Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. 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!


Monday 4 May 2020

Sad news

My brother, Simon, rang me earlier today to tell me of the passing of Lester Strudwick. He was a member of The Tring Syndicate, during the early-mid 80's, and an incredibly successful big fish angler during this period. He was always generous with his time and advice, as we were learning the ropes at the reservoir complex. Lester not only inspired us to travel to Scotland, in search of pike, but also gave us the heads up about Stanborough Lake, in Welwyn Garden City, for the carp fishing that was to be had there.

Lester with a 7 lbs 2 oz Tench from "The Royal Box" on Startops - summer 1985(?)

We hadn't kept in touch yet I feel a sense of loss. He was certainly one of a kind - RIP mate.


  1. A sad loss indeed Dyl.

    I've sent you a picture of Lester as I remember him. On reflection, I have quite a few of him. He made quite an impression, though I have to laugh at his very first words to me. "Admit it you were not fishing for Bream when you had that twelve pounder".

    That was the 12lb 9oz specimen I had the evening before 'The record? Tench' (I'm still on the writing about it case)
    The Bream at the time was about fourth on the all time list and I think a Wilstone record.

    My reply to Lester was, "I never said I was. I'm just chucking out a bait and hoping something might pick it up".
    That put him on the back foot. I assume he was expecting an argument.

    I was under no delusions. I had no plan. I was just chucking and chancing it. But only now does Google Earth show I had chanced and chucked out in Swim A1.

    Swim AI is 66m up from the elbow. It's opposite the channel to the hole, but also has the shallows to the right. So, channel by day, shallows at night. It's the only place I'd ever consider going to on the Tring complex these days.

    Tench wise that is - if any left?

    1. When I (& Sye) first met Lester he would hardly have been bothered about our angling abilities - we were very much at the start of our angling journeys. He was always quick to offer advice and point us in the right direction, only much later, when I had a few seasons under my belt did he ever try to claim any part in my development and that was after I'd landed a 26 lbs 9 oz pike from down near the Wilstone Pier.
      Your photo is perfect, I've forwarded it to Simon, Lester and that toothy grin and same green Army Surplus jumper! He was the original tackle tart, only very different from today's brand label freaks, all his stuff was home made. If Lester didn't have one, you didn't need it!
      As for going back to fish the complex again? I'm not too sure if I'd be comfortable there now. I'm happy that my twelve seasons as a syndicate member coincided with such a wonderful period of change for "big fish" angling and, when all said and done, I was part of it in my own small way. - Dyl

  2. Sad news indeed Dyl. Lester is one of the few who sticks in my memory from a brief flirtation with the Tring scene in about '81/82. I have a set of photos of Lester wielding the net as Tony Chester plays and lands a Wilstone tench. I've used one or two on NQS in the past.
    For some reason I recall Lester telling me that he had no feeling in a couple of his fingers, apparently down to regular chainsaw use in his job (tree surgeon?). Bizarre what the brain retains...
    A friendly bloke is what I remember.
    Thanks for passing that on Dyl.

    1. Hi Gav,
      Your memory serves you well, a tree surgeon is what he was and, as you say, a very friendly guy. Ric sent me a fabulous photo, via email this morning, of Lester on the banks at Wilstone, all toothy grin and green Army Surplus jumper - just how I wish to remember him. Something else that Ric had said, which is really apt, is how in these unprecedented days, we have opportunity to reflect on times gone by.
      Cheers for taking time to comment - stay safe - Dyl