Born in 1929 in Swansea, just out of casting range of the West Pier where, about six years later and with the help of my grandfather and with a greenheart rod, landed my first fish - a whiting.
In a way I was lucky to be growing up during WW2, when so many younger fishermen were away in the services, and more elderly anglers couldn't buy petrol. Thus, bike-borne, I and my school pals had the trout streams and bass beaches of the delectable Gower Peninsula almost to ourselves. Later, my range extended to the Towy in Carmarthenshire, that finest of seatrout rivers, where on a bunch of worms be it said, I caught my first salmon which I took to the back door of a Llandeilo hotel, receiving £2 in return. There were detours to pike fishing from time to time also.
All this went on until, after University, it was put to me that I should think about a job. Trouble was, I didn't think hard enough and ended up teaching in Manchester for two years, a place great for the Halle Orchestra and Dixieland jazz but unrewarding to the angler. But I studied the Times Educational Supplement Situations Vacant ads and found a job in a an entirely different area - in South Pembrokeshire, where the Castlemartin Peninsula turned out to be a mirror image of Gower - except that it had - then - wonderful pike fishing in the Bosherston lily Ponds.
Mostly, though, it was bass fishing the storm beaches down there, and catching tope up to close on 60 lbs from the rock ledges. Meantime, Ireland was only 50 miles away across the Irish Sea and it was in the late 50's that I came on the man who'd be my closest friend until a couple of years back when he died - Des Brennan.
We were hugely privileged, I see, looking back on it now. We were the first to fish the now-fabled Kerry beaches and discover the incredible reef fishing off Co Mayo.
All this had started me up on fishing writing, though, and suddenly I had more than I could cope with - a weekly column in the Daily Express, another in Angling Times and yet another in the newly founded Creel magazine. Moreover I became the TV critic of The Spectator, making me the only man in the country - maybe in the world - who earned his living by fishing and watching the telly....
Soon, though, I was moving into 'real' journalism as you might say, mostly for the Express and the Sunday Times. And then - this was the big watershed - in the mid-60's I started to work for America's Sports Illustrated with its huge 13 million readership. Most of the time I was writing 'hard' sport, including five World Cups and all the big Ali fights, but three or four times a year my boss would say, "Gammon, I suppose you want to go fishing now! Where do you want to go?"
Once I told him - for fun - "Outer Mongolia". An hour later I found myself in the Travel Department (Sports Illustrated had its own travel agency, of course) filling out a visa application.....
In the near-quarter century I worked for SI, I fished my way from 200 miles short of the North Pole to the Falklands - it's all in "I Know a Good Place", a book I wrote about it. Meanwhile (thanks to the discovery of laptops and modems, after 10 years of living in Manhattan, I moved to the Chesapeake Bay which was wonderful (striped bass mostly) for my, er, domestic fishing.
In the mid-90's I retired, came back to Wales, to, indeed, the Gower Peninsula, though I still travel a lot, write a lot. It's wonderful, though, to find myself fishing for seatrout in the same Towy pools I fished 60 years ago...