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Who Is Lenny Middleton?

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Just thought I would share this...

It's was over six years ago that Lenny Middleton inventor of the hair rig and legendary carper passed on.

So when you next put a bait on a hair rig please remember him because without his contribution...

RIP Lenny Middleton

post-2992-0-46048000-1342923879.jpg

Edited by hairwig

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God bless him and may his soul RIP. I'm sure he's at a great swim catching big ones up in heaven!

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he was a fascinating man and I think I am right in saying he went on to invent a few other things later on in his life. he dropped out of the mainstream carping media and still fished pretty much up to when he died - there is a bench as a memorial to him at the woolpack fisheries in east midlands, UK.

There has been some debate as to whether they actually invented the hair rig though - especially as there is actually evidence of similar rigs tied up by russian fisherman dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Sadly we will probably never know as lenny is RIP and kevin maddocks (allegedly) wouldn't know the truth if it walked up and shat on his doorstep.

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I read that a paylaker named Herkel first fished the hair rig . It was a modified worm harness.

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Its seems funny now, sometime around 77-78 when it wasn't all in books and you either found out for yourself or got tit bits of info as they worked their way down the ladder to your lowly rung, sometimes you would run some of the more out there ideas by someone you knew who was a bit further up to see what they thought. Around this time down our way freelining baits was the normal sometimes with a light link ledger and it was said that you had to hide the hook in the bait so they couldn't see it so i assumed it was any hint of of a hook visible on the bait that would put them off, one day i thought that if you tied the bait to the hook with a short piece of line they would suck the hook in after the bait, i did not think of doing this with a supple thing like thin mono , braid or hair, i ran this idea past an old friend who was a rung and a bit up the ladder from me so to speak and after he finished laughing he said dont be stupid it would never work so i never tried it for fear of the ridicule, one of lifes learning curves when your younger. Boy do i wish i had not said anything to him and just did it- aint hindsight a wonderfull thing :lol: It was probably about late 81 when i 'found' out about the hair, the secret squirrels were really hard working back then down our way :lol: I am not laying any claims i just wanted to share this with you people and hopefully you get some enjoyment from it, ive lightly kicked myself everynow and again over the years :lol:

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Lenny Middleton was Kevin Maddox Fishing partner and close friend they used to do rig tests in a very large Aquarium withe Carp in. The Hair Rig was actually a strand of Lenny's Wifes hair She had very long hair. a strand of her hair was tied to the bend of the hook and baited on (no hook ) at this time they then experimented with lengths of hair till satisfied then used that same setup using 1 1/2 lb mono tied to the bottom of the Hook bend.The Knotless knot came later after Kevin's Book Carp Fever came out. Carp Fever is a great Book on early Carp Fishing. Lenny was a great carp Angler but didn' want to be in the limelight. Regards Roger

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Sadly we will probably never know as lenny is RIP and kevin maddocks (allegedly) wouldn't know the truth if it walked up and shat on his doorstep.

Are you quite sure you want to say that on a public Forum? I'm not sure that your use of parentheses will necessarily guarantee immunity from litigation! :)

Iain

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Regardless of who invented the hair rig ( but a big thanks to him or her ) it got a lot of fish on the mats and was a revolutionary tactic in Carp angling! Couldn't image tying a hook without a hair. :icon_smoking:

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Are you quite sure you want to say that on a public Forum? I'm not sure that your use of parentheses will necessarily guarantee immunity from litigation! :)

Iain

actually kevin has successfully previously sued the daily telegraph for libel back in the 80's for an article relating to him stealing wels catfish. I am guessing that by questioning my quote that you have no idea about the man or are a close friend of his and have very rose tinted spectacles :D

If he wants to take the forum to court then I am sure I could pull together hundreds of people as witnesses (I think a fair few would pay me to get the chance...)

If the mods want to delete it then go ahead but to be honest I don't think they have much to worry about...

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Guest BCLT

Regardless of who invented the hair rig ( but a big thanks to him or her ) it got a lot of fish on the mats and was a revolutionary tactic in Carp angling! Couldn't image tying a hook without a hair. :icon_smoking:

float fishing Arvand..........float fishing lol...............never a hair on my hook! Wink wink!

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float fishing Arvand..........float fishing lol...............never a hair on my hook! Wink wink!

interesting you mention that shawn as I have been thinking about hair rigs and float fishing - remind me next time I speak to you as I'd like to see what you think.

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A somewhat younger Lenny fishing Savay in 1981... (taken by Mike Wilson)

Lenny kindly showed us the hair rig in early 1980 and it proved devastating from the outset!

post-479-0-73425400-1343178501_thumb.jpg

And some much earlier hair rigs...

1930's big game rig

post-479-0-95273600-1343178536_thumb.jpg

Sturgeon 'pop-up' rigs from the 1800's

post-479-0-20042500-1343178607_thumb.jpg

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actually kevin has successfully previously sued the daily telegraph for libel back in the 80's for an article relating to him stealing wels catfish. I am guessing that by questioning my quote that you have no idea about the man or are a close friend of his and have very rose tinted spectacles :D

Jaminski

Welcome to CAG.

No, you're not "guessing"........just making assumptions then jumping to conclusions. In this case they happen to be entirely incorrect....but that's no skin off my nose! :lol:

As it happens, there are a lot of long-time CAG members (both European ex-pats and home-grown) who are very well-informed indeed about the history of carp fishing - both in the USA and Canada and on the other side of the pond. In South Africa too for that matter. You might want to reflect on that, then try rereading my post. As you do so consider the possibility that your humble scribe might have already known about the circumstances you allude to regarding the man who put the Kay in BeeKay.

Cheers!

Iain

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float fishing Arvand..........float fishing lol...............never a hair on my hook! Wink wink!

Float fishing is the way forward buddy, with or without the hair. If things go as planned I will soon have a lifetime supply of floats! Thats for you to Buddy!

A new meaning to hair rig!

post-5857-0-83296700-1343212926.jpg

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Guest BCLT

Jaminski

Welcome to CAG.

No, you're not "guessing"........just making assumptions then jumping to conclusions. In this case they happen to be entirely incorrect....but that's no skin off my nose! :lol:

As it happens, there are a lot of long-time CAG members (both European ex-pats and home-grown) who are very well-informed indeed about the history of carp fishing - both in the USA and Canada and on the other side of the pond. In South Africa too for that matter. You might want to reflect on that, then try rereading my post. As you do so consider the possibility that your humble scribe might have already known about the circumstances you allude to regarding the man who put the Kay in BeeKay.

Cheers!

Iain

I love reading threads with Americans arguing with Englishmen..........its halarious!

Keep em coming guys!

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Guest BCLT

Float fishing is the way forward buddy, with or without the hair. If things go as planned I will soon have a lifetime supply of floats! Thats for you to Buddy!

A new meaning to hair rig!

post-5857-0-83296700-1343212926.jpg

Ya me likely float fishing, especially when the..........................................................What the hell is wrong with that kid! Ninja school gone wrong!

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No, you're not "guessing"........just making assumptions then jumping to conclusions.

making assumptions and jumping to conclusions? there's a word for that. it's called 'guessing' :lol: (arriving at an opinion without knowing full facts) - I was wrong - sorry about that :D

either way, if I have libelled him or not (I don't care - he can try and sue me - I would be confident that my claim would stand up in a court of law), for someone that contributed massively to modern day carp fishing through the publication of his books and idea's, he has next to no respect left within the sport today.

compare him to the likes of hutchinson, springate, macdonald, yates, ball, walker etc - he probably did more than any of them but is never spoken of in the same way. I wonder why that is...?

savayman - that is the picture I was referring to regarding the russians using the hair rig. Bob Davis discussed Lenny in an interview in Carpworld a few years back and then Tim Paisley wrote an editorial a couple of months later talking about him too. Is a very interesting read if you haven't seen it and well worth tracking down.

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I found this thread because tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary

Anyway it seems there is a need for some light to be shed on the hair rig invention which was originally lenny's idea but of course developed by him and his friends.
Here on my blog is an article you might wanna read it as it's a story that has not to my knowledge ever been told before.
RIP Lenny you were a great angler and a great guy to sit and drink tea with 

http://thecarpcatcher.co.uk/thecarpcatchers_blog.php?tag=lenny%20middleton

Oh ps, nice to see my pic of him at the top of this thread. That's bertie at 26lb one of a few he had that afternoon here is another :-)
Oh and the Woolpack is in Cambridgeshire

DSCF0015.JPG

Edited by Steve Whitby

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Its interesting to read about Len Middleton and what people know and what people think they know, a bit like chinese whispers. Len lived with me and my wife  in 1970 and lived close by us until he died. We met as Falconer's, oh did you not know he was a Falconer in the 60s/70s he had never caught a carp! I remember the day he told me about his idea, it was 1973 we were Barbel fishing on the river Lee at Kings Wear. Hertfordshire. He had not met Kevin Maddocks at that point, in fact Kevin at that time used to fish a carp lake...but only for Tench,  he couldn't catch the carp!

It wasn't that Len didn't want publicity, he just loved to fish. he was a great innovator and a very good taxidermist, first to make ready made boilies, and not just fishing. He was NOT a good business man, he was too nice, unlike others who took his ideas and made a lot of money. 

It was not Len's wife's hair (he did not have a partner until about 1978) but Kevin's first wife, Brenda who's hair was used in the tank experiment. In the beginning there were only 4 people who knew about Len's "hair rig" Kevin, who had the tank in his house, a guy called Keith Gillings  and me. We caught a lot of fish, I mean a lot. Everybody thought it was the bait, it was hilarious, at Darenth they used to hide in the bushes they had binoculars on Len. We had it our own way for about 2 years. Dont get me wrong Kevin was a good angler, but meeting Len (at my house) was his lucky day. 

Len died in my daughter's arms, at Lister hospital, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, he was my best friend.

 

Edited by John Barton
typo

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10 hours ago, John Barton said:

Its interesting to read about Len Middleton and what people know and what people think they know, a bit like chinese whispers. Len lived with me and my wife  in 1970 and lived close by us until he died. We met as Falconer's, oh did you not know he was a Falconer in the 60s/70s he had never caught a carp! I remember the day he told me about his idea, it was 1973 we were Barbel fishing on the river Lee at Kings Wear. Hertfordshire. He had not met Kevin Maddocks at that point, in fact Kevin at that time used to fish a carp lake...but only for Tench,  he couldn't catch the carp!

It wasn't that Len didn't want publicity, he just loved to fish. he was a great innovator and a very good taxidermist, first to make ready made boilies, and not just fishing. He was NOT a good business man, he was too nice, unlike others who took his ideas and made a lot of money. 

It was not Len's wife's hair (he did not have a partner until about 1978) but Kevin's first wife, Brenda who's hair was used in the tank experiment. In the beginning there were only 4 people who knew about Len's "hair rig" Kevin, who had the tank in his house, a guy called Keith Gillings  and me. We caught a lot of fish, I mean a lot. Everybody thought it was the bait, it was hilarious, at Darenth they used to hide in the bushes they had binoculars on Len. We had it our own way for about 2 years. Dont get me wrong Kevin was a good angler, but meeting Len (at my house) was his lucky day. 

Len died in my daughter's arms, at Lister hospital, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, he was my best friend.

 

Thank you John for sharing this and giving us some real insight to the Len you knew. You were truly fortunate to call him your best friend. I only met him a couple of times on Savay and still remember Mike Wilson showing me a hair rig for the first time. He lives on as a true legend.

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Just wanted to thank you for sharing that as well John. 

A lot of us on this side of 'the pond' are not only catching on to the challenge( and pleasure )of carp fishing but it's rich history, as well.  Fortunately, there are many books available now on the early days of carp fishing, and reading them has provided me with countless hours of education and entertainment.

Your post about your friendship with Len afforded me a few moments to slip back in time to the pioneering days of our sport, and get an even better insight into a Gentleman who's love for fishing influences all of us carp fishing today.

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Would love to get in touch with John Barton as I too knew Len Middleton before his carp days and during his falconry days. It`s a tale to tell, but I have all his fishing data. 190 photo`s and some 700 diary entries of his fishing exploits and now, as a published writer, I am considering writing about Lenny and would like to know as many facts as possible. working out the dates, Len must have been 27-28 when I knew him and I was just a teenager, but I have never forgotten him :) Please pass on my email to John Barton so as we can maybe link up. Cleve Edmonston (London)

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