Recently I was given a 1961 Sussex Piscatorial Society membership rule book and a list of their waters. I grew up in Mid Sussex and still fish there when I get the chance to escape London, so this was of great interest to me.
The Sussex Piscatorial Society has always been quite a secretive clan for which I cannot blame them for, as they do have some stunning waters, keeping the waters hush-hush makes good sense. I know if I fished there its how I would like it.
One water that no longer belongs to Sussex Piscatorials but features in the 1961 handbook is one that I now fish in the heart of the Sussex countryside. My fishing is really only spent on places like this now, commercials or ‘tidied’ up lakes and rivers have no appeal, the lost, the overgrown and un-touched is where I want to fish. I’ve spent a few years now fishing this lake and while spending many hours waiting for a bite I think back at the anglers that have sat by the waterside and gaze in wonder of the fish that have resided and indeed still exist in this pool. The lake has a head of old Leney carp but no one knows really how many and how big they go. Its a hard place to net as there is an extensive bed of lily roots, so the lake remains a bit of an unknown.
From the description of the 1961 list of waters it talks of ‘my’ lake as if it was written yesterday, I’m sure the landowners names may have changed but the description of the lake, the farm track, boat house and where you can park a car, is just as it is now, fifty years on. Knowing that some waters stay unchanged is a comforting thought, my only surprise on each return is how the seasons have marked its stamp on the surrounding landscape.