fishing. Unfortunately the wind was just as strong when I had to leave so no more fishing took place on that session.

By the following week more rain had fallen and things were no better. For once though the first session coincided with a dry cloudy day so I got down there a bit earlier and launched the boat to have a bit of a row round to see if I could find any carp, dead or alive, given the deaths we have had over the autumn. Parts of the lakeside had been under three-foot of water for over two months now and anything could have been lying up in the bushes. Fortunately I found no corpses and returned to the bank. As I did so the chap who lives next door was waiting for me and informed me that the sewer outside the lake was overflowing again and sewage was flowing into the lake once again.

We went back out onto the road to have a look and sure enough, due to the sewer overflowing and flooding the road, a land drain had been cleared which meant that it was flowing into the lake. To cut a long story short the evening was spent with various people from the club and council trying to sort it out. The best we managed was to sandbag up the drain but the longer solution never became clear. By 9pm I managed to fish but the night remained quiet.

Two days later I was back to find the sewer still flowing but the sandbags were still in place so the lake was safe. Once more I waded out to punch the baits out and around midnight the island rod bleeped a few times before the baitrunner began to turn slowly. I struck into something stubborn. I presumed it to be a tench but a few yards out the culprit just sat thudding away. A bit more pressure showed the true identity, an eel! It was the first eel I have ever caught from the lake, a fish of around 2lb. I had to laugh as I managed to unhook it and help it on its way. What will be the next turn of events?

Have fun!