Ac­tor and TV pre­sen­ter Nick Han­cock

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - First Cast -

Where did you start fish­ing?

Apart from pulling the odd gud­geon out of the Shrop­shire Union Canal my first real fish­ing me­mory is of the Der­byshire Wye with my Dad and his mate Sid. Sid knew what he was do­ing, we most cer­tainly did not; fish were caught but I sus­pect Sid did the catch­ing.

Why do you en­joy fish­ing?

I am a ter­ri­ble fish­er­man, poorly pre­pared, im­pa­tient, clumsy, ig­no­rant of tackle and tac­tics and (I’ve no idea why) de­void of luck. I love fish­ing be­cause none of the above mat­ters one jot.

What are your great­est fish­ing achieve­ments?

Be­ing in­vited back. My com­pan­ions are, with­out ex­cep­tion, kinder, clev­erer, fun­nier and more gen­er­ous than I am. They also catch fish; I of­ten won­der why I am al­lowed to tag along.

Who’s the most in­ter­est­ing fish­er­man you’ve met?

Let me say first of all that I have met many, many, many ex­tremely dull fish­er­men. On the whole, how­ever, I en­joy the com­pany of other an­glers and I can’t re­mem­ber ever meet­ing a dull gillie (well, maybe one, you know who you are!).

What is your favourite fish­ing book?

Gone Fish­ing, The Trout and I, and Not All Beer and Bezencenet by Jon Beer are three ex­cel­lent books with one half-de­cent ti­tle be­tween them.

Who’s the best an­gler you’ve met?

I en­joy the com­pany and skill of John Young on the Helms­dale. He has passed on much of his knowl­edge and bril­liant tech­nique to so many fish­er­men. I have al­ways stead­fastly ig­nored him.

Do you tie flies?

Jon Beer is al­ways say­ing to me “Why would you buy a fly when you can tie your own?” and I al­ways think “Why would you bother ty­ing a fly when you can just buy one?” We are two very dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

Do you have a favourite fish­ery?

I’ve a soft spot for places where I’ve fallen in. Up to now there is nowhere that I’ve been that I do not have a soft spot for.

Do you take fly-fish­ing hol­i­days?

One of the joys of semi-re­tire­ment is that I have the time to fish abroad. One of the curses is that I can’t af­ford it, so never have. De­scribe your most mem­o­rable fish?

A won­der­ful wild trout caught on the Ir­well at Rawten­stall, is a golden me­mory, par­tic­u­larly as I pinched it from un­der Jon Beer’s nose. An epic trip to the Find­horn was not to be for­got­ten, with more than 90 fish for the week. I got one.

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