I arrived back Monday evening to find that the weather had turned a lot warmer with temperatures exceeding 15c during the day. As a consequence the lake rapidly thawed and by Tuesday morning was completely ice free. The water has that cold turquoise color at the moment, tinged just slightly by just a dusting of stirred up silt. During the cold spell we stopped feeding the main lake and will now just trickle food in until early March when pellet and boilie will be applied in increasing quantities. We are hoping that by cutting down on our usual feeding program may encourage the carp to make significant inroads into the bloodworm beds so that they are keen to move onto the anglers bait when available. We shall see !
Yesterday I enjoyed a warm day spent leaf clearing. Sounds an easy job however having a tree lined lake and land means that our leaf debris can be up to a foot thick in places. Fortunately the autumn stillness meant that relatively few leaves were blown into the lake but instead were creating a soggy mess all round the lake paths and on the swims. It was most enjoyable work considering and the warm weather made everything seem springlike, a nice change from the mid winter bleakness of recent weeks. What did surprise me was that early birdsong could be heard throughout the day which perhaps is a portent of an early spring. Let’s hope so. The lake also seems to be slowly coming alive and marauding pike were evident by the silver sprays of scattering fry and occasionally, very occasionally a carp would show. Just a slow boil in the calm water and a glimpse of a bronze flank but enough to wet the appetite for the start of the season just a few weeks away. I did see a common carp leap clear of the water and would love to report that it was a huge silver beast that erupted from the lake with its flanks shimmering in the sunlight !! Unfortunately it was not the case and the truth of the matter is that I saw perhaps the smallest common in the lake. It did leap clear of the lake but in truth looked rather dull and uninviting but – it was still a carp and where one fish is jumping there will be others moving and feeding.
The day ended with me being a tad pixxed off I must confess ! I had spent all day raking and blowing the leaves into huge piles ready to be moved, it had been warm and best of all totally still. As you can imagine, piles of leaves and wind are not a good mix so I counted myself lucky to have achieved so much in perfect conditions. I was just finishing ‘Sanctuary’ swim feeling rather pleased with myself when I became aware of just a whisper of a breeze on my cheek. I looked up and noticed the cats paws of wind spreading over the lake, gradually increasing into ripples and then waves as the wind grew in strength. Leaves were in the air and my carefully built piles were diminishing by the second as the breeze raised its hackles and became a full blown gale. After just a few minutes the wind faded and stillness returned along with the bird song and the deep red of the evening. I enjoyed nothing about that evening as wherever I looked the carefully prepared leaf piles were nicely scattered back on the paths and swims ! Guess what I am doing today ?
As you will be aware the summer months will be self catering this year with a new eating and cooking area to be built on the Chateau bank, where the swim ‘Redmire Legend’ is situated. The Home bank will have the eating area behind the house initially although we intend building another eating area between ‘Gingers Patch’ and ‘Middle Ground’ swims.The washing up area in the shower block will be operational for this season and both eating area’s will be complete with gas bbq and gas fridge.
The shop that we have intended having up and running for some time now should finally be in place by the middle of the year. It will be situated in the millhouse and along with bait, end tackle, snacks, etc we will be having a selection of Le Moulin du Mee branded polo’s and sweatshirts for sale. Sophie is handling this so you can be sure that the designs will be spot on the the quality top notch.
We are in the process of ordering new unhooking mats and and have settled on the new inflatable ones from Nash. The slings will be once again the Tracker ones that have done us so well in recent years. All will be in place ready for the start of the season.
One thing that I feel is worth mentioning is how little litter we have found whilst tidying up the swims. All credit to the type of anglers that we now enjoy seeing at LMDM and a big thank you from me.
Poppy’s Lake is seeing a lot of food being applied and it is apparent that the big head of carp here are still feeding enthusiastically which augers well for the season ahead. With the removal of so many of the smaller carp we are anticipating some significant growth rates so although Poppy’s can still be classified as a ‘runs water’ the stamp of carp will be improving each year. Exciting times ahead for this fishery.
The weather is due to remain mild it would seem with heavy rain and gales due from later today. With both lakes now filling nicely from their springs the extra rain should ensure that we will be at top levels in a week or two. We hope to have the paths renewed and the swims freshly graveled by the end of the month. The next week or so will be for general cutting back and generally tidying up with bonfires to keep us warm and dry. A good time at the lake.