Thursday, 28 July 2016

Another Old Friend - Redmire 2016

There are those that think the pool is finished, a muddy, weedless shadow of her former self. It's easy to be dismissive, negative......wrong!

I'd already heard that the pool was perfect this year. Well, perfect to me anyway.

Weedless and Muddy?
Not for me, this year, the cane rod and pin approach. You see, though some may call me a romantic, I do not always see life through the rosy glow of vintage spectacles...Time and place. On a Redmire blanketed in weed (the weed that they said is gone), carbon is the only sensible approach.
 I decided on Pitchfords and set to work with a cast-able weed rake once permission had been granted by Ian the bailiff.
  The greenery was increasing by the minute in the very hot weather , but after some hours of clearance I was happy that I could present a couple of baits..

The view of my swim from The Stile Pitch

All set, after a bit of 'gardening'

I guess that the knack is to remove a bit, but leave enough..I do know that my activities seemed to have had very little effect on the carp, they were soon back on the spot.

Meanwhile, up at 'Keffords', the ducks mocked me loudly, as they are inclined to do, for being so active on a lazy sunny day..

I assured them apologetically, that it wouldn't happen again...this is Redmire after all, time to relax.

 The swans sought sanctuary from the summer heat at 'In Willow'.

I popped around to say 'Hello' and enquired about the availability of quills for floats.
 They're never much problem to the Redmire carp catcher and as I've said before, I like to think they remember those that pay them due respect.

The days and nights have a habit of gelling together, merging..Was it Yates who said that time doesn't pass here, it just collects? I can kind of understand that.
This isn't a diary, just events plucked from five heady days.

Well, it was my birthday...and there would be brandy! Indeed, brandy...after food.
We had consumed the traditional "Redmire Rissotto" the day previous, to once again rave reviews and the odd grumble that such a delight should have it's own dedicated pots and year.
 So, my birthday?...of course I received a run on my left rod. I'd had three previous, all lost to the weed, hook pulls. It was my birthday now though, the pool was kind....the brandy tasted even better after a carp.

Birthday present
I'd decided that all further takes would be treated as follows..Strike fish, allow it to penetrate
the weed, wind down, place rod on rest, tell a fellow piscator, go around to fetch the punt (now allowed for snagged/weeded fish), row to swim, collect rod and fellow piscator, row/wind to fish, handline/play to net.
 This method gave 100% success in the harsh conditions. Easier for us, kinder to the fish.

At first light the following day I had my next run and was straight in the punt with my old mate Tony..
 From our new vantage point the pool looked majestic..

..With  the fish safely on the bank at the Dam wall there then followed a routine I have endured for nigh on thirty years. Now Tony is a true friend, a top bloke, fine angler and a joy to have as company on the bank...but in his own words, "No David Bailey". I hark back to the weekend over twenty years ago, the film years, when I caught the two biggest carp in the lake, one of them twice (!) but ended up with not a single decent shot. Oh and the time I caught my first catfish, every photo a get the picture?...I don't!
First attempt
Sixth Attempt!

 There was still enough time for more early action so I re-rigged and cast back to the spot.

Twenty minutes later I was back in the punt.
 I was pleased to see that the swans had left me some prime wing feathers on the surface so I collected a few as I slowly plodded towards my prize.
 After the undramatic procedure of extracting a sprightly common we were once again back on the dam wall. At this point I was able to give Tony a quick tutorial before raising the fish for the obligatory photos.
 As I lifted the fish, something profound struck me. A sense of familiarity.
 He lay across my hands, tensing his muscles, flexing his fins.....I'd seen this before. I knew exactly at this point which fish this was. It's perfect proportions, it's flexing and writhing, it just had this aura.
 I told a couple of the lads that I knew which fish this was....They scoffed, "How many commons are in this lake?"....One even said,"They all look the same".
 Well have a look at this my friends.....In my opinion, the finest fish swimming in Redmire..The fish that made my angling dreams come true. Here is a photo taken in 2010 of my first ever Redmire carp..

 ..and here is the fish I caught last week..

How could I not recognise it?..Just imagine how impressive this fish will be at 20lb+...I will always love him and it was so nice to make his acquaintance again. I had often wondered if he'd survived the removal of single figured commons in recent years. Truth told he should've been put in the removal cage when I first caught him..I couldn't bring myself to do it. Hopefully he'll continue and thrive from now on in the depths of Redmire, he'll always be the best fish I ever catch.
We saw some very large fish amongst the weeds on this session and we all caught, there are still some great fish here, but even if there wasn't...this place wouldn't be finished, it wouldn't be a shadow, take it from me...I know.

Friend Mike fishing from the fallen oak

The fruit of his labour


  1. Great write up Gurn. I've been rereading some Yates about Redmire so I fully believe that fish was 'your' fish. There is sill magic in that weedy place and you are well and truly under its spell.

  2. Hi Dave, I think that we can all become a bit cynical as we get older, but my yearly trip to the 'mire recharges my boyish mentality. A place that can do that truly is magical. Hope your keeping well buddy.

    1. All good here mate.... apart from the attached list :o) Glad you have found your earthing point. Lakes are far gentler on the soul than rivers in my experience.

  3. Brilliant! Look at the colours of those commons...... Wow. I only know Redmire via A Passion For Angling (and your blogs). So nice to see the old place still has 'it'. Thanks for a lovely report.

  4. Lovely reading that! I've recently 'found' an ancient, weedy lake where the Carp don't have names, my own Redmire.

    1. Hi Michael..You are a lucky man. May it be everything you wish of it..I have my eye on a bit of winter carping this year..I know a place :-)

  5. Lovely looking place. Even more magical now its overgrown. Popped in to see you the other day with the boy but you weren't in, (friday). My lad loved the tractors outside though.

    1. Hi mate, I work upstairs now..Next time you come in ask the lads to call me.