I was born in East Yorkshire, England. I have fished competitively, domestically and abroad while representing my country. I’ve also held many roles in the fly-fishing industry, including lodge manager, fisheries manager, river-keeper, fly and light-tackle guide, and fly shop consultant. Recently, I bought a fly shop and outfitter service based in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico, where I also guide. The following article is a brief outline of my journey to date, and offers some insight on how I transitioned from the trout rivers of home to a life in the salt.
Growing up in the United Kingdom is a unique experience for a fly angler. We have a range of different fishing here, from rivers to lakes and reservoirs to the sea. The majority of our fishing consists of day-ticket style lakes and reservoirs, due to most of our rivers being privately owned. In addition, landowner permissions and club memberships are challenging to come by.
As a result, we have a large proportion of anglers who tend to fish lakes and nothing else. This led to a healthy competition angling scene, especially on the large reservoirs and lakes towards the center of the country—English “loch style” fishing. The competitive side is an essential part of maintaining a high level of angling ability, while also driving innovation in our sport, similar to Formula 1 improving the domestic car market. Anglers and teams are continually innovating with different types of lines, fly designs and changes in presentation. This grabbed my attention and is a big part of why I chose to compete.