Sometime around 8-30 am on the old A5 I left the blue-black smoke pouring from a badly maintained lorry and a car towing a caravan for the peace and quiet of a Shropshire country lane. As I drove down this quiet leafy country lane my mind went back to my childhood days in the countryside; of hop fields, orchards, corn fields, marshes, lakes, streams and rivers. I continued down the road which would lead me to the driveway to the Isle Estate. Driving slowly with the windows down taking in the smells and sights of the wonderful English countryside in summer I was at peace with the world. Every minute of this slow drive was taking me closer to a most delightful stretch of the river Severn and a 10 acre lake - which no doubt would get this old mans heart beating overtime - but I was in no hurry.

Passing the bailiffs cottage I could be forgiven for thinking I had gone back in time to the 1950's. Perhaps even the 1920's, until I spotted the television aerial on the roof of an estate worker's cottage. There was the heady perfume of honeysuckle in the air. The oaks, beeches and horse chestnut trees looked magnificent. I had nature's own orchestra with all the bird songs and the humming of a million insects. Doves and pigeons were cooing.

A green woodpecker flew overhead with its maniacal laugh. I immediately thought of the 'Woody Wood Pecker' song and hummed an old favourite tune of mine 'Mr Blue Bird On My Shoulder'. I was certainly at peace with the world. Thankfully I'd had parents, relatives and others who helped make me an angler, wildfowler and naturalist. They showed me how to appreciate what mother earth has given us.

All too soon I was pulling into the car park with just one other vehicle, an old Morris 1000 traveller. I pinched myself to make sure it wasn't all a dream. Today it would be a cane rod and centre pin reel, using an old quill float which the late Richard Walker had made some years ago. I planned to have two or three hours on the river fishing for roach and anything else that wanted to bite. Then, after a lunch of cheese and French bread and good strong tea, I would take a nap before heading off to the Isle lake. There I would float fish with bread flake and crust for the carp.

As I slowly made my way down the track I peered now and again into the hawthorn bushes for sight of nesting birds. After several yards I looked skywards to see a buzzard working the thermals. In the distance I could see another hawk-like bird. A Red Kite? I thought, then dismissed the idea. Passing through the gate I made sure it was firmly closed and picked up a cigarette packet that had been carelessly dropped. I stuffed it in my pocket. A hen pheasant flew off some ten feet in front of me. To my right through the trees I had my first glimpse of the river, illuminated in the bright summer sunshine. It looked magnificent.

After slowly making my way upstream, I chose a swim where the shallows were dropping off into the slower deeper water. Most days I don't take a seat, basket or box to sit upon but use a bit of sponge. I sat there quietly soaking up the atmosphere as I put rod, reel and line together. My float was a dyed green quill float made by that great angler Dick Walker. I attached a plummet to my barbless size 12 hook then checked the depth. After half a dozen tries I decided it was seven feet deep and moved the float up the line two feet and pinched on three BB shot some twelve inches from the hook.

Baiting with a lump of bread flake I cast across and downstream, allowing the float to settle in the steady current some twenty feet downstream of the rod tip. The red-tipped float lay at about a 45 degree angle. I fed in a golfball size of mashed bread, sat back and waited for the roach, or anything else for that matter, to come and dine. There was no urgency in my fishing today. It was great to be in such a delightful place. One of the great bonuses of being a member of PASS.

Some fifteen minutes later the float dropped flat and slowly disappeared. A quick flick of the wrist and a fish was hooked, a gudgeon. My first in probably twenty years. Had I really gone back to the 1950's? In those days it was common to catch lots of gudgeon and bleak. I fished on, catching a few more gudgeon. What a delightful fish they are. After some minutes without a bite, the float suddenly disappeared. An answering strike connected with something that could pull the string. After a brief struggle a chub about two pounds was netted. Another golf ball size of mashed bread was introduced, three more chub followed, all around the two pound mark. Then all was quiet, until suddenly there was a flurry of activity as half a dozen fish jumped clear of the water. A perch or pike had put in an appearance. It was time for lunch. I was a happy angler.

It was about three PM when I made my way to the Isle lake. As I walked along the lakeside path I was flanked by Rhododendron bushes, hawthorns and a mixture of deciduous trees. They are the ones that shed their leaves, trees such as oaks, beech, chestnut etc. Continuing on my way I eventually reached peg number 29 and sat there soaking up the atmosphere of this delightful estate lake. Carp were swirling everywhere. A moorhen called from some nearby reeds. The water was a muddy colour, no doubt stirred up by the carp. I changed my centre pin reel to one with ten pound line. But I used the same quill float, only changing to a size 6 barbless hook and fixed three BB shot some six inches from the hook. Plumbing the depth, it was just two feet deep.

Baiting with a bit of flake I dropped it under the rod tip, flicked on the ratchet and sat back in the afternoon sunshine. Ten minutes later I had my first carp, a nice common of about seven pounds. This was quickly followed by another common which I weighed in at 14 lbs. For the next couple of hours I had great fun catching carp on bread flake. The best being the fourteen pounder. As the sun started to slip below the trees it was time to find a room for the night and some dinner. It had been a great day in the countryside.

If you're a member of the Prince Albert AS why don't you spend a few hours going back in time and fish the Isle Estate? You won't regret it.