Angler's Mail's commercial brand manager James Cassidy shares those nervy expectations you get whenever you fish a new venue, and the often different reality!

Away from it all, waiting for action... James loves it, even when he's only catching sunburn.

Away from it all, waiting for action… James loves it, even when he’s only catching sunburn.


FOR a good few years now my holiday plans with the wife and family have NOT followed the packaged sunshine route.

They’ve NOT included relaxing on sun-soaked beaches with copious amounts of cool refreshing beverages… interspersed with leisurely swims followed by air conditioned dining and an end of night view of the ocean whilst sipping even more refreshing beverages.

We’ve not gone the overseas fishing trip route for big French carp either.

NO, instead of all that, we have either hired a lodge or camped near the River Severn. And we love it!

As alleged responsible citizens, for a few years now, we have adopted the national tone of austerity – and this year is no different.

So to make this summer stretch as far as possible and have plenty of weekends away, at as many locations as possible, I booked last Friday off work. I packed up the car, picked up the family from school and work and, as we will be heading to beautiful Bewdley in the summer school holidays, we decided on visiting somewhere else – The Wye Valley.

Aaah, the prospect of a getaway in the Wye Valley is enough to fire any angler's imagination...

Aaah, the prospect of a getaway in the Wye Valley is enough to fire any angler’s imagination…

Some four and half hours out of Essex, the tent and gear was sorted and I was walking along the river and it looked bloody stunning – roll on Saturday morning.

Now I would love to regale you with the stories of the huge numbers and size of the barbel and bhub that I caught. I’d also love to explain the immensely technical rig and bait developments which enabled me to fish a very small window of opportunity, yet still manage to suss out this magnificent river and its inhabitants.

But in my 40 years of fishing this and countless venues for the first time whilst on holiday I can truly say my expectations are mostly massively outweighed by the reality… which I would like to share with you, in the spirit of YODA!

The 10 rules of waterside getaways

  1. It is likely you may feel intense anticipation and excitement every single time.
  2. Fretting about your tactics and kit is quite normal.
  3. You could spend hours, even days, trying to find the information which gives you THE EDGE.
  4. You should probably expect to catch nothing.

    Point 4: Catch pics could more than likely end up like this.

    Point 4: Catch pics could more than likely end up like this.

  5. Stick to simple tactics that you know.
  6. When a local tells you the next peg is The One do not rapidly pack up and move – you will never be in a swim long enough to catch.
  7. The urge to find a swim and start fishing without much looking and learning will be nigh on impossible to resist (see point 1). If possible, resist this urge at all costs.
  8. If you do catch (see point 4 – although it is possible for pure luck to come your way) try to ask a fellow angler to take the picture. Under no circumstances ask someone walking past who begins by holding the camera the wrong way round…

    Point 8: Say cheese!

    Point 8: Say cheese!

  9. There is never usually enough time on holiday to “FISH PROPERLY” you may say – and your wife and kids will not have a clue what you are talking about!
  10. You will have a brilliant time – and RELISH planning what you will do differently next time.

Fishing a holiday venue for the second time is a whole new kettle of fish …which I will discuss another time!

Meanwhile, if you’re off for a fishing break yourself, good luck – and tight lines!



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