THE MEN BE­HIND TROUT FISH­ER­MAN

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Retrospective -

IT’S been en­joy­able search­ing back through the archives. Past pic­tures brought back mem­o­ries and re­minded us of our sport’s, and this mag­a­zine’s, rich his­tor y. Strong char­ac­ters and inf lu­en­tial peo­ple have helped shape still­wa­ter f ly f ish­ing into what it is to­day. Here’s some back­ground about a few of them...

John Wil­shaw

The man who launched Trout Fish­er­man mag­a­zine. Af­ter the mo­men­tum of Graf ham’s open­ing in 1966 and the grow­ing still­wa­ter scene via Two Lakes and Av­ing­ton, Rut­land Wa­ter opened. John ar­gued the case for a still­wa­ter mag­a­zine be­cause Rut­land re­ally helped open f ly f ish­ing up to the masses. Com­ing from a news­pa­per back­ground he knew the im­por­tance of be­ing on the phone talk­ing to peo­ple. Ever y chat led to a po­ten­tial stor y or, in TF’s case, a fea­ture based on a tech­nique. He cul­ti­vated great friend­ships with the tal­ented trout an­glers of the day – Arthur Cove, Bob Church and (al­though aged only 17 at the time), Peter Gather­cole – and John was, and is, a ver y good an­gler him­self. Apart from gain­ing in­for­ma­tion, John was a ter­rif ic ghost writer and sub ed­i­tor,

and made the in­for­ma­tion gleaned from the ex­perts sparkle on the page. These early days were ver y ex­cit­ing times in­deed. Now the av­er­age guy could go f ly f ish­ing for trout and TF mag­a­zine ref lected this.

Arthur Cove

A ver y good coarse an­gler and f ly f isher, par­tic­u­larly with ny mphs, but re­ally cham­pi­oned the idea of watch­ing the leader for takes while f ish­ing static or with a ver y slow re­trieve. The idea was pi­o­neered by Cyril In­wood but af­ter he died A rthur re­ally took it on. Prior to this, ever yone re­trieved f lies so watch­ing the leader was a big break­through. Arthur would cast out with a long leader and if it t witched, he’d strike! It was said that he could see a leader move at 30 yards and, while pos­si­bly a lit­tle far-fetched, the point had been made. He de­vel­oped many great f lies no­tably the Cove PTN. Arthur was straight-talk­ing, abra­sive at times and had a love of roll-ups a nd wood­bines. He was Field Mar­shal Mont­gomery’s driver in W W2 and later earned a liv­ing sell­ing mag­gots for coarse a nglers in Northamp­ton­shire. A char­ac­ter who made a huge con­tri­bu­tion with his book ‘ My Way With Trout’.

Bob Church

Orig­i­nally a clicker (leather cut­ter) in a shoe com­pany and an­other very good coarse an­gler who turned to the f ly. Bob started the Bob Church Tackle Com­pany and re­ceived a phone call from a rather con­fi­dent teenager who told him in no un­cer­tain terms that his f lies were rub­bish! Bob agreed be­cause mass pro­duced f lies at the time were quite poor. Peter Gather­cole and Bob have re­mained friends ever since! Peter be­gan ty­ing for Bob and Bob of­ten con­tacted him for new pat­tern ideas for his An­gling Times col­umn. Be­ing a skilled leather cut­ter, Bob pi­o­neered the leather f ly wal­let which was hugely pop­u­lar at the time. Bob then grew his business, team­ing up with Peter Dobbs and also Bruce & Walker for rod cre­ation. The Bob Church boat seat and drogues were pop­u­lar. He was a mem­ber of the first Eng­land team to win the world cham­pi­onships. Fa­mously met re­sis­tance when f irst en­ter­ing the Eng­land fold be­cause he wrote a col­umn in An­gling Times and was there­fore deemed by some to be a pro­fes­sional.

Peter Gather­cole

First started con­tribut­ing to the an­gling me­dia when just 17 years old, via the An­gling mag­a­zine edited by Sandy Leven­ton. Peter had come highly rec­om­mended as a f ly-tyer by Dick Walker but Sandy had no idea of how young he was! When Peter ar­rived at the off ice, a shocked Sandy made him ad­dress the

“Bob re­ceived a call from a teenager say­ing his flies were rub­bish.”

of­fice man­ager as Aun­tie Bar­bara! Sandy asked Peter for a f ly pic­ture and that started Peter’s pho­tog­ra­phy ca­reer, later con­tribut­ing to both Trout & Salmon and Trout Fish­er­man. Peter’s writ­ten and col­lab­o­rated on many books.

Dick Walker

Again, a great coarse an­gler fa­mous for catch­ing the record 4 4 lb carp ‘Clarissa’. Dick loved to wind peo­ple up and his en­gi­neer­ing back­ground gave him the skills to de­velop tackle ideas and f ly pat­terns. He mostly fished small wa­ters and re­ally cham­pi­oned shoot­ing heads, claim­ing that they were far less ef­fort than a weight for ward line. A reg­u­lar at Han­ningf ield and Av­ing­ton where he caught an 18lb trout, which was a Bri­tish record at the time.

Brian Lead­bet­ter

Ac­cord­ing to many, the UK’s most gifted match f ly an­gler. A keen coarse an­gler and golfer, Brian won back-to-back world cham­pi­onships in the late 1980s. He later left the still­wa­ter scene to f ish for grayling on rivers.

Peter Cock­will

Fa mously caught the UK’s fi rst ever 20lb trout (20lb 7oz) from Av­ing ton on Septem­ber 16, 1986. It was br ief ly the record un­til a big­ger one came from Loch Awe. Twenty- pound f ish aren’t that com­mon even to­day. TF’s most ex­pe­ri­enced con­trib­u­tor to date hav­ing run a tackle shop, a f isher y, and g uided trips to A laska.

Chris Dawn

Trout Fish­er­man’s longestser ving ed­i­tor, do­ing an ad­mirable job for 19 years. A tal­ented writer who rose to fame wit h his col­umn in An­gling Times: ‘The Dawn Pa­trol’. Col­lab­o­rated on many books while also be­ing a keen or nit holog ist. One of the sport’s tr ue char­ac­ters. Sadly passed and sorely missed.

“Ac­cord­ing to many, the most gifted match an­gler the UK’s ever had. A keen coarse an­gler and golfer, Brian won back-to-back World Cham­pi­onships.”

A bot­tle of brandy and a badge for Eye­brook’s first Trout­mas­ter cham­pion, Ken­neth Ship­ton – 1979. Brian Lil­lie won a tro­phy and a cash prize in 2016. TROUT­MAS­TERS WIN­NERS The first-ev­erUK-caugh­t20lb trout.PeterCock­will, Av­ing­ton20lb 7oz in1986.

They shaped our fu­ture (from left), Peter Gather­cole, John Wil­shaw, Arthur Cove and Bob Church.

Cock­will pre­dicts the fu­ture.

An early ar­ti­cle from Taff Price.

A be­gin­ners’ fea­ture about fry feed­ers.

MarkShep­pardJune2007.He­hade­v­ery copy!

ChrisDawn Brian Lead­bet­ter Dick Walker

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