Fishing Trip to Chard

Fishing weekend in Chard, Somerset. 


The weekend starting Friday May 16th saw the second trip down to Chard in Somerset for four of SFC's committee members, Doug, Martyn, Dave & Russ. Martyn & Doug had been on these trips for many years with another then member, Frank Murphy, who is sadly no longer with us. So the tradition and his memory were kept alive in the form of these annual jaunts to fish for what has now become "Murphy's Memorial Mug".

Last year was the first time that a four party trip had been arranged and what a trip it turned out to be. It was the first time that any of us had visited the Viaduct Fishery and the first time three of us had witnessed Dave's "Tandoori Pizza", but more of that later.

Myself and Dave had set off on Friday morning after loading the van with all of the tackle for the trip. Martyn and Doug would follow some time after mid day, the plan to eventually meet up at the Viaduct Fishery in the afternoon. The two of us had planned to get an afternoons fishing in and were hoping that the warm weather would continue for us over the weekend but the forcast was showing showers, just being optimistic I guess.

Martyn had dropped his gear off on thursday evening so only Dougs and my own remained for loading then we would be off when Dave arrived around ten 9.30 on Friday morning. The rain had started in the early hours of the morning but had soon died out, still leaving the day very overcast. We had all been looking forward to this trip, especially as the fishing had been so good last time. So with all the gear loaded, bait at the ready, it was off to Somerset and the Viaduct Fishery.

The run down was trouble free, even the single lane sections on the A303 held no slow traffic, which was a bonus. An hour and fifty minutes later saw the van pull into the village of Somerton and the Viaduct Fishery. We'd had really good fishing last year on this complex and decided to return there and then next year, but would we have some good sport?. The complex itself is superbly maintained with at least five lakes to choose from. All hold a good selection of fish to various weights with some 120+ pegs in total. After a quick chat with the fishery owner and some of the anglers on the bank, we decided on Carey Lake and the vacant top end bank. Dave took the corner peg and set up a float rod with a waggler, while i continued two or three more pegs along and set up the pole. Both of us caught almost straight away, some small roach on maagot from the corner peg and a nice carp on paste from my peg. Tench and Bream followed from the both of us which pushed up hopes for a good weekends fishing. Martyn and Doug arrived around two o'clock, both commenting on how clear the raods had been on the run down. Although either hadn't planned to fish that afternoon, Martyn later said that he had been itching to start fishing. Myself  and Dave continued untill about five, and for the last couple of hours the fishing had dropped off completely, but at least we had caught a few decent fish. A good result reaaly, as one of the anglers from the match on the next lake had not caught anything since 8.30 that morning.

The journey to Chard was about forty minutes, Martyn had managed to save a space for the van outside the guest house, and moved hios car into the garages when we arrived. A warm welcome came our way from Dave and Alison, the guest house owners and after a brief chat, the mornings breakfast was arranged and our rooms allocated. A reasonable meal and a few beers finished off the evening with the prospect of returning to the Viaduct the next morning for a full days fishing.

Saturday morning was overcast, pretty much the same as Friday. There had been a little rain in the early hours as the ground outside was still damp. A full english breakfast was served at 7.30 which would stand us all in good stead for a days fishing, although the fishery did sell pies & pasties, tea & coffee if anyone needed a bite to eat. As we all left for what was to be about a forty minute journey, we wondered what lake would be closed if any. There had been a matched booked one lake that we knew about, but others had been closed due to low oxygen levels. As it turns out, none were closed so it was off to Spring Lake that Martyn & Doug had looked at the day before. The owners had said that this held the biggest fish, but anything would be nice. For most of the day, the only carp to be seen were either cruising the surface or jumping where no one was fishing, typical!!. All four of us only managed small silver fish all day, even though two of us had moved to a new peg around mid day. It would seem that the majority of the anglers had suffered the same fate. In the end, it was Martyn who turned out the biggest weight with just over 6lbs, Dave weighed in at just over 5lbs, Russ at 3lbs and Doug around 2lbs. Overall it had been a good days fishing, but as last year had been so good, expectations had been high from the start and i was certainly a little disappointed. But thats fishing for you.

As with last year, Saturday night was curry night and Dave didnt disappoint with the curry pizza. This time unfortunately there weren't as many spectators to witness this unusual ritual but it was still amusing all the same. So here goes, take one Keema Naan as your pizza base, spread the pilau rice evenly over the bread, remember there's no stuffed crust to this base so spillage is possible. Top the rice with your chosen curry dish making it your third layer, go on adding layers as you see fit  and garnish with any left overs from the pickle tray that came with your poppadums. Making this culinary delight is one thing, but you sure cant eat it like a pizza thats for sure. Funny how those small yellow curry sauce stains always find there way onto your jeans no matter how hard you try to keep it off.

Sunday morning again saw the full english breakfast for Martyn, Dave and Doug, I was still going on the night before's curry so only managed the cereal and toast but still enough for the day ahead. With all of the bills settled and goodbye's said, it was off the small lakes at Highlands Dairy Farm that we had fished on the Sunday last year. Again this lake had fished very well then and didn't do to badly on this visit either although the overall weights were down on last year. The weather was very warm sat on the bank out of the wind, Martyn and I both getting a little burnt on the forearms. We all packed up around 2.30pm and headed home from our weekend jaunt to Somerset. I hopefully look forward to doing the same again next year, the same venues?, who knows. Well done to Martyn for baggin' "Murphy's Memorial Mug", beating myself by only 5oz's. On the last note, thanks to Dave, Martyn & Doug for their company, humour, expletives (Doug) and banter over the two days.