My most memorable catch would be my first tarpon in Belize in 2016 on a bunny black death fly I tied. As I took to the stand at the bow of the skiff and scanned the ocean for the long dark elusive shapes cutting through the water or rolling on the surface, my eyes fixated on one swimming towards us. As she came close enough, I cast and she accelerated and sucked in the fly. She shook, she jumped, she twisted forming a session of acrobatics in the air – there is no fight like it. For me the bigger, faster and more powerful the better! Fishing takes you around the world, it’s a highly addictive sport, once hooked you’ll always be looking for your next adventure, wherever that may be.
What are you most looking forward to at The London Fly Fishing Fair?
EVERYTHING! From the big fishing brands and prestigious travel companies; Orvis UK, Go Fishing Worldwide, Frontiers, Fly Dreamers, to the boutique lifestyle stalls; Hunts Original, Get The Rods Out, Andy Antic Tackle, Mayfly Art, Hobie Fishing Kayaks, to the local fisheries; Walthamstow, Thornwood, Timsbury, Syon Park and the forever-giving charities; Atlantic Salmon Trust, Marie Curie – Casting for a Cause. There is quite literally the entire spectrum. Not to mention the personalities; Matt Hayes, Charles Jardine and James Stokoe.
What advice would you give newcomers to the sport?
To start up all you need is a rod, reel, line and a few flies – nothing fancy. One will discover that the more time you spend on the water the more you spend on your kit, but that is up to your own discretion – you have to be careful, it is a highly addictive passion! Wherever you are based in the UK you are always a stone’s throw away from a fishery whether it be a lake, river or sea. Google is our best friend, so use it. Just one more thing: perseverance. This particular trait will keep you coming back for more even after a hard day’s fishing.
Which celebrity would you most like to fish with – like a dinner party date but a fishing date?
Jeremy Wade! He’s been my fishing pinup for a while! If I was lucky enough to go on a “fishing date” with him I would like to go on a hunt for a River Monster. This sounds like an episode of Blind Date!
What fly fishing attractions would you like to see at The Game Fair?
The London Fly Fishing Fair have tried hard to dive into the lifestyle of fly fishing, I would love to see more of the brands who are coming to the LFFF also go to The Game Fair.
What first drew you to the sport?
It was my mother’s passion for salmon fishing that pushed the family to do more. I am thankful that my mother’s eagerness has rubbed off on me and that I also started at a young age. There are many operations at the moment trying to get children into the sport like the Countryside Alliance’s Fishing 4 Schools programme, run by Charles Jardine. He’ll be at the fair doing demos and answering all your questions. If we can try and push fly fishing as a cool hobby, which of course it is, then we can get more kids outside and enjoying nature at its best.
Visit http://thelondonflyfishingfair.co.uk/ to purchase tickets for £15 each (admits one adult for both 10th and 11th March).