River Virgin - Jake Wildbore

My job brings, it brings a few added pleasures. In recent months I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with some filming projects. Firstly, Fishing Gurus and then a new project for ITV. While filming these programs we are privileged to fish some breathtaking venues, one of them, is the beautiful River Wye. I’ve spent many days on the Wye, not actually fishing, but sat watching the boys catch for the cameras. Like a dog in a kennel, I’ve sat and watch them all catch some incredible barbel and chub. This just made me want to have a taste of the action for myself.

Now, I’m no river angler. In fact, I’m practically a river virgin. I’ve ventured out in the snow on one occasion with Dean Macey and Adam Rooney many winters ago, in search of my first chub, and I have to say, I loved every second of it. Since that day, a fire has sparked in my belly and I’ve been gagging to get out on the rivers ever since.

On these shoots Dean saw how much I wanted to wet a line on the rivers and invited me to go along with him on a day’s filming for Tight Lines. I bit his hand off for this opportunity to fish the Wye and to fish with Dean. Being a river novice, spending time with the master would be invaluable.

So there we were, I met Dean and producer Mike at the Royal Hotel and we set off to a stretch that Adam Fisher from Angling Dreams had put us on.

Through watching the other shows behind the scenes, I have picked up a few tips, but spending the day with Dean was priceless. I learnt so much through the day; there are so many little edges and tricks that make the difference on this particular river, all of which will be on the show.

Through the short day I managed to bank a total of six barbel and sadly lost one, biggest of the day was a new personal best of 7lb. Now, people have told me on a number of occasions how powerful they are, but you really have to experience it for yourself to understand just how arm-wrenching they are.

The flow on this particular day was incredibly strong, days before the area had received a large amount of rainfall, and as a result, everything upstream washed down, making conditions far from ideal. With the flow being so strong, no normal feeder would hold bottom. So, we opted to use the soon-to-be-released Specialist Gripper Feeders in the large size and in 4oz. There are other sizes and weights available, but the biggest suited this situation. Bait wise, we fished Barbel Bomb pellet mix in the feeders, with some of Dean’s boosted-up Biltz Dumbells on the business end.

I’ve already scanned my wall planner looking for the next day I’m free to shoot down there for another session, believe me, once you’ve done it, you’ll be hooked.