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CARP SCENE
One Step Beyond
Ollyskins
Chest Waders
Steve Briggs
The first I heard that Chris Woodrow
was writing a book called One Step
Beyond was when he emailed me one
day to ask if I’d like to contribute with
a chapter on one of the venues I’d
fished many years ago. It came a little
bit out of the blue, as with him living
and working abroad quite a bit in
recent years, I hadn’t realised that a
book was in his plans, but I’m so
pleased that it was. I must admit that
at first I’d simply forgotten just how
much fishing Chris has done around
the globe, and with him juggling a
successful business and family life, he
has invariably made his fishing time
count. A couple of years ago, we met
up again for the first time in ages on
the banks of Euro Aqua in Hungary. It
was his first time there, and yet on the
first night he banked a 66lb mirror
before going on to catch fish up to
76lb – he had already left his mark!
Before I ever met Chris, he was
already well known to me from his
days at Essex Angling. The adverts
featuring Chris made him a recognisable face to all of us, and he became
‘Essex Man’. But apart from the
adverts and the shop work, it’s fair to
say that Chris wasn’t such a regular
feature writer for the magazines, and
so that’s what makes this book so fascinating. There are simply stacks of
stories and adventures that had gone
a little under the radar or I’d just not
heard about at all. The 40lb-plus mirror from the Copse Lake sums up
what I mean. It hit the front pages of
Carp-Talk recently, being quoted as
being caught for the very first time,
and then Chris produced a photo of
the same fish when he’d caught it
several years before! He just hadn’t
thought it necessary to tell everyone
about it at the time – mind you, the
fact that he also caught an Essex
record common of 53lb 9oz may have
had something to do with that!
But of course it’s the adventures
around the globe that really get me
going, and Chris has had so many of
those – again far more than I ever
remember. The mid to late 1980s was
the real starting point for continental
angling, and Chris was there, catching
his first French carp from Lac Rouge
in 1987. From there he went on to fish
the more famous big lakes such as
Cassien and Orient as well as many
more unknown waters, and he started
to organise trips and work as a guide,
helping people to experience what
France had to offer. I do remember
well his trips to Chantecoq and Orient
in the 1990s, and those trips I’m
pleased to say are well covered.
Those early trips lit the touch paper
and Essex Man started to venture off
around the globe. India and the giant
mahseer was just something that
most of us read about in the maga-
16 FREE LINE
By Rob Maylin
zines and dreamed about going for,
but Chris went there, and he did
indeed catch several big mahseer up
to 75lbs! The big rivers always interested him, and he made trips out to
the River Ebro in Spain and the
mighty St. Lawrence in the USA,
catching several carp along the way.
But he is also one of the very few people I know to venture out to the River
Volga in Russia! It takes someone
with the true pioneering spirit to do
all of those things, often going it
alone! When you talk about pioneering, then I have to also include fishing
in Egypt, Japan, Romania and Slovakia amongst others – put all of this
together, and you realise just how
well-travelled Chris is and what an
exciting and different read this is!
Towards the end of the book, there
are some well chosen and varied
guest chapters from people such as
Rob Maylin on Savay, Jim Lightfoot
on the Orient, Sam Jeffreys on
Morocco, Leon Bartropp on the Essex
Manor, Jason Rider on Slovenia’s Lake
Bled, Steve Sands on his quest for
three 100lb carp and yours truly on
the Secret Beach. Normally I’m not a
huge fan of guest chapters, as they
take you away from the feel of the
main writer, but in this case the guest
chapters really add something, and
each are very good, covering many
different aspects of our sport. The
foreword has been done by my old
mate Simon Crow.
I am a book reader anyway and love
getting engrossed in someone’s journeys through the years. Some I look
forward to more than others, and with
One Step Beyond, I didn’t know it was
coming, but I’m so pleased it has!
Chris, you have produced a great
book, mate, full of entertaining stories
and at last telling the full story of the
Essex Man’s travels around the
world. Well done, mate! n
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A recent trip to Ribière saw me reading
through the rule book a couple of days
before I set off. David Cooper the owner
is very passionate about his fish and his
fishery – no leadcore, no shelflifes and no
photographs to be taken on the bank!
Not the first time I had come across this
rule, because Gillhams in Thailand is the
same. By photographing the fish in the
water, it almost totally removes the
chance of damaging the fish, which is a
great idea if you ask me, but it did mean
I had to order some chesties, double
quick. There’s only one company that
makes the best quality chest waders –
Ollyskins. You would have seen them
previously featured on the front cover of
BC. Their sales service is second to none
– I ordered them one day, and they
arrived the next. They are very stylish,
hardwearing and perfect for carp fishing,
the waders for the professional carp
angler! and they came in very useful, as
you can see in the pictures! Check them
out and the other products from Olly
here – www.ollyskins.com n

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