Through the years of writing my blogs I've occasionally touched on a subject that I call the "fabricated reality". This concept isn't some 'hoodoo' that I read about on a crazy fringe website or in a dodgy 'new age' book. This is a theory that came into my mind well over a decade ago, coincidently, it was whilst I was on the bank fishing. If I remember rightly the whole concept came to fruition whilst chasing secrets down on Micklem Mere, it was early morning, I'd managed to get my rods out just before the sun came up. It was poignant because I was the only one on the water and the nearest human was fields away. As I watched 'reality' unfold before my eyes I realised that, within that moment, there was no outside influence to distort my perception of the world around me. It was simply me witnessing everything in its purest form, it was an undiluted example of a beautiful world.
In theory that's what existence should be, unfortunately it isn't, it never really has been and I fear it never will be for vast swaths of the worlds population. In my head the idea of a 'Matrix' came to mind long before the films were ever released. For the Matrix to exist you need to keep the mass of the population under hypnosis, there needs to be certain mechanisms in place to maintain the collective trance. Firstly you need "repetition", for example, "boring repetitive jobs", "advertisements", "marketing campaigns", "radio playlists", "habit forming activities", "meaningless labels" that create division, the list goes on. From the elements listed above, over time, behaviour modification takes place. It's actually this form of modification that we're seeing now with this 'pandemic'. I believe repetition breaks down your resistance, it literally dumbs you down both physically and mentally, turning may into docile unquestioning shells.
Running seamlessly alongside this is "thought control", this is the most important link in the chain, and it comes in many forms, predominantly through information received. This includes the media in all its guises and the related cooperations, TV, movies, celebrities, algorithms, advertisements, social media, think tanks, and let us not forget the Tavistock Institute of human relations. Literally everything that makes up the "modern age" is continually bombarding both our senses and consciousness to the point where we are being programmed without even realising it. Because this has been part and parcel of our everyday lives since birth, our conscious minds are unaware that it's even happening, however our unconscious minds are soaking up everything, the subconscious never sleeps.
Answer me this, through everything listed above how the hell can you experience any real undiluted reality?. How can you not be influenced by the bullshit around you when you're literally subjected to it every waking second, and more importantly how can you not be influenced and moulded by everything you're seeing and hearing ... and feeling. All of the above is what's driving the current hysteria we're witnessing, all of the above is what's making people blindly follow ludicrous rules and regulations that, with a little common sense and logical thinking, you'll begin to see the absurdity in it all. Since this 'pandemic' came to fruition I feel the crack within the walls of the Matrix has become painfully obvious, if you aren't starting to see it for yourself then I suggest you look a little harder.
I believe for everything I've mentioned to be solidified into place you need one last element, "distraction". If you can keep people distracted with the meaningless then you can keep them blind to any form of reality or truth. Too me this is the real virus, it's a virus of the "collective mind", distraction falls in line with thought control, it's the same elements that perpetuate it, celebrity obsession, social media, alcohol, drugs, pornography, platforms that enhance self-obsession, narcissism and self focus, and of course, the media. In my mind 'repetition', 'thought control' and 'distraction' are the three main elements that keep the worlds population trapped within the Matrix. To see through it you have to start using your own mind, collecting your own thoughts, feel confident in your own observations, and most important of all, question everything, especially when it's the MSM version of things you're continually being force fed. The puppeteers behind the media are the same entities that keep the whole system/prison in place.
I see the same patterns forming in modern day carp fishing, all these fashionable rigs, baits and items of tackle don't just happen. It's carefully designed marketing campaigns that are selling you the idea that a certain rig or bait will catch you more fish. Those with a modicum of sense will realise this is all just waffle, it's where you put your bait and rig that matters, not all the bells and whistles coming from the mags and DVD's. Through the years of writing my blogs I often get asked why I don't use "modern" rigs and my answer is simple. I see no benefit in changing from what I've been using for the past 30 years. Understanding the waters that you fish is one of the most important elements of carp fishing, for me everything else is simply a distraction.
So let us take a slight rest-bite from the madness and, 'through words', magically transport ourselves back to the Autumn of 2016 where I ventured up to Braxted reservoir for a day session. As I recall I was pretty 'down' on the venue after my last trip, the small nondescript carp appeared to have taken over the place making it a shadow of its former self. The 'Res' use to be a venue that I got excited about, when I first joined Chelmsford, it was one of those places you could go to if you'd been struggling on other waters. It contained a fantastic head of 20's and you always knew you were going to have a productive day. Nowadays it's just not the same and over the past few years it has lost the appeal it once held for me. But not being one to shun a gut feeling I embraced the enthusiasm, threw everything in the van and headed up the A12 in the hope I could rekindle some of the lost magic.
My enthusiasm to get the rods out made the journey fly by and before I knew it I was pulling into an empty car park down by front lake. All I had to do now was take the torturous walk up to the 'res'. Today I'd opted to use my little margin creeper rods, mini bait runners and my old TLB bite alarms. I was hoping without my normal 12-footers and stainless steel pod, it might just make the uphill journey that little bit easier. With a fast moving sky overhead and a slight bite in the wind, I clamboured up the muddy farm track. Finally reaching the top, I was met with a beautiful windswept landscape and best of all there wasn't a soul in sight.
View From The Swim
The wind was pushing nicely towards the dam wall, it made sense to fish on the front of it. It wasn't a particularly cold breeze and the carp do have a habit of getting on the front of the wind more times than not. Everything was going to be kept as simple as possible, I was going to fish small-ish PVA mesh bags with both crushed and full boilies in them. I was basically going to fish a mouthful at a time, hoping this might pick out the slightly better carp. I felt that if I started to pile the bait in the small carp would be on it in no time at all. Both rigs would be my usual 'semi-fixed' setups fished on 3oz leads - "blowback" style, my bait of choice was Tigernut & Maple. I wasn't going to be aiming for any particular spots, the rule of thumb would be one rod fished in the marginal areas and one chucked out into the open. I would only recast when and if I got a bite, there's a pretty heavy stock in the res and you can get bites from most places.
Mesh Bag Mouthfuls
So with both rods ready to go I deployed the 'mesh bag landmines' into the chaotic water before me, two very satisfying 'PLOPS' occurred followed by the sweet "DONK" that indicates 'we're good to go'. Having used 12ft rods for so long it felt a little strange dealing with my 8.5ft creepers but there was something endearing about them, matched up with my old skool TLB alarms and mini bait-runners, I was actually really looking forward to getting a bite. With the clouds racing overhead and the water fighting with itself in all directions, I took a much deserved seat under my brolly, taking refuge from the chaos. It was now the inevitable wait, I sensed I wouldn't have to wait too long though. I've fished the res in similar conditions to these many times before and it always manages to deliver a few fish. So, a few cups of coffee later and a hell of a lot of daydreaming, the conditions drastically changed for a moment or two, the clouds slowed down and started to disperse and the water became less confused looking. And, as if someone flicked a switch, within minutes, the clouds came back racing faster than before and with that, the water started to fight with itself again.
TLB's & Margin Creepers
Because the res is up so high the weather tends to be a series of extremes, it's a sun trap in the summer and pretty dam unforgiving in the winter. Amid the juggling of conditions my righthand alarm started crackling and bleeping, shortly followed by a monstrous run. Grabbing the rod and leaning into the fish, the reel spun and I just let the carp race off. Every lunge and pull seemed magnified by the shortness of the rod, the fish was kiting all over the place, I could tell I wasn't hooked into one of the small ones, it felt pretty good. Slowly it started to tire and within the flat spots the carp was creating just under the surface I saw a large tail and a pretty decent set of shoulders. As it came in close I slid the net under a lovely looking common carp.
A Beauty Of A Common
This was such a clean fish and an utter pleasure to catch, this carp reminded me of 'the res of old' where fish of this quality where in abundance. I slipped it home and fired the rod back out into the watery void, somewhere far below the bait landed and a "DONK" was felt. The rod was positioned carefully on the alarm, the bobbin was hung primed for another screaming bite. The day started to pass and I was in and out of minor hypnosis staring incessantly and both bobbins as they swung around in the wind. Occasionally one of them would slam against the bank stick, that sound was oddly satisfying. A couple of hours had past me by before the same rod shot off again, the bit was almost identical, the tip of the rod hooped round and my little bait-runner whizzed a like a pneumatic drill. I lifted the rod in my right hand and gently cupped the spool with my left, this felt like another good fish. The battle was pretty intense, I was fighting both the fish and the ridiculous wind smacking me straight in the face. Because the water level was so low I was standing where at least 5ft of water should be, as the wind blew, small waves were lapping on the tips of my boots. As the carp tired I eased another good looking common over the net.
A Lovely Mid Double
This was another awesome looking carp, I took great pleasure in releasing it back into the chaotic water, paying close attention as it faded from view as it slowly swam away. No time was wasted, I put a fresh bait on, slipped the mesh bag onto the hook and launched it back out into the 'ball-park' area I'd had the two fish from. My margin rod remained motionless, maybe the dropped water level had something to do with this. In theory I was actually setup where fish would usually be feeding. Thinking back I've actually caught carp from the spot that my rods were on.
Low Water Level
The afternoon started to close in, an hour or so past, the next rod to go was the one up the margin, this was a finicky take. The bobbin danced and then pulled up and slapped the blank. Picking the rod up, the carp had already shot right up the margin, as I applied the pressure it kited far out into the open water. It ran out of steam pretty quick and I soon found myself netting a spirited little common carp. This fish represented what you can expect from the res nowadays, the smaller fish have taken over, unfortunately CAA don't own the fish in any of the Braxted waters so they can't manage the stock in the same way they have on their other venues.
Common Number Three
I put the fish straight back and got the rod back out, opting to fire it a little further towards the open water rather than the margin. The rest of the session was uneventful on the fish front but I always enjoy it when the light starts to fade. One of my favourite things about fishing this time of the year is when darkness falls. I like sitting under my shelter and watching the sunset, the only light that can be seen is from my stove if I use it or from my alarms if I get a liner or a run. I love the isolation of being alone on the water in the dark, there's no distractions, no outside influence it's just you and the surrounding planet, free from the Matrix, if only for a short time. I packed away about 7pm and made my way along the res, down the farm track and into the car park, I'd had a great day and my enthusiasm for 'the res' had been rejuvenated slightly.