For most anglers growing up since the mid eighties with boilies and hair-rigs the pre-dawn era of carp fishing might seem to have little relevance or influence on modern techniques.
While there is little doubt that modern equipment, heavy baiting strategies and self-hooking rigs have made catching carp significantly easier today we should not forget the early pioneers who most certainly left their mark.
If one name stands out it should be Richard Stuart Walker better known as Dick Walker. He not only demonstrated that carp could be caught on a regular basis but proved that far larger specimens existed in the UK than even zoologists believed possible. His 44lb record common was caught using a a balanced bread paste and crust bait on September 13th 1952 from Redmire Pool, a tiny 3.5 acres lake, in Herefordshire. It caused a sensation in the angling world and remained unbeaten for almost 30 years when Chris Yates landed a 51lb mirror, also from Redmire in 1980.
As an engineer Walker not only built much of his own equipment but was incredibly inventive. He pioneered many of the things we now take for granted including large triangular nets, bite alarms, rod rests & even aerodynamic casting weights. He was even involved in developing prototype carbon fibre rods. As an all round angler Dick Walker fished for many species and was an accomplished fly fisherman developing many well known fly patterns.
Dick Walker wrote many articles for the Angling Press in Great Britain and published or was featured in many notable books.
He famously said: “I would rather spend 7 hours finding fish and 1 hour catching them than wasting 8 hours sat in the wrong spot.”
A website dedicated to Dick Walker offers imagery, audio & much more for those wishing to learn more: