Following on from a fortnight-long session we covered in last month’s issue, Darrell is back with the culmination of this year’s foreign excursions to the French big-fish mecca, Lac d’orient. At just under 6,200-acres in size, it’s not for the fainthearte
entirely empty through September and October. A few years ago I might have dreamed of fishing this entire autumn period, but with age, experience, and now two young kids to contend with, this is beyond even me these days. I am sure there are a few people out there that dig the fantasy of a really long session on somewhere like the Orient, but in reality, the mental resilience required is beyond most. I don’t say that to big myself up, because fishing is a personal exploit, but just to try and get across that it is sheer grit that is required most to succeed here. My plan for this autumn was for two sessions, one in September and one in October – 10 to 14 days each, with 10 to 14 days between them. The prep for such sessions is insane and power is the name of the game. In the old days I read about loons rowing and rocking up for these long stints with three leisure batteries, but that’s certainly not for me. I never want to be under-gunned and as a result I have spent a small fortune, not only on boats and engines but batteries, chargers and generators. I was as ready as I have ever been to take on this giant again, I just had to go and do it!
For my first session I wanted to try an area I had not fished before and as luck would have it I was tipped off nobody was there. I was in the garden/garage/van sorting my kit out when Trevor Cooke sent me a text saying he’d dropped in at the lake for a recce. He’d driven there just so he could familiarize himself before a long October session – that’s the kind of dedication I spoke of earlier! We exchanged a few messages and without any prompting, he mentioned this particular area was devoid of anglers. Suddenly, standing