Welcome to Angling Escapades
It all started when…
My love affair with the Wye began at a very early age. Whilst my first actual angling experience was as a 4 year old with a spinning rod, the seed had already been planted a year earlier, with the traditional Jam Jar, minnow trap. My father, as so many at the time, was big into salmon fishing, and would reap the rewards of selling his prize catches to local hotels. Whenever possible I would be his shadow, following behind with my little spinning rod, as he searched every inch of the river bed with a Devon minnow in search of these magnificent silver travellers.
At the age of 11 we moved closer to Hereford Town centre and this opened up a whole new world to me. I was no longer reliant on my dad to take me, as I had the River Wye and Lugg within walking distance of my house. This coincided with emergence of the Wye Barbel population, and I spent hours trying new methods, and discovering new hot spots. It was also at this time I started fishing in the local club competitions. Although it was slow progress, I had some great mentors around me, and I started to improve as a match angler. My first major success was winning the Tommy Palmer memorial trophy as a 12 year old. This was a senior competition and on a flooded River Lugg, I caught a big chub that was enough to see off 40+ seasoned match anglers. My victory made the local papers as well as the angling times. My progression continued and although match fishing was my first love, I just wanted to be by the river, and the species didn't matter.
Once I was old enough to drive I was off all over the midlands fishing against the top anglers on the open match circuit. Many lessons were learnt on a variety of natural venues. It was fishing against the top anglers on the River Severn that would teach me the most valuable lessons in watercraft, which ultimately led to greater success on the River Wye. In 2002 I achieved my childhood dream by becoming Wye Champion. Since then I've gone on to win just about every title available on the Wye, whether it be Team or as an individual.
The advent of commercial fisheries saw me have to change my outlook, as with many Rivers in decline, it was apparent the top matches with the highest stakes were being held on man made fisheries. Another steep learning curve was required, but over a period of years I learnt the skills that were largely alien to me, and started competing. To date I have appeared in 3 Fishomania finals, A Maver match this and a golden reel final. I was crowned 2009 Midland Angler of the Year, and have won many big matches on the commercial circuit, amassing weights of up to 338lb in 5 hours.
In 2013, purely by chance, I witnessed a fresh spring salmon being caught on the Wye. Being stood there in that moment, took me back 30 years to being stood by my dad as he battled this epic creature. It was the start of a new obsession, I knew I needed it in my life again, and the since then, every spring I spend hour after hour chasing salmon. Again, new skills have had to be mastered, but the the everlasting search for perfection keeps me hungry.