Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

Rafa Nadal!

My favourite sportsman has just won the American Open to claim the full set of Grand Slam titles.

This guy is simply awesome and I really hope he carries on to become the greatest tennis player ever.

I’ve been following Rafa since I first saw him playing in the Australian Open just before he became a household name.

One of my favourite things is to sit on Circular Quay in Sydney watching the Aussie tennis on the big screen on a balmy evening with a cold drink as the sun finally sets over the Harbour Bridge, its a key life luxury for me and I hope to be out there again doing the same this coming January.

Well some years ago I was watching this player who was running around all over the place wearing distinctive clobber and a headband and thinking to myself this is some player I’m watching here.

If memory serves me he played in an epic match against the Aussie hero, Leyton Hewitt, whatever, Rafa didn’t make it to the latter stages.

On the flight back home I noticed this guy walking down the aisle and immediately recognised him as Rafa Nadal, we were in Economy class I might add and no one appeared to realise who he was at all. I didn’t want to invade his space on the plane but just gave him a knowing glance.

Hours later and we are at Heathrow, in the baggage carousel area, who should be standing there next to his uncle, none other than Rafa.

No one was taking a blind bit of notice, they really didn’t have any idea who he was.

I said to my wife I’m going over to speak to him, no photo’s, no autograph but just to make contact and shake his hand.

Your whole perception of someone rests on times like these and I was a little apprehensive, after all he could easily have chosen to ignore me.

Well he didn’t, we spoke, he was every bit as charming as he is today when you see him being interviewed, he was extremely modest, even humble and I thought this really is some special guy.

I told him I’d been following his exploits out in Oz and that I reckoned it would not be too long before he was number one. He thanked me in that same way you see today and then we shook hands, smiled, and I left them alone as they set off on the journey to conquer the tennis world.


So that is the reason why I have so much time for this man coupled with the fact that he is one super player.


There seems to be a lot of activity on the Pope front at the moment so just to avoid confusion I thought it best to detail my movements over the next few days!!

Off to the Severn this evening in preparation for a full day on the river with Roy.

Roy won a day out through the Barbel Society R and C Auction and at last we can get it together, I’ll let you know how we get on.

Friday I’m in London and just hope I don’t get caught up in all the excitement when this other chap hits town!

Saturday I’m catching up with my bruv, my cousins, my aunt and my daughters as we all head off to Essex for a right old cockney knees up to celebrate my aunt’s wedding anniversary.

This is the one who I managed to make contact with after many long lost years through cousin Brian and Angling Times.

And then its back to the hills in readyness for a trip to the Wye with Dr. Paul Garner to see if we can get another feature together.

We’re both a little miffed that the next issue of Coarse Fisherman was to carry an article about our Warwickshire Avon trip but as you are all probably aware CF has sadly ceased trading. I’m sure the feature will surface somewhere else soon though.

Back next week, enjoy your fishing.


Leave a Reply

For more information regarding guiding, articles, talks and presentations, shows and anything barbel fishing related contact me at: StevePopeBarbelFishing Facebook