This place is where I caught my first carp on fly about 10 years ago, starting my obsession with the species and my 60 day a year carp habit that lasted till some time in 2017. Since then I barely fished for carp and I definitely lost my edge.
Last year my return to carp was a humbling experience and it felt like 2 or 3 fish days were an impossible task, let alone the 6-10 I had become accustomed to expect. So the question is why?.... Well I lost my sharpness; being stealthy, getting close, reading fish and hitting eats had all - predictably - deteriorated.
The last few months have been an interesting time as I've been re-honing my skills and questioning things I thought I knew, and probably becoming a better angler in the process. Yesterday I really felt like things were starting to come together properly. The creepyuppness is again where it needs to be and I was able to surprise not only a few carp grubbing on my near bank, but also almost gave an old guy a heart attack as I set the hook and popped up from behind a bush after a lengthy sneak. The ninja stealth is back!
The main lesson for me though is how important it is to maintain the skills, they'll not just stay there and in future I won't be giving the carp such a long reprieve.