Eleven hour shifts are great for the bank balance, yet do nothing for the soul - especially when you leave and return home in darkness. This current bonanza comes to an end on Wednesday, so Thursday will be a normal late shift and Friday a nice little 06.00 - 09.30 hrs affair before we break up for the holiday period.
|A Wilstone seven plus - taken during my "hit & run" sessions. Happy days and well worth revisiting if they|
are able to assist my angling as I move forward.
Working in the factory is a fairly mundane routine, once mastered, and allows plenty of thinking time for your mind to meander off down various avenues of thought. I have been working on one of the manual packing bays, alone, and have been wandering down Memory Lane reliving some of those times which, on looking back, were so much more than enjoyable; they were pivotal in shaping the development of specimen hunting and, as such, modern carp fishing. The venues were a magnet for some of the most characterful anglers to have cast a line and it is their company, as well as the magnificent fish that were caught, which sets that period of my life on such a pedestal.
I had the great good fortune to spend time with Fred Crouch, both on The Royalty Compound and in a punt, chained in King's Weir, and it was "normal" at the time - looking back I realize what a special time it really was. To have been taught the basics by Mr Barbel, himself, is an honour and privilege indeed!
|A Brogborough "double" Bream. If modern carp anglers knew of the lengths that I went to. in order to achieve|
my ambition, they might be a little more respectful of a species which was "nigh on impossible" during
the period - certainly not nuisance fish, and that's for sure!
To be able to call Alan Wilson and Eddie Turner (plus many other successful anglers) friends, not acquaintances, is also symbolic of the period. Those characters were at the top of their game, yet still had time to, happily, share advice and opinions with any angler who sought it. When Kevin Maddocks and Bob Baldock set the basis for the Catfish Conservation Group in motion our paths crossed immediately. Can't honestly say that we got on, but there was mutual respect/dislike and a great deal of idea swapping. I wrote some of my best articles for those early editions of the CCG "Silurus" magazine.
|Joey D'arville, Vic Gillings and Shaun Harrison all part of the Claydon scene during|
the mid - 80's. Crazy times when speccy hunters were much like twitchers,
we all sought the same fish!
Once again, it is the powerful memories, invoked by looking at old slides which set in motion this latest offering. I owe so much, to so many others, for making my life such a great adventure, an exploration of what can be achieved by a very ordinary person, but this one prepared to get off their arse and go question for themselves.
Blimey Dyl. you must have one of the biggest collections of the same person holding different fish, that there is. It's certainly a good way of tracking the ageing process if nothing else. I remember those long working periods when I was steverdoring, sometimes we would work a whole month without a day off, grabbing the work while it was there.ReplyDelete
Derek, I would love to be able state that one one the main reasons for me having so many photos is that I was hugely talented. Alas; this is not the case and the profusion of images has more to do with the fact that I worked for Kodak during my most prolific angling period and, as such, slide film was readily available at very competitive prices.Delete
Dyl, great post. Those pictures which we took, and were actually doing something worthwhile to take pictures of, have become in my eyes; and in this digital communication age, an incredible currency.ReplyDelete
There appears nowadays, to be a huge number of middle aged guys, all chasing about, taking up new hobbies and pastimes. The sort of things which you, me and Gav have been doing for forty or fifty years. Some connection to 'facebook' I fancy.
For me at least, to have an almost lifelong history of activities and experiences to draw upon, I feel a kind of comfort. Whereas, for the guys who have only just started, it appears more like a desperate attempt to play catch up. I don't fancy their chances.
It is very unlikely that such a period of incredible change will occur again, in such a short period, for the sport of angling. We just have to rejoice in the fact that we were part of the whole sequence of events which have led to modern carp angling and the dominance of this time bandit approach to fishing. That we can look back at the best bits, with rose-tinted specs is something those Johnie-cum-lately types will never experience, however successful they are at playing catch up!Delete