Friday, 12 December 2014
The last month has seen my fishing activities grind to a complete halt , so anything truly fishing related to write about is absent but there has been a sad event that certainly relates to my love of fly fishing.
In the last few months I have learnt of a teacher of mine who has sadly left us. My woodwork and craft teacher from when I was at boarding school at age 11. He was called Brian Guy, Brig to those who knew him, looking back he was one of the most influential people in my younger days. He was also the first person I ever saw catch a fish on a fly. As a kid we used to bait fish in the river whiske near Thirsk. One day whilst we were float fishing he was fly fishing. I can still picture him kneeling on the bank and casting to a pod of circling chub I was even trusted with the net to land one . The fly was a very simple black gnat. The act of deception amazed me then as much as it still does now . It truly was a inspirational moment in my life. He was also a real guiding light at a time when things were not going well for me, I think at the time the escape fishing offered was one of the few things that helped. Sadly now he has gone and also sadly has the stream . I have returned once to that river bank in the nearly half century since I watched him there, the clear water and streamer weeds and the shoals of roach and chub have been replaced with a fetid muddy channel that seemed totally bereft of life. I would have liked to be able to return there and try to emulate that act of deception but sadly like Brig the river of my childhood has sadly departed.
He was a guy who was capable of really surprising you he had a great love of fishing and yet 10 or more years after I left school I met him at a reunion I asked him if he still fly fished, I find his answer as surprising now after another 20 or 30 years have passed as I did then , he said he loved to cast a fly and loved to rise a trout but he felt a deep sadness for the fish once he had hooked it . It was a conundrum that deeply troubled him. He was a remarkable man. If you can read this Brig thanks for everything not least for casting that fly and lighting that spark all those years ago. There was a memorial service for him recently in Hawes in the Yorkshire dales, sadly I could not get there but the day it was on I sat for an hour and tied a few black gnats and one summer evening next year they will rise a trout for Brig.