Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

My Hero

A couple of days ago I wrote nearly six hundred words for the blog and somehow during spell checking the whole lot disappeared except for one word…revelation. It was a piece about eureka moments. You know, those flashes of inspiration or enlightenment that hit you now and then. I said some very nice things about certain people who have helped and inspired me in recent years. Pity it all got lost in the ether, eh.

 Anyway it has got me thinking about all the people over the years who have been a huge influence over four decades of fishing. My original obsession was coarse fishing so Dick Walker was numero uno, closely followed by Fred J Taylor and Peter Stone. I steered clear of carp though, they were a mystical fish in those days, not like today when the bloody things practically queue up to be hooked. Then I turned to sea fishing and freezing my balls off at Hythe, Folkestone or Dungeness every Friday night from October to February and the legendary names were Les Moncrieff, Digger Derrington, John Darling, Brian Harris and one really nice guy from Suffolk or Norfolk who’s name escapes me (rumour has it that he died of excitement while watching a big carp taking his bait). And then trout caught my attention. I think it was just to fill in the coarse close season.

At the time there a monthly magazine, Angling Magazine, that did something no publication would do today. It catered for coarse, sea and game fishing. Roach, Bream, Cod, Bone fish, Salmon and Trout all in the same publication. I used to buy it religiously and could never thow any away, and probably never will. I was working in the roof of a house, many years ago, and came across a pile of Angling Magazine and the one that preceded it, Creel Magazine’. I mentioned them to the owner and he told I could have them. As luck would have it they filled in my missing issues so I have virtually a complete collection from the time Brian Harris was editor to when it folded. I was lucky enough to meet Brian quite a few times and fished with him once or twice at Darwell and Bewl. I also met several of the contributors like Clive Gammon, Digger Derrington, John Darling and the nice guy from Suffolk or Norfolk who’s name I will remember in a minute. I remember going to the Dingle peninsula on a trip the magazine organised. It never blew less than force eight the whole week. I don’t remember much about the fishing, I do remember discovering a liking for Southern Comfort and Irish coffee though.

 My trout fishing was influence by Halford, Ivens, Cove, Church, Parton, Walker, Harris and Davy Wotton. Davy was (and probably still is) one of the most outstanding and bloody frustrating  trout fishermen I have fished with. He was always happy to row me around Weir Wood, sometimes for hours, while I finished catching the limit he had already caught with little apparent effort. No matter how much I begged he would not give me the fly that was catching, no, he would rather row. Davy is a brilliant fly tier, pity it never rubbed off. David J Collyer was another tier I admired. I bought my first carbon rod from him.

 Actually that rod ties in nicely with what happened next.


September 29, 2010 - Posted by | Fly Fishing, Fly tying, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized

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