A nice 24hrs spent at Gyrn Castle, for me, my wife, and bump!
Back in late September 2011, just before the birth of our daughter Olivia, me and my wife Holly went for an overnight fishing trip to Gyrn Castle. A lovely little intimate fishery nestled deep in rural Flintshire. With the birth of our first child due in the next couple of weeks we didn’t want to travel too far, and wanted somewhere that offered some home comforts, namely comfortable fishing, clean toilets, the chance of a fish or two and peace and quiet. Happily after speaking to a few other anglers we settled on Gyrn Castle, which easily met all our requirements. There are no fish of monster proportions in the lake currently, but with fish to well over the 20lb mark there is plenty to aim for.
Upon arrival we parked in the ample parking and loaded the barrows provided and made the short walk up to the top lake. There are two lakes at Gyrn, a lower and an upper, the first you come to from the car park is the lower, lake a pleasure lake of mixed species. The second just a little further along the track is the upper lake, the carp lake, and our home for the next 24hrs.
Gyrn operates a peg booking system, so before your arrival you know where you’ll be fishing, which if you make repeat visits is useful as you can be well prepared before you hit the bank. Plus if your chosen spot is already booked you can look to book a different date, a system I think works well.
Setting up was straight forward apart from the unsettled weather and gusty winds. Nothing to worry about once the gear was sorted, and the westerly wind was blowing straight at us, hopefully pushing the fish towards our end of the lake. The late evening would bring some heavy thunderous weather, but tucked snuggly in the bivvy this did nothing to dampen our spirits.
Our swim consisted of one corner of the lake, the right hand side had a long stretch of peg free water, lined with trees and overhangs. Out in front and to our left we had a good expanse of open water. Pegs 1 to 3 are on top of the dam, sat on peg 3 the deepest of the water was right at our feet, gradually swallowing up as the water stretched away from us.
Plumbing around we found a small depth change in the form of a ledge a little over 4 rod lengths out, the first rod was placed here along with a scattering of bait. The second right hand rod we placed under the trees to our right in a deep hole about 6-7 meters along the tree line, along with a generous helping of hemp and a scattering of boilies. This proved to be a tricky spot to cast a bait into, the overhanging trees obscured a clean cast from range, along with any possibility of an underhand side lob from close range. So a little lateral thinking had to be employed.
First I had to poke the rod tip through the trees and flick the bait onto the spot.Then it was ‘simply’ a case of getting the rod past the water side of the trees.Easy you might think? Well yes and no, there were a few precarious moments, especially as it got dark!And at some points the trees hung over the water quite a way!You’ll no doubt notice the expression on my face here. If you’re wondering how to interpret this face, its my ‘put that camera down, stop laughing and help me sort this rod out’ face.So in the end our efforts were rewarded fairly quickly after setting everything up. Roughly an hour after getting the right hand rod out under the trees, we were rewarded in the shape, and what an unusual shape, with this small but distinctive mirror. Having a very unusual shape to its back, and ‘twin’ dorsal fins as a result, all being well this fish could gain quite a reputation in years to come.Next up Holly bagged this small but perfectly formed Common, again no monster but the action was coming thick and fast, and all of it from under the trees on our right. Wanting to capitalise on this we but some more bait out in the shape of a few more boilies and hemp, and moved the left hand rod closer to the right. Hemp is a bait that needs caution in its application. There is no doubt it has great pulling power throughout the year, however carp can become fixated with it, if this happens you can struggle to get them to take anything else. So with the evening drawing on, we had a decision to make and opted to put half a tin of hemp out on the spot. Not a massive amount but hopefully enough to hold the fish in the area, with the chance of drawing more fish in.Our tactics paid dividends shortly after with Holly again scoring with this lovely proportioned mirror at about 14lb. In the background you can just see the corner of the lower lake, and the bark chippings that cover the dam wall under foot. What you can’t see is that Holly is putting a very brave face on things being almost full term in her pregnancy, and with a very strong wind gusting straight at her!We had a couple of dropped takes as the evening drew in, lost what felt like a very big fish (dont they all) to a hook pull, and with a little lull in action, we had enough time for a cup of tea and a chat to watch the setting sun dip behind the horizon. However, just before dark finally started to make headway across the lake towards us we had another take. A very lively and spirited fight ended in the biggest fish of the trip, this nice common of just a touch over 17lb. With hints of ‘ghost’ colours along its head and flanks it seemed a fitting fish to catch in the grounds of a castle. I’d spotted a couple of ghost carp cruising on the surface over by the dam overflow earlier on at the opposite end of the wall to our spot. They took me totally by surprise, and as I nearly jumped out of my skin they were off, which wasn’t at all a surprise.
Shortly after this picture was taken the heavens really opened, so we reset the rods and retreated into the bivvy. We didn’t have any more fish out during the trip, and headed back home early the following morning, wet through, but having thoroughly enjoyed the stay. There is a lot of wildlife to be seen around the lakes at Gyrn, so even if you aren’t lucky enough to catch a few fish, it really is just a nice place to spend time.
Less than four weeks after our trip Holly gave birth to our beautiful daughter Olivia, now two years old shes pure joy to spend time with. In a couple of years time I’ll introduce her to our wonderful world of angling, she can already say ‘carp’!