Fly-fishing, Flyfishers' Journal, Rewilding, Writing

The Flyfishers’ Journal: Winter 2015

Flyfishers Journal Winter 2015

If you had to rely on your fly-fishing skills for survival (except in the sense of avoiding relegation from the next round of a game show…) would you live to tell the tale?

This was the self-set challenge faced by Fennel Hudson in the lead article of this winter’s issue of the Flyfishers’ Journal, which was mailed out to Members of the Flyfishers’ Club a couple of weeks before Christmas. As I wrote in my editorial:

You may recall from our Summer 2015 issue that Fennel planned to embark on a personal journey of rewilding, deep in the Welsh hills, leaving behind most of the gadgets and baggage that now seem to encumber angling of all kinds, to see if he could ‘rediscover the pure and original pleasure of fishing’ and perhaps end up shaking hands, Arthur Ransome-like, with his primeval hunter-gatherer self. 

As he set out to do this, your Editor thought he was already taking quite a gamble, testing his love of fly-fishing to snapping point by relying on it to survive in the wet-desert heart of what George Monbiot has called ‘sheepwrecked uplands’ – one of the British landscapes most in need of total ecological redemption…

In the event, I breathed a deep sigh of relief when my pal did survive to write his article (and not just because I’d have had to go fishing for another lead feature). But that’s probably also the nub of this case. In a less deeply damaged landscape than those barren Welsh hills, or at least in a place where some level of rewilding had already happened, pure survival wouldn’t have been the game of nip and tuck that it clearly was. Fennel might even had more time to enjoy casting a fly…

On other pages of this issue, Neil Patterson unlocks incredible fishing at Kooi Noom on the Rio Capitan, Henry Giles picks ripe raspberries on the way to salmon pools in Norway, and Greg Belcamino delivers a real comedy punch in his ‘Letter from America’ as he sneaks around other people’s back gardens on the limestone streams of Pennsylvania.

There’s also Charles Jardine’s introduction to his extraordinary charity, Fishing 4 Schools, and the talented Scottish fly-tyer Roddy Finnie reveals a unique selection of flies for Scottish waters (all honed and time-tested on his local White Cart Water) in our regular In My Fly Box column.

Throw in another world-class design and print job from those talented chaps at STR, and there you have it… one more issue of the Flyfishers’ Journal that on balance I’m pretty proud to have let loose on the world.