FREE LINE 03 - Page 92



The Magic of Redmire
(Left) My first Redmire fish.
(Below) The new boat house.
quick glance around the lake, but I
was struggling to keep my eyes away
from the swim off to my left. It was
The Willow Pitch, or Walker’s Pitch as
it is sometimes known. The same
swim where Bob Richards landed a
31lb 4oz mirror in October 1951, the
first 30lb carp ever caught in England.
The swim is, however, more famously
known for the capture made by Dick
Walker in September 1952 when he
landed the common known as
Clarissa at 44lbs, England’s first 40lb
carp! My mind was made up; in fact it
had been made up for some months.
If I got a good draw I would be going
in The Willow Pitch. That decision
was made purely on nostalgic
grounds, and, as we didn’t see any
fishy activity on our travels, it seemed
as good a bet as anywhere else.
Once we’d reached the end of the
first bank, Les left us to our own
devices, so we made our way back to
the top end, ready for our first look at
the dam wall. What a feeling it was,
leaning on that wooden fence, looking
down the entire length of the pool. I
92 FREE LINE
felt quite privileged to stand where so
many famous anglers had once stood.
The lake was bigger than I’d imagined, but was every bit as beautiful.
Our next stop was what we had all
been waiting for, and for the second
time that day all three of us, now
soaked to the skin, were lost for words
as we stood in The Willow Pitch. The
history of carp fishing came from
exactly where we were standing, and
the feeling was absolutely amazing. I
can’t tell you how Galvin and Carl
were feeling, but I know how I felt.
Standing there in the wind and the
rain with my fingers now numb from
the cold, I can honestly say that there
wasn’t anywhere I would rather have
been at that moment.
Once our tour was complete, we
went back to the hut to find that there
had only been two fish caught during
the previous six weeks, and they were
both caught in the same day! In our
miniature draw Galvin came out first
and chose Pitchford’s. I came out second and was delighted to get The Willow and Carl opted for Kefford’s,
which was about a hundred yards further along the bank from me. The first
job was to get the bivvy up, as the
rain was still falling steadily. With that
job complete, Carl and I were taking
our third or fourth trip along the dam
wall, laden with yet more tackle,
when we noticed two patches of bubbles coming up not more than ten feet
from the bank. I was quickly back at
the spot with a marker rod, and a few
minutes later I had a baited rig in
Redmire. It was great to finally cast a
line into the great lake. I’d dreamed of
doing just that for more than fifteen
years, and it felt just as good as I’d
hoped.
The light was now fading fast, so I
decided to get the other two rods out

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