FL13 - Page 191



In Search Of Monster Carp
bought the last remaining leatherbound Savay book too. I re-launched
John Harry’s Savay book from the
80’s, with a new section, last year and
did a leather bound version of it, and
there was one left. Peter started collecting carp books some years ago,
well, he’s collected them for quite a
few years, but more seriously in
recent years. He asked me if I had any
leathers left, and I had one of each of
them, so just before he went to sea,
because he’s still at sea, he bought
them. He was actually talking to me
about that session and asked, “Do you
remember catching the Leather out of
swim 3 on D Lake?” I said, “Bloody
hell, you won’t believe this mate, but
I’m actually writing a piece on that
now, and I remember it as if it was
yesterday.”
Anyway, it was a fantastic session.
I don’t think Simon caught anything
in swim 2, and if my memory serves
me right, it was probably because he
couldn’t quite get it right under the
Back there. I think he’d still got the
11ft 2¼ rods and they weren’t quite
man enough for the job. Well, that was
the best test I could ever put those
rods through, that’s for sure, and they
must have sold a few off the back of
that, because we had a big audience
behind us, watching us get bites. I
think we had two days or something
like that in those swims on D Lake
and it was fantastic. They are great
memories, and to catch that leather
(Top) Dave Thorpe returns a 20 to
Arlesey’s gin-clear water.
(Right) Every one a beautiful Leney
carp.
188 FREE LINE
carp too. There’s a lovely picture of it
here, which has never been published
before, next to the lily pads in the corner of the swim. To this day, it’s still
one of the most beautiful carp I have
ever caught.
That wasn’t the end of my Waveney
affair though. I did have a trip down
some weeks later, actually, with one
of a pair of twin brothers called Karl
Pashley. The twins were only youngsters; I can’t remember how old they
w e r e, b u t t h e y m u s t h a v e b e e n
around about ten or something like
that. I’d told Karl all about Waveney,
and I could see on his face how much
he would love to go up there, so I had
a word with his mum and dad to see
whether they minded me taking him
up there, and they didn’t. I took him
up there for a couple of days as a
guest, and we both fished. Carl has
gone on to become a great angler, and
I believe he has fished over at Elstow
with his brother for most of his life. I
think they’re still over there now, and
must have caught the fish in there
dozens of times each. But that was
his first taste of getting away from the
area, the first and last I think, because
as I say, most of his fishing life is now
spent fishing very close to home. We
got in swim 2 I think, and ended up
doubling up in there. If my memory
serves me right, we didn’t have a lot;
I think we had a couple of fish, and I
think the biggest was just over 20lb.
Now I do remember that I’d actually
put a picture of it in one of my early
books, saying it was the ugliest fish in
Norfolk – it was a short, fat thing, and
that was about it I think for that trip,
and for me with Waveney.
The trouble is that the Colne Valley
came along… There was an article in
the Angling Times by a guy called
Peter Broxup, who was telling people
about Savay Lake and the shoals of
30’s that swam around in there. Peter
was a bailiff at the time, and a new
regime had just come in down at
Savay, which had previously been in
the hands of Ruislip Angling Club.
We’d all read about Savay, or about
the lake anyway, without it being
named. Mike Wilson had been on the
front of the very first Carp Society
magazine around about this time. The
Carp Society was started, I believe, in
1981, and the first meeting was in
Dunstable. It was in direct competition to the CAA, and it was started by
a group of anglers who had strong
viewpoints on certain things, and
were very political about the way
they fished and wrote about fishing.
The CAA and the BCSG were always
non-political; Peter Mohan wouldn’t
have it, and he ran the pair of them,
the CAA and the BCSG. Certain people raised questions about where the
finance of the BCSC and the CAA
were going, which was an awful
shame at the time.
Whether Peter had a few quid out
of it, I don’t know, and I don’t care
really at the end of the day, and why
shouldn’t he anyway? He should have
been on a salary. He was running two
organisations almost on his own,
which had thousands of carp anglers
as members in regions up and down
the country with regional organisers
holding meetings for six months of
the year, one a month, and it was
tremendously well organised. The

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