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Thread: Expert Anglers

  1. #1


    You've read what I think, now let's hear what your views are on expert anglers.

    Who are they they, and what defines an expert angler?

  2. #2
    Ron (Rontroversial) Clay Guest


    It can ne hard to define.

    Yet I, like Graham have fished many times in the company of what can be termed, an "expert".

    They have that uncanny ability to be able to catch fish in any circumstances, no matter what the species, or the water, or the location, or the country.

    They can, with skill, use any method of angling effectively, from trotting a float, legering, casting a fly whether it be dry or wet, on still water or river; fishing a lure, working a livebait or even chucking out a boilie on a bolt rig.

    These guys are able to demonstrate watercraft to a great degree. They can look at a piece of water and within minutes they will know where to fish and with what method and bait.

    And they will catch the fish

    These are anglers who are in total tune with the waters they fish. They understand the habits of their quarry intimately.

    They are the true experts.

    Not only that, a true expert does not need a going water to demonstate his skills. He can be as happy on the local canal catching 10oz roach as on a chalk stream catching 4 lb browns on the dry. He will be able to utiise all methods and if he is a fly fisher he will be ablle to create and tie his own patterns.

    Most of all he will want to fish in a way where great skills are necessary to catch his fish. He will get more satisfaction from that than setting traps.

    Graham, you are right. Dick Walker was probably the most skillfull all-round angler of our time.

    I have tried to learn all the skills that he had.

    He is my true mentor.

  3. #3
    Ian Whittaker Guest


    Gotta agree with much of what you say Ron.However I would think that the expert would take as much pleasure from "setting traps" as he would from "hunting " to take his chosen quarry. My view is that most coarse fishing is "trapping" and game fishing is "hunting".

  4. #4
    Ron (Rontroversial) Clay Guest


    I might to tend to disagree with you on that score Ian.

    But I am tired out at the moment and I need to go to bed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    herts/bucks border


    Brilliant article Graham, and you are dead right. The guys who are realy good are streets ahead, and even they don't know why.
    They just do things instinctivley.

    I learned (was shown ), a great lesson a few years ago on Godalmings famous Lake. It was a match and I drew one of the favoured pegs, The Oaks, which was always there or abouts in the frame. I weighed in 65Ib for second in the match. Not to be sniffed at cos there were some very good rods around, but I was in the right area.

    The match was won with over 120Ib by the guy next to me on a lesser peg. For the last hour of the match I ceased fishing and went and sat behind him. It was awesome.
    He seemed to have an in built idea of what was happening in front of him, and he knew what to do and when to do it.

    I talked to him whilst he fished on, and asked why he had made small changes to the rig etc, but the reply was of no help cos he had not even registered the fact that he had made changes over a few minutes (It was Instinctive).

    The guys name was Steve Gardener, who at the moment has got to be the best match angler to have never won the world title.

    I agree about Walker by the way, he was a one off.

  6. #6
    Chris Bishop Guest


    I wonder if angling's ever going to throw up another Walker. We have people on here who excel at one or two aspects of fishing, some write things I read and wish I'd written them.

    Walker was THE authority because he had a way with words. Rickards and Webb wrote so many definitive things about pike fishing, bacause they boiled things down to the point where the likes of me could understand them and their words hold good 30 years on.

    The matchmen of a generation ago, the Ivan Marks/Kevin Ashurst era, when the tackle began to evolve that lived up to peoples' aspirations.

    Now we've got gear they'd have died for but I really think we've lost the spark. Maybe there's nothing new to say. Maybe the technology's evolved faster than we have as anglers.

  7. #7
    Cakey Guest


    Hurry up and rub off on me!

  8. #8
    Dave Slater Guest


    Ron Clay !!!!

  9. #9
    Ron (Rontroversial) Clay Guest


    No mate, Walker used to wind people up far better than I do.

    If you've ever sat on the banks of the Upper Ouse with Walker, listening him discuss and argue the finer points of fishing, photography, opera, classical music, cricket, politics, religion, other anglers, lawnmower design; and tell jokes, solid for 6 hours, right into the small hours of the morning who will know what I mean.

    Although he may have wound you up, he did treat you as an equal. He had that great sense of timing both in his conversation and his writing, to prompt the sort of response he was waiting for, that led on to further debate. This reaction delighted him.

    You knew he fully respected you when he called you by your surname only. I had a great many letters from him that were headed: "Clay", but in response I never ever said anything more than: "Dear Dick".

    At times he could sound very arrogant, but wasn't really, this was all part of the wind-up.

    If Walker had never been an angler, he would have made a brilliant politician - Tory of course. His whole family were staunch conservatives.

    Not only that he could take-off any accent you would dare to choose.

    And on top of this he was quite truly a very fine all-round angler.

    There will never be anyone quite like him.

    I cried when I heared of his death in 1985.

    It was like losing a father.

  10. #10
    Ron (Rontroversial) Clay Guest


    And by the way Chris, you mention Ray Webb.

    Although not a "skilled" angler in the way many of us imagine it, Ray UNDERSTOOD pike and tench better than many so called experts of today.

    If Ray would have gone to the trouble to aquire some better tackle, he would have caught a heck of a lot more big fish than he did. And he could afford it.

    However Ray was a bit eccentric and never did rate rods at all although his reels and lines were generally sound.

    I would put Ray probabley number 2 to Walker as being the greatest. To spend many fishing trips in his company was a great pleasure. There was never a dull moment; and by crikey did we have some laughs?

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