Fly-fishing, Freelance copywriting, In the beginning..., London, River restoration, Trout, Urban rivers, Wandle, Writing

In the beginning…

(Photo: Dominic Garnett)

Every blog has to start somewhere, just like every writer’s career.

Fishing-writing got its hooks into me almost ten years ago, soon after I moved from retail to full-time marketing (write about what you know and inspires you is the oldest cliché in the book, but it also happens to be the truest).

Around the same time, I’d retired from competitive rowing on the Thames Tideway, and started a serious search for fishing rather closer to home than the standard two-hour drive to the big-name chalk rivers of Hampshire and Wiltshire, or several hours’ flying time to the Alps. And that’s how I found the Wandle, a crystal gem of a chalkstream incongruously set in the sheet-steel and concrete of south London’s 1950s flood defence schemes: increasingly famous now, even hailed as a modern miracle, but in those days only just starting to recover from its official nadir as an open sewer.

In time, our little grassroots anglers’ cleanup project evolved into the Wandle Trust and a spin-off fishing club, the Wandle Piscators (both of whose blogs I’m still editing). The river repaid me with hard-won fishing and rich current-seams of writing-matter: firstly a regular river restoration column on the Fly Fishers Republic e-zine, more recently an invitation to guest-blog for the Financial Times. Between projects on the Wandle, one thing led to another, and now I’ve just finished writing a book about urban river restoration and fly-fishing that’s due to be published at the start of the 2012 fishing season.

And so to this blog. Last month, with 70,000 words and 400 photos safely delivered to Merlin Unwin, I started restlessly casting around for even more writing to do. And then I remembered this url I’d bought, and the blogging template I’d installed on it… just sitting there quietly on the digital shelf.

To begin with, will probably be more use to its author than to anyone else, serving as a central catalogue and aide-memoire for all my other writing across the web (even I forget where some of those articles and guest blogs have gone).

But blogs have been known to take on lives of their own… so over time this small corner of the blogosphere may become rather more, or less, than a simple archive of an eco-fishing-writer’s work. It’s safe to assume there’ll be fish, fishing reports and stuff from friends. There may be breaking news, comedy links and book / kit reviews, and insights into the life of a freelance copywriter in London. There may even be environmental rants.

Believe me, I’ll be more interested than anyone to see how it all turns out. In the meantime, thanks for dropping by and reading!