Euro Fishing: Clint Walker - An Evening of Carp
After attending the Northern Angling Show recently as part of the RAD Angling Limited promotional team, and thoroughly enjoying it, I was delighted to be asked to repeat the evolution at an ‘Evening of Carp with Dave Lane’ this week. It was a lot closer to home too, just thirty minutes in the van, and although it wasn’t scheduled to start until 7pm, I arrived three hours prior to help set up, network, and get a feel for the event.
To my shame, despite being an angling writer for over ten years, I’ve never been present at a talk given by one of the top names on the circuit. I’ve seen them on stage at some of the big angling shows, but never had chance to stop and really listen, and find out just what makes them tick, or pick up some knowledge which I may be able to use to improve my angling. My evening at this particular hoe down wasn’t going to change that statistic either!
The boss was late. A forgotten card reader necessitated a return home to retrieve it, and as a result, a colleague and I had an extra half hour to grab a chat with organiser (and top carper himself) Iain Macmillan before our show stock arrived. I like Iain; like me, he is a local lad, and in the few chats I have had with him, I’ve always found him ready to share information, and quick to have a chuckle, and I’ve watched him speak to many younger anglers in the same way, which I think is great for angling. It’s a superb way to encourage less experienced anglers to try different things, and confirm that if they are enjoying their fishing, and not affecting anyone else, then they are doing it right! Like many of the anglers at the top of their game, he is very approachable, so if you do see one of the ‘names’ at a show, go and speak to them…they won’t bite!
As we wandered around chatting to other traders, I noted Dave Lane stroll in with a pile of stuff to set up for the evening. I don’t know Dave, I’ve said hello in passing, so I was looking forward to finding out a bit more about him, and his notable achievements. I don’t ‘do’ star struck, but it was undeniable that many other anglers were aware of his reputation as an angler, which only increased my anticipation of finding out more about just how he goes about things on the bank. It promised to be a very interesting night… and I was looking forward to it very much.
The boss eventually arrived, so we quickly headed out into the cold to retrieve everything we needed to set up our stand, and set about laying everything out ready for perusal by the couple of hundred eager anglers who would soon turn up. Almost two hours before the show was due to start, carpers were starting to wander in, catch up with friends and enjoy a beer, and we quickly had our first customers interested in the shiny new RAD Angling carbon display. I always enjoy the chance to interact directly with customers, demonstrate and explain about the products (made in the UK, and with a 5 year warranty by the way!) and talk fishing with likeminded anglers in a relaxed environment, and our team of five were quickly involved with a hoard of good natured customers who were also looking forward to Dave’s talk.
From that point on, we never stopped. Even though Dave was on stage in the main room, we had customers in front of us all night, and during the interval, things became even more hectic as punters piled back into the bar for another beer, and to chat with mates. I was hoping to see at least the second half of what I’m told was a very informative and entertaining show, but it wasn’t to be… As Dave returned to the stage, the crowd of eager anglers didn’t really diminish as they browsed several trade stands in our room and listened to what was going on across the open bar. In truth, I think everybody saw some of Dave’s slideshow except me! We even had to send a runner for sausage and chips as we were so busy; not that we had much chance to eat them!
Dave eventually ended his presentation, and a late bar ensured a number of ‘jovial’ anglers returned to the trade stands to finish the evening. The banter continued, as did the sales, but at last, it was time to pack everything up and go home. I got in at midnight and sat up for another hour editing the images taken ready for social media the following day, before finally climbing into bed. As a result, I still haven’t met Dave, nor listened to his expertise, but I did have a fun night with plenty of great mates, (and made new ones) and have to congratulate Iain on a job well done! In hindsight, for many, it was the chance to enjoy a social evening as much as anything else, spend a bit of time and money with friends, pick up some shiny new kit, a copy of Dave’s book, or even a few tips, and with the weather as it has been recently, maybe that is the best substitute for going fishing? Maybe next time, I will get to see a top angler give his show, but either way, I had a great night, and I think everyone else did too! I can’t wait for the next one… see you there?