Wednesday, 15 June 2011


It is Father's day on Sunday. There, that is the public service element of Adventure Fly Fishing UK, a reminder for you to buy the card or to book the table at the local carvery, we are so much more than a fly fishing instruction and guiding service...!

I have never been very good at remembering Father's Day, I tend to recoil at the commercialisation of something that should be said far more often than once a year - thank you. The main thing I have to thank my Dad for is getting me interested in fish and fishing.

My Dad has always been a keen fisherman, when fatherhood struck in the form of my brother and I it threatened to seriously curtail his sport. In order to continue he took us with him. Some of my earliest memories are being on the riverbank with my Dad, watching as he fished for sewin (that’s the welsh word for sea-trout) with spinners or worm. I remember my Dad cutting me a hazel stick and teaching me to catch eels when the river was in raging spate by trotting earthworms into the slack water in and around tree roots. I soon progressed onto a real fishing rod and remember catching my first trout, again on worm, I struck the bite so hard that the fish left the water like a polaris missile and flew over my head, becoming detached from the hook mid air. I remember excitedly telling my Dad that I was sure it was a trout because I saw something silver streaking passed. It was some time later that we tracked that fish down in the hedge behind. To me it was the most beautiful fish; it had the biggest, reddest spots I have seen on a trout, ever.

It must have been hard work for my Dad, just getting me to the river bank couldn’t have been easy, I remember riding the bus, sitting amongst the shoppers and commuters trying not to accidentally hit anybody with my fishing rod, whilst trying to check on the well being of my tub full of earthworms (again) without anybody noticing. I remember countless journeys to the river and the estuary on the back of Dad’s bicycle including a close encounter with an angry wasp’s nest on one particular journey. And then once he got me there it couldn’t have been easy to educate, enthuse and entertain an 8 year old whilst trying to winkle a sewin, a tricky character at the best of times, out of the overgrown, snag infested river.

No, it certainly couldn’t have been easy, but my Dad managed it and by doing so he gave me the key to an amazing sport that in turn has given me so much. This is why I am so excited about establishing Aff-UK, this opportunity to help people discover flyfishing for the first time or to open up new areas of the sport that have so far been closed to them, like my Dad did for me (but without the bike rides, bus journeys and piggy backs). So Dad if you read this blog - thank you.

Having said that, my Dad reading this blog would more than likely be a first for him, one which would probably require the assistance of my 12 year old nephew to log on for him. I think I may have inherited my distrust of technology from him as well…

Me with my Dad learning his 'unique' hat wearing style.

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