Find your in­ner peace

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Be Inspires - Former world cham­pion Iain Barr

Fly-f ish­ing has be­come a sig­nif icant part of my life, so much so that my wife and I now run a suc­cess­ful f ly and tackle busi­ness so I never es­cape it. That’s just a small part of it. What drives me to get up to go fish­ing? What keeps me awake all night be­fore any f ish­ing trip even after nearly 40 years? It 's ex­tremely hard to ex­plain. It started when I was young and I used to go f ly-f ish­ing with my dad. We hol­i­dayed on the River Spey in Scot­land and it was there that the love of na­ture was in­stilled. Yes, I am ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive in f ly-f ish­ing but with f ish­ing you get to ap­pre­ci­ate nat­u­ral sur­round­ings. I’ve been lucky to travel the world and see some amaz­ing sights. At my lo­cal Rut­land Wa­ter, it’s abun­dant with wildlife. From ospreys div­ing to catch a f ish to hear­ing small nightin­gales’ cre­ative tunes as they sing their hearts out in the penin­sula woods. It 's these things that I be­lieve would help so many of to­day’s chil­dren who are of­ten locked in front of tele­vi­sions or com­puter games. With f ly-f ish­ing ever y thing is at hand. That an­tic­i­pa­tion of the line tight­en­ing in your tensed-up f in­ger­tips is some­thing I can’t ex­plain but avid f ly f ish­er­man will know ex­actly what I mean. It 's an art to cast a f ly to a trout and catch it. The art of f ly-f ish­ing can be done from lake shores, drift­ing boats, rivers, the sea, it can be done on any wa­ter and for any species. It 's a sport where you build friend­ships quickly. Catch loads of f ish and an­glers will come and speak to you about your se­crets. Don't catch many f ish and some­one will likely come and help you. It 's a pas­sion­ate sport where you’ll grow a cir­cle of friends who share your same pas­sion. I've com­peted for Eng­land across the globe and there's not many con­ti­nents where I wouldn't have a bed for the night, all this just from f ly-f ish­ing. I started as just a typ­i­cal boy who wanted to go f ish­ing. I used to catch eels, perch and pike from a lo­cal river. This pro­gressed to f ly-f ish­ing as this was my dad’s pas­sion and at week­ends we’d of­ten go. I pro­gressed and was spot­ted by Eng­land le­gend Brian Thomas who now lives in the Orkney Isles. He en­tered me into the Eng­land Youth Cham­pi­onships and I pro­gressed from there to be the in­di­vid­ual World Fly Fish­ing Cham­pion in 2009. This sport is spe­cial. You’ll be close to na­ture; it 's a great es­cape in this ‘rat race’ of life; it brings life­long friend­ships but most im­por­tantly it brings self-sat­is­fac­tion, in­ner peace and an ex­hil­a­rat­ing pas­sion for the sport. Our num­bers are drop­ping. It 's too easy to place a child in front of a screen and as many trout f ish­eries close the near­est one can be far away as op­posed to a lo­cal river where chil­dren can coarse f ish. We can all do our part. Take your child and one of his friends f ly-f ish­ing. Take a friend or an­other fam­ily mem­ber and help trans­fer this pas­sion and you’ll make friends for life.

“The an­tic­i­pa­tion of the line tight­en­ing in your tensed-up fin­ger tips is some­thing I can’t ex­plain...”

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