As an angling journalist I’m fortunate enough to get the opportunity to fish with some great people and in some wonderful places but once in a while something comes along which is positively earth-moving in its magnificence, something which grabs you by the balls and just blows you away – and such was my trip to Thailand in search of a Giant Freshwater Stingray (GFS) with Rick Humphreys and the Fish Siam team.
Arriving in Thailand as a total virgin to south-east Asia was an experience in itself but as well as the fishing I got to see a fair bit of the country as well and despite what you may read in the gutter press Thailand is not all ladyboys and dodgy clubs; it is one of the most beautiful countries on earth and is inhabited by some of the nicest and most genuine people on earth too and the food – oh my oh my – it’s just the total to die for bollocks!
Fishing for creatures as rare and wonderful as GFS can never be guaranteed and I arrived to find the main river in flood and conditions as bad as they can get but the network of contacts and connections established by Rick and his partner in crime, Boy, were such that there was a plan B and a plan C and, if need be, a plan D to ensure I enjoyed some incredible angling even if the GFS were not showing.
As it happened Plan B was staggering and resulted in a day of total arm-aching action topped by a mother of an Arapaima at 150 odd kilos – then, thanks to some wonderful planning, top top guiding and a bit of luck we hit a big stingray as well and the memory of that fish suddenly appearing out of the depths to dwarf the boat we were sitting in is one I shall never forget – awesome is not sufficient enough a word to describe it.
Rick and Boy are the business, they can guide, they can fish, they can party and they will make sure your trip to Thailand surpasses your wildest dreams – I really cannot recommend their operation highly enough.
Dr. Ian Welch