Richard Walker (b.1918-d.1985) Archive of Fishing Letters 1969-1979
Published Wed 21st Jul 2021
Richard Walker (b.1918 – d.1985) Archive of Fishing Letters 1969-1979
An incredible collection of 22x detailed letters covering all aspects of fishing including rods and their construction - typed and hand signed from Richard Walker/Dick - all written to Nigel White, Linsdale, Leighton Buzzard with address from 1969 – November 1971 - after then written to Nigel (no address).
First three letters signed in ink Richard Walker June 1969 to January 1970 – then becoming more personal and signed Dick in ink.
See 16/9/75 hand written in ink and signed Dick
See 17th July 1970 hand drawn centre piece landing net casting
See 22nd July 1970 hand drawn plan of Rackley Pool and where to fish for carp from, plus 3x sketches of simple canvas fishing shelters incl one used by Fred Taylor
See 27th April 1971 hand written details of useful flies for Reservoir (10x plus sizes); and 4x flies for Chub, and 5x flies for Rudd again incl sizes.
See 6th May 1971 signed in Dick Walker’s Absence
Contents deal with different rods for different fishing
Comparing Split cane with Glass fibre – with very disparaging remarks about the Hardy Carpquest “A horrible poker of a rod” which changed after R W was instructed by Hardy’s to design a “proper one”- further reference to B James & Son Mk IV Carp and Avon rods; Import of Cane/Bamboo from China in the late 1960s and the decline in quality due to the increase in supply and demand – compared to rod makers pre-war bought cane from 7-10 years in advance of requirements to season correctly!! Hardy Bros being one of them – rods with sets were not a problem either.
The difference between cane and glass when striking a fish and different methods needed.
Reference to J B Walker Retailer of Mk IV Carp and Avon Blanks – similarities between Mk IV and Peter Stone Legermaster; the Hardy Floatquest and it all round ability to fish for various different species.
The development and design of the ideal Carp rod length in 50’s with members of Carp Catchers Club to compensate the problems they encountered trying to use different rods
January 1970 with first reference to Rackley Lake and advice on catching carp which was all down to gaining a much experience as possible - different baits and what to use and not what to use.
Then there is advice on line, colour especially as fish are not colour blind!!
Walker’s preference of carp net and recommending Efgeeco Specimen Hunters net as not excessively expensive and also endorsed by Fred J Taylor.
The use of Intrepid Elite reels and line capacity for carp fishing.
Further evidence on buying quality rods – the very little difference between glass and good split cane rods with Hardy Split cane Rods coming out on top.
Further reference to carp bites going undetected and Walkers recommendation to try and stop this happening to incl the introduction of electric bite alarm.
The dis-advantages of using an umbrella for shelter, against making a shelter from water proof material. Again the introduction of US large tackle boxes and in Walkers own words “…. One of these days someone is going to devise an ideal tackle container ….. to have series of compartments with secure lids”.
Rods rest are also discussed and recommended materials with solid duralumin coming out top.
See letter dated 31st July when Walker, Fred Taylor and Joe Taylor have difference preferences of where to fish for carp on Rackley Lake each using different styles and bait to suit the depth of water.
Again finding the right rod to fish with – The B James CTM ideal for roach but not for large chub or bream whereas the Hardy Floatquest or Avon Rod again came out on top depending on weight of the rod and the individual.
Dick Walker’s comments on taking up Fly Fishing not just for trout but also Chub, Perch, Rudd and Dace when it’s impossible to use a float or leger tackle – also recommending Intrepid Rimfly reel and spare spools. He also discusses the use of fixed spool reel for long trotting and how to strike quickly without having to turn the reel handle to drop the pick up because there is no time – the Mitchell reel came out bottom of the league, whereas Abu Cardinal and 444 were more popular with Dick.
Further letters discuss fly fishing, pike fishing recommending Fred Buller’s book – not to buy flies far too expensive and much easier to learn how to tie them instead!!
Mention of his writing on Reservoir Trout Fishing and another book covering course fishing in rivers.
Discussions with Fred Taylor and arranging further meetings to include a bit of fishing at “Green Lagoon” for pike.
Future discussion with Hardy’s to develop 12ft rod halfway between as Avon The Matchmaker ideal for float fishing for larger sorts of fish. Walker also was giving the Ken Morritt Supertwin the thumbs up but hadn’t yet put it to the test.
Further discussions on fishing knots recommending The Grinner Knot – questioning Platil line and strength – whereas Hardy’s Monofils came out top; different brands of line; different size hooks and different catches. How and where to catch bream, which line which rods and tackle to use; like tench, carp et al.
The final letter dated 24th September 1979 goes into great depth on the use of ingredients and what happens to ground bait in different water conditions – ingredients incl sausage rusk, rice, tapioca, barley meal, breadcrumbs, ground rice.
Note the first letter dated 19th June has small piece torn along the left hand margin missing only 1.5” x 0.5” of typing, others all are complete.
Richard Walker was one of the first anglers to apply scientific thought to angling and wrote many books on the sport. He also wrote for the angling press, most notably for the Angling Times, Trout & Salmon and Fly Dressers' Guild Newsletter – undoubtedly one of the most respected anglers of all time and here’s an opportunity to acquire a collection of letters spanning a period of 10 years which really go to great lengths to answer and help fellow anglers enjoy their fishing.