Actor and TV presenter Nick Hancock
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.