I first met Marcellus and Bjorn in October 2010. They had chosen a holiday with another tour operator working at Sierra Brava, whilst I took on the role of chef, providing meals for clients. They had a disastrous trip to be honest as their guide failed to show for most of the week.
Sierra Brava Dreams.
I took pity on the Dutch pair. I made sure they ate well, and in between cooking meals, I set up next to them for the last three nights of their holiday in 2010. I caught a few carp to 35lbs, which proved to them that the fish were present and catchable. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of their company the following spring, as they chose to book with me for their return trip.
Over the next two years Marcellus returned, not only with Bjorn, and also with Dick, his affable brother. On both occasions many carp were caught, a few pb’s were broke, and the return for another holiday was always secured. This time Marcellus managed to once again persuade Bjorn to get some time off from work. Bjorn is a busy heart surgeon, and Marcellus a successful entrepreneur. The dates were decided upon, but then changed. However, I managed to juggle some dates around and everything was satisfactorily tailored for the happy Hollanders!
Bjorn remembering to apply side strain.
And in full control!
When I say tailored – let me explain. As this was to be Marcellus’s fourth trip to Sierra Brava, and Bjorn’s third, and the pair fish together a lot in Holland, and occasionally France, they were keen to fish without the full aid/assistance of the guide on this particular trip. I put a special package together, meaning I would be with them for the first four days, providing meals and advice on tactics, leaving them half way through their holiday so they could finish off their holiday, as ‘spoilt’ drive and survive clients. The fact I live close to the lake, also meant I could deliver extra bait and any other requirements, if needed.
Ian and Neil Gowar were halfway through their holiday when the Dutch pair arrived. I had luckily found a swim that was free, as it was a Saturday when Marcellus and Bjorn started their week long holiday. The lake was incredible busy as it is a public lake, but fortunately there were no competitions on this side of the lake on this occasion so it wasn’t rammed, just very busy!
The Dutch guys got started but the weather in all fairness wasn’t in their favour. Hot and still are never the best conditions. I had put them in the swim where they started their Sierra Brava Dreams account in 2011, when they had 38 takes, landing 28 carp. I really wanted them in a particular swim offering deeper water, nearer to where I was based with Ian and Neil, but you can’t reserve or block swims on a public lake. Sadly the swim was occupied by the time the Dutch guys arrived. As my website states – Saturday is not a good starting day for your holiday, which is why I advise arriving on Monday or Tuesday, but unfortunately the guys had to arrive on this particular date for their final holiday.
Things had slowed up slightly for the Gowars but they were still catching every day. I knew the Dutch guys needed slightly deeper water so it was a relief when the chosen swim became vacant. With one fish under their belt, I got the Dutch pair to get their skates on, and the move was executed in double quick time.
The following morning the Dutch guys had had three carp in the night. It was now time for the Gowars to leave for the UK, and for myself to leave the Dutch guys to fend for themselves, at their request I might add! I left them with a gas fridge, enough food and beers to sink a ship, and the promise of bait top ups, should they need more. The fish then started to come, and the following night, the Dutch capitalised on the change in weather conditions, producing 15 takes, landing 13 carp to 36.5lbs.
A new PB mirror for Marcellus at 36.5lbs
By the end of their holiday Marcellus and Bjorn had landed 24 carp from 28 takes. Both went home with a new personal best, and they can be very proud of their achievements. The first time I met the pair in 2010, they were novices. Very keen, but inexperienced; who were just looking for honest help and genuine guidance, but the ‘shoddy guide’ let them down badly(see above)!
As we said our farewells on my doorstep of my Spanish home, I saw two improving carp anglers getting into their hire car. It was a pleasure to see. Our paths may cross again in the future, should I be visiting Holland, but I would personally like to thank you both, Marcellus and Bjorn, for your support, and renewed business from 2011-2013. It was greatly appreciated and I will take fond memories of our time on the bank, sharing a glass of quality wine or three, away with me.
All pictures supplied by Marcellus and Bjorn.