FL09June - Page 125

Made in England
(Right) Missing no more – Louis
Rogers with a rarely caught 36lb
(Below) Cracking end of season
Thames mirror for Ross Brooks.
shire, further through the shire of
Oxford, and west still to the wold of
Cots (hmm, that one doesn’t work
quite as well, does it?). Now south,
through Somerset, southeast to the
Forest that was New many centuries
ago, when unicorns still roamed the
land, and finally back to the White
Cliffs. Yes my friends, now you have it.
Abase yourself in full view of the
Golden Dodecahedron!
Derision? Do you think? Well, let us
move on and see what else the magic
chest has to offer. Well, lo and behold,
the great Lord Holmes has now taken
it upon himself to smash the sacred
cows and proclaim that all that we
hold to be true is in fact a lie.
His premise is that what he calls
the Golden Age of carp fishing (he
does like the prefix ‘Golden’ doesn’t
he?) wasn’t all it was cracked up to
be, and that those anglers whom we
revere from this distance would probably have fared appallingly in this day
and age. Now, forgive me for taking
slight umbrage at that, but I gave it
some considered thought and
decided, after serious consideration,
that it was a load of b******s! Let’s flip
Mark’s premise on its head, shall we,
and look at it from a different perspective? Those old anglers of yore, if
brought forward to the present would
have all the benefits which that
brings; purpose built rods and reels, a
plethora of line and hooks that are
capable of hauling in a whale, and bait
that has been specifically devised to
entice and bemuse the carp. And
what of the carp themselves? Why,
there are more 40lb carp present in
one or two lakes nowadays than were
available across the length and
breadth of England 40 years ago. How
could they fail to catch carp? Now,
the flipping on its head bit. Let us
now transport today’s anglers back
four decades and see how they fared.
Rods; make your own or pay a small
fortune for a hand built special. Reels;
don’t make me laugh! You’re barely
beyond the centrepin, and the gearing mechanism on most reels meant
for a few hairy moments with a mere
double figure carp. Bait? Well, we’ve
just moved on from par-boiled potatoes and there’s talk of ‘specials’ like
cat food and tuna paste, and even
luncheon meat, all of which just fly off
in midair if cast more than a dozen
yards. And what about the carp? Ah,
there’s a small problem there as well,
‘cos there aren’t that many – anywhere, and as Mark rightly points out,
the only sure place of catching even a
20 is the exclusive Redmire Pool.
Is this starting to make sense? Let
me employ a footballing analogy.
Bring George Best forward 40 years to
the present day, with its hi-tech fitness and training regimes and, even
more importantly, the rules and referees who won’t allow a hint of a foul
tackle on anyone, let alone someone
as mesmeric as Best. Now, let’s transport Ronaldo back 40 years (please!),
and his first three games are against
Liverpool, Leeds and Chelsea – that’s
Tommy Smith, Norman Hunter and
Ronnie Harris. Who do you think out
of him and Best would have fared better? In fact, who would have survived,
because let’s not forget that, back
then, a cartilage injury could be
career threatening, not just a bit of
keyhole surgery and two weeks out.
So, rose-tinted glasses? Of course.
Unable to survive in present day carp


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