Some places are destined to achieve a legendary status, and Redmire Pool in Herefordshire is one such place. The name itself conjures up images of whirling mists,
heaving weed and leaping monsters.
To stand on
the dam, people who have fished it say, is to enter another, timeless world. Of course, this is partly down to association with the great names of angling’s past, such as Walker, Hilton and Yates. There must be the sense of treading in the footprints
of history, or fate.
Then there is the dimension
of myth to consider: the idea that Redmire holds carp, “to out-monster Loch Ness”, as “A Passion for Angling” put it. The carp that have been actually landed there were large enough for any boyhood dreams – 51b 8oz, 44lb and 43lb
13oz 8 drams, to list the three “official” biggest.
Indeed, the pool has broken the British record for carp on three separate occasions, with three different fish, starting with Bob Richard’s 31 pounder, back in 1951.
Of course, Richard Walker said he netted a spawning carp in the shallows which weighed 58lbs, and to this day there are legends
of a four foot long common. Indeed, a friend, whose judgement I trust absolutely, saw it last year.
Then there is also the possibility that, despite the Redmire log, some large carp have been caught there and not widely reported by the fortunate captors, even into relatively modern times. These are delicious
rumours, however, and like a poor boy with a face pressed again a sweet shop window, I can only speculate what delights may truly exist there.
I’ve never fished the pool; but this, it seems, is about to change. I engaged in the annual “phone wars” booking day for the first time this year and I actually
have a slot – a weekend session in November!
I don’t mind autumn fishing, I’m really pleased. I’m also taking good advice already from people who know the pool well. I always consider myself to be a carp enthusiast, - someone on a quirky journey of individual discovery, rather than
any sort of big-shot expert; and so it’s important for me to listen to this advice. I want to catch a fish at Redmire Pool; - ideally, I want a chunky common, because I love commons, as regular readers will know.
However, if I blank, I blank; - after all, it is Redmire Pool, and just being there will be a pleasure
and a highlight of my life. So many times I have stood on that dam, if only in my fevered imagination.
Now, at last, the dream is to
become a vibrant reality. I can hardly wait...