FL12Sept - Page 212



In Search Of Monster Carp
zine about them, but in those early
days, there weren’t any carp in the
lakes at all, but pike fishing was very
good on there in the winter. Once the
beginning of the season was coming
round though, it was carp fishing that
everybody was talking about.
One of the other guys to take me
under his wing was a chap called
James Gregg. He was another Luton
based BCSG member who had been
fishing down at Arlesey Lake, another
old stomping ground of Richard
Walker’s. There are several lakes over
i n A r l e s e y, t h e B l u e a n d G r e e n
Lagoons and the Hitchin Angling
Club Arlesey Lake by the side of the
railway there, and it was the Hitchin
Angling Club Lake that had the big
carp in.
It contained quite a number of 20lb
carp in the early 70’s and one 30lb
carp too. I was taken over there originally with James, and it must have
been around about 1970 or 1971. This
guy was one of the top carp anglers at
the time; he built his own rods from
blanks that he purchased from Alan
Brown’s tackle shop in Hitchin. Alan
Brown’s was known throughout the
gravel pits over at Newport Pagnell
were superb pike venues. They were
owned originally by Birmingham
Angling Club, then Luton Angling
Club took them over. In the end,
which must have been the late 80’s,
Len Gurd actually had the fishing
rights on there, and they became the
Linear Fisheries over at Newport Pagnell, which had a lot of carp in there.
We’ve had many articles in the maga-
country as a top specialist fishing
tackle shop and people would come
from all over England to this little
shop in Hitchin, which stocked many
of the things that we take for granted
these days. They were one of the first
shops in the country to have the
Lafuma low chairs, and even though I
was working in Wilds at the time, we
certainly didn’t stock any of this real
specialist stuff of the day; even the
blanks for the carp rods could only be
purchased over at Alan Brown’s. So
James kindly took me over there one
Saturday morning and I purchased
my first carp rod blanks in brown
glass on a Hardy blank, if my memory
serves me right. They actually had a
Hardy carp rod out at the time, one of
the first carp rods on the market.
Glass was a fairly new material to be
used for fishing rods; most of my
father’s rods were either cane, split
(Top) Getting down and dirty at the
Airman.
(Above) Stanton Harcourt 1970.
(Left) This is how it all began.
210 FREE LINE

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