Who am I?

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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Carping - that spark?

The weather is awful and I've been spending my time sorting out the tackle in preparation for the next chapter of my split cane caper. Korda have just released their 2018 series of Masterclass videos on Youtube and I have to admit that there is a lot of useable advice amidst the blatant marketing blurb. So a positive review and thumbs up from me! One of the good bits about Youtube is the associated links that are shown whenever you click an offering. Generally they are of a similar nature and I have found myself wandering off at many strange tangents because of this. One particular thread has taken me along the "Catch of a Lifetime" avenue. Typically the carp anglers, well it is on Carp TV, under the spotlight, choose their biggest fish but, one, Adam Penning , was far more honest about the fish that shaped his own angling journey and recalled the extraordinary effort which was required to catch his first "twenty". Although published over five years ago, I found it superbly refreshing amidst the current crop of, clone-like, dross that is a portrayal of modern carp fishing.
I'd called in at Camo's Carp Cabin, yesterday, to purchase a new Petzl head torch and found myself involved in a conversation about the kit available today and how it is deemed a must have? I own very few items of "carping bling" because they don't catch fish - just anglers! I happily concede that modern technology has advanced our ability to produce terminal tackle, beyond anything I could have, possibly, imagined back in the 1980's. Shouldn't be too much of a surprise that I use everything at my disposal to enhance my chances of catching fish. The rest of the tat is all about impressing the neighbours, not catching fish! So, funnily enough, I don't need it. My tackle is perfectly functional, without being covered with brand labels because I might look like a noddy without them. Face - bothered?
So, as a direct result of this activity, found myself thinking back to when, and how, I caught my first twenty pound carp? July 5th 1983 saw Paul Elbourn and myself spending an afternoon session on a tiny pond called Bridego, just outside Cheddington, Bucks. The London to Glasgow train line running directly beside the pool at the exact point where Ronnie Biggs, and co, staged The Great Train Robbery almost twenty years previously in August 1963.

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That fateful day, 8th August 1963, the mail train on the bridge beside Bridego Pond. 
The venue already had a place in history and, much to my enjoyment, I was able to add further to the notoriority by capturing my very first twenty pound carp there. It was a blazingly hot afternoon and Elb's & I were doing our best to tempt a carp to take our surface baits. The pool is very small and much of the surface, then, covered with lily-pads. I think that we had both had fish, but my diary notes are fairly skewed, due to the fact that I added over ten pounds to my PB carp!

21 lbs 10 oz - Bridego Pond, Bucks. July 1983 and the fish that kick started my carp fishing adventure.
Using a Gerry Savage, stepped-up, Carp Rod (so probably 1.75 lbs t/c) 12 lbs b.s. Maxima line, a size 4 Partridge Z2 hook and some red "Floating Slyme" by Duncan Kay I managed to tempt this magnificent mirror carp, very pre-historic looking, to slurp down my bait and, as a result, grace the folds of my landing net. I offer no excuses for the hair do - just to say that Kevin Keegan has a lot to answer for!


  1. Dyl, I have the remains of a Gerry Savage carp rod somewhere. It must have got trodden on at some point. Shame. To think that in 1976 when that rod was bought, it cost more than a rod does today. If carp fishing has achieved one thing, it's to drive the price of kit into the ground. For example, a minute ago I saw an advert for a carp kit which includes a bivvy, seat, landing net, scales, 3 rods, reels and bite alarms. Plus bait and bits. All for about £160!
    In 1975 just one carbon fly-rod cost £150! I wonder what Dick Walker would have made of all this?

    1. Ric, If Dick Walker were still alive, and just as influential, then carp angling wouldn't be the circus that we see today. However, that's now just wishful thinking and modern angling is carp angling. I don't know what happened to my own Gerry Savage rod, but the one that I really wish I still had was a translucent, red, glass fibre, Rod Hutchinson Carp Rod with an abbreviated cork handle. It was a wonderful thing to use.
      As for adverts in the local papers for full carp kits - a symptom of how quickly, off the shelf, anglers become disillusioned with the sport. Paid top dollar for all those brand labels, so not to look like a noddy, now just wanting to rid themselves of their nightmare experiences. Victims of the hype? We were lucky enough to enjoy a lengthy apprenticeship, thus developing our skills with various species. Just doesn't happen anymore - much to the detriment of modern angling. There are now very few all rounders compared with our Tring comrades of the 80's. We certainly have nothing to grumble about, our generation enjoyed the best, UK, coarse fishing there has ever been. Let's just be thankful that we were part of it - great memories of fantastic times. - Dyl