Ilkley angler hooked from early age

Wharfedale Observer: Ilkley angler hooked from early age Ilkley angler hooked from early age

A professional fly fishing guide and instructor celebrated a special 40th anniversary on Friday by landing a catch with his grandfather’s angling tackle.

Ilkley’s Dave Martin, 55, became hooked on the sport when his grandfather bought him a day ticket to fish on the River Wharfe on November 2 1972.

He caught his first grayling then, and has since caught a further 3,800. As well as being a professional guide and instru-ctor, he is today co-owner of angling trips organiser Go Fly Fishing UK.

To mark the special anniversary, Mr Martin chose to celebrate with a session fishing for grayling at the very same spot on the Wharfe where he first began.

“I’ve come back to live in Ilkley after 23 years away, and I wanted to mark the 40th anniversary of my first day’s grayling fishing, to pay homage,“ said Mr Martin.

“Homage to my granddad, homage to the grayling and homage to the River Wharfe at Ilkley – what a wonderful spot!

“Where better place could there be to celebrate something I have loved doing ever since?”

He used a Hardy’s rod that is more than 60 years old, which once belonged to his grandfather, Owen G Bowen, a life member of Ilkley and District Angling Association.

The day was a success as he landed a 12oz grayling, pictured above left, which was duly released back into the river.

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