Tilery – summer 1987
Back in those days 20-pounders were something special and I knew my local waters were never going to produce one for some time. I was desperate to catch one and thankfully Kevin Clifford didn’t put any objections in the way of myself, Eric Hodson and Andy Bramley obtaining a permit for the Hull & DAA Tilery water in 1987. I’d read so much about it from Tim Paisley’s writings and although my exams would stop me fishing there immediately, I felt pretty good about tackling it. Sure it was big, at 27-acres, compared to the 12-acres of Drax, but I had researched the water like I’d never done before. I had a bait I had belief in, rigs I was confident with and brand new Rod Hutchinson Horizon rods... what could go wrong? I still hadn’t got a car but I made numerous close-season trips with Andy and Eric and it looked very promising. It was flat calm most evenings and lots of carp showing on the main bar off the East Bank.
Tim assured me that was the bank to be on and all I needed to do was get the exams out of the way and get fishing. Selfishly, I was dating a girl with a car so the transport was sorted if dad was otherwise engaged. As I said earlier, what could possibly go wrong?
With my exams over, the first trip fell on a Friday in mid-june. I could hardly wait. It had been warm and humid all week but come Friday the heavens opened, the wind got up, and it felt more like March than June. Lugging all the gear to the east bank was hell and what should have taken two trips took three in the adverse conditions. There were no proper barrows in those days people – you either carried it, or left it! My confidence was evaporating by the minute and it took all my strength to get the bivvy up in the headwind, which was blowing directly from the Road Bank into my face. With the main bar over 90 yards out my puny rods, small reels and two ounce leads were simply pathetic. Frankly, I was totally out of my depth, in more ways than one. I was wet, fed up and all out of confidence. So I did what we all do from time to time, chucked them in the edge and hoped for the best.
Sadly, best was not good enough that weekend and when Susan came to pick me up on Sunday I was already in the car park ready for home. Time to get real and accept I needed to up my game – again!
Postscript. I took a week away from the water, got better reels and decided to follow my own thoughts and not follow the advice of others who were not fishing it when I was. It took me a full summer to get to grips with the water but by autumn some new gear, a new bait and a new approach had worked wonders for me.
Join me next month when I cover my first trips to Motorway Pond, Messingham Sands, Jurassic Park, Strawfields and Lakewood.
FIRST TILERY CARP I CAUGHT – THE FAMOUS DOGFISH
BELOW MIDDLE BELOW BOTTOM Tim’s pictures of Tilery inspired me no end
LEFT Once I upgraded my tackle it started to happen. Bigger reels made a lot of difference
BELOW TOP The captor returns