Henry Gilbey
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The excitement levels are rising......

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On Wednesday we drive up to Fishguard in west Wales to catch the Stena Line ferry over to Rosslare in south east Ireland, and I can't tell you how excited I am getting at the prospect of heading over to my favourite country on earth again. I still have to pinch myself all the time that my job takes me all over the world, to see places and fishing that I never for one second thought I would ever get the chance to experience - but even with all this, Ireland gets me going unlike anywhere else. Why ? I guess it's because we are all to a certain extent a product of what we know the most, and to me Ireland is the fishing that I know best, but generally with a lot more fish than we catch back home. Plus less people. A part of it feels very "safe" to me, in that the fishing feels a bit like second nature, but on the other hand the adventure and exploration of these trips gets me incredibly excited. Is it normal to get this overexcited about a fishing/photography trip ?

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The danger with trips like these is that you go and build up the expectation levels to something that no experience could ever match, but I reckon I have done this kind of thing enough times now to be (mostly) realistic. We have to take what weather and conditions we get, nothing can ever change that, but there is just something about fishing away from your home waters that gets my pulse racing. The big buzz to me about this particular trip is that we are staying in a completely new area to me - ok, so it's probably no more than an hour's drive from where I have been doing a lot of my bass fishing over there, but that hour opens up a whole different coastline. Nothing like being forced to get out there and use your head, plus of course we have a bunch of mates over there who are going to kindly help out all they can with various locations etc. Fishing is so much about friends and contacts.

Honestly, I am embarrassed to tell you how early I have been waking up every morning since I got back from Jersey - call it a combination of excitement and also a load of work on the go that keeps my brain buzzing away like crazy. I wrote and photographed a fishing book about three years ago now and with the workload I had no real choice but to set my alarm for 5am through about a six month period and just get on with it. I am not complaining though, far from it in fact. I loved doing it, I got paid to do it, and you can't imagine how much I learnt. I got the book done, but I don't think my sleep patterns have ever been the same since. 5am at the moment would be a luxury though !! Sad I know, but life just gives me such a buzz...............

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I will do all I can to keep this blog going throughout our Irish jaunt - while we are over there, a bunch of mates from Jersey are heading over to Norway to fish the waters around the tiny island of Rost where we filmed a mad programme a few years ago. I am so thrilled that some anglers actually go to some of the places we filmed around - just as I was put on to Rost by a Norwegian friend of mine, so other anglers can then find out about these kinds of places and get to experience some different fishing. As I said, fishing is so much about contacts and friends. This comes home to me almost every day. I often get inspired to go to places by reading, watching and talking, and it makes me really proud to see it happen from stuff that I have been involved in. Kind of like a circle coming together. I so hope the guys get the right weather, because this is absolute prime time for monster coalfish, big cod of course, and also the mighty halibut. Smash 'em. A place I really need to go back to..........

How about the weekend's weather ? When the sun shines, England is just the finest place on earth. I am so proud that my two girls are essentially complete beach bums - take them to the seaside and they just get on with having a blast. Swimming, building sandcastles, picnics, barbecues, walking, you name it, as a family we just get on with it. If you had asked me say ten years ago whether I would so love just messing around with my family then I would have probably laughed at you. How times change. Much as I am looking forward to heading over to Ireland, these kinds of trips are always tempered with me missing my family. But that's the life we lead, and we love how we live it. It's the simple things in life that mean the most to us (awesome modern bass fishing tackle aside though !!!, got some very cool stuff to try out in Ireland).

Are England finally turning the corner ? No, not the football, that has never been my thing. I am talking about rugby - Saturday's game against Australia was a classic, and it was just awesome to best them away from home for the first time since the World Cup final in 2003. I am not for one second going to imagine that England are suddenly world beaters all over again, but to see them play with proper flair, ambition and a lack of fear has to give any rugby supporter some proper hope.....

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Monday mornings need a dose of real metal - check out the new album from an off the wall black metal band from the USA called Nachtmystium. Their last album was awesome, and this new one called "Addicts : Black Meddle II" sounds like it's shaping up to be another milestone. You can listen to bits and pieces of it right here. Some of this really alternative/off the wall metal gets right in your head.