AnglingTrust The voice of Angling

Angling Tributes


Gone Fishing but not forgotten

With the passing of time, so we lose fishing friends old and new along the way. This page is intended to pay tribute to anglers who have made a remarkable contribution to our sport and who have recently passed on to that ‘great river/lake/sea in the sky’. It is not intended to be an encyclopaedia of the famous, rather an opportunity for friends and colleagues to mark the passing of those who touched their lives in a particularly special way. We wish bent rods and tight lines to them all for eternity.

bob church x335pxBob Church
Tribute by Keith Arthur

The history of angling is littered with great names of anglers who created their own aura of brilliance. Dick Walker, Ivan Marks and more recently John Wilson passed on having left an indelible mark on the sport we love so much. Now Bob Church has joined that legendary group and perhaps he was the most influential figure of all.

In the 1960s Bob was a prime mover in specimen hunting, as it was known then. A founder member of the highly-regarded Northampton Specimen Group, Bob’s varied approach saw him as a captor of huge fish of several species, especially barbel, chub, tench and pike.

Then came the fly fishing revolution on the giant Midlands reservoirs, especially Grafham and Empingham Reservoir, that became known as Rutland Water and it wasn’t long before Bob was the man. He mastered the art of tempting the trout that were stocked in these big lakes, often able to sort out the larger, overwintered fish.

Bob invented an incredible number of flies, designed to catch reservoir rainbows in both competition and leisure angling as well as the big browns that usually roamed the depths. Bob used lead core lines to reach the depths and used methods that were just about within the rules but catch them he did. I fished with Bob at Grafham as his boat partner and I learned more about boat fishing in those few hours than I could have imagined. I also bought one of the boat seats he designed!

He was also a fine angler on smaller stillwaters and I recall a day at the beautiful Chalk Springs where the water is so clear every speck of bottom can be seen in 12ft of water. It was a friendly competition called The Hat Trick where one each of the three stocked strains of spottie had to be caught...only this year there were four, with blue and gold strains of rainbow added to the regular rainbow and browns.

The event was divided into 45 minute segments and I spotted a pretty decent goldie in my part of Middle Lake. I tried it with tiny buzzers and bugs, unweighted nymphs and, out of frustration, dries that looked like one of the old Queen Mother’s hats as well as damsels, tadpoles and other large lures. It chased a couple but refused to eat.

The whistle to change pools was blown, I crossed the stream towards my next lake and Bob strolled up, cast out and caught ‘my’ golden rainbow before I’d reached East Lake! It weighed 8lb 9oz too.

I tench fished Sywell Reservoir with Bob for Tight Lines and he worked out what they needed so well we were the only two anglers with tincas on that day. Bob was a wonderful guest in the studio too; the biggest problem was getting us both silent at the same time and then, when we did start, to keep on track because Bob had so many diversions and tangents he could take on a subject. The hour of the programme was nowhere near enough.

I’ve just realised that I’ve written for Angling Times exactly the same number of years as Bob but whereas my column is opinion-based (if you hadn’t noticed...) Bob’s was far more practical and informative. He’s also written close to 20 books too, all superb in their own way whether advice/how to based or memoirs.

Bob is a tremendous loss to angling but he leaves behind an enormous legacy of his works, his tackle - rods, reels (large arbour fly reels are his idea) and clothing designs as well as the techniques (and boat seat) he introduced that are as effective today as they were the first time they ever saw the light of day.

His MBE was well deserved and it’s hard to think I won’t ever talk Cobblers to Bob again...well, he was Chairman and, on his retirement from the board president of Northampton Town Football Club. I remember telling him that my first visit to Arsenal stadium in 1954 was for a reserve match against ‘his’ team.

Even in his later years when Parkinson’s Disease made things so difficult for him, he was always smiling - and fishing.

My sympathies and condolences go to his lovely wife Jeanette, Steven and Nicola. Rest in peace Bob Church MBE. All trout are safer today.

Rod Hutchinson 1 x550pxRod Hutchinson 'Hutchy'
Tribute by Tim Paisley

It would take a book to capture the essence of Rod Hutchinson, and even then you would have to leave so much out that it would only tell half the expurgated story. Rod was a war child, born during WWII, and a product of the sixties, a heady combination which in his case produced a highly intelligent, multi-talented, multi-faceted personality that struggled with some of the niceties of life, was prone to addictions and occasionally (make that frequently) took refuge from the realities of life by ‘smelling the roses’, as he put it.

In his prime he had a pop-star aura about him, and grown men could be lost for words in his company. His angling heroes were Dick Walker and Fred J Taylor, but Rod extended their thinking, and certainly their tactics, when his attentions moved on from specimen hunting to being serious about carp fishing. Rod had an enquiring, inventive mind, which led to him making major advances in the fields of tactics (bolt rigs were very revolutionary when he started using them with particles in the early 70s), tackle, rods and carp baits, a field which he pioneered and excelled in. Many of today’s most popular flavours were originally products of Rod’s inventive, scientific mind working in collaboration with commercial flavour experts.

He was a confusing mixture of a larger-then-life extrovert personality coupled with the need for privacy. He had a close circle of loyal friends with whom he was comfortable but beyond that circle he could be awkward and you never quite knew which Hutchy was going to show up. He was academically bright but was expelled from school for an incident which would probably see the master involved being expelled now. (When a hard-backed blackboard cleaner was thrown at him by the teacher Rod threw it back at him!) Fortunately his English master saw in him and praised his talent as a story teller and this was a talent we all benefited from in his carp fishing writings and meant I had the pleasure of working with him on a number of his books. Any book is an achievement, and to have played a small part in helping make some of Rod’s books available will always remain a matter of some pride. As a story teller he was unique, and some of the one-liners around which his articles and chapters were based were memorable. Back at a time when carp writers were thin on the ground Rod’s next monthly offering was eagerly anticipated and devoured with relish, as his books have been in more recent years.

Rod was a former footballer and boxer and loved his football and boxing on TV. He was a musician manqué and song writer and had a music room at home. He loved jamming with his mate Mally Roberts, ‘brother-in-law’ Keith and anyone else who was willing to sit around strumming and singing for hours on end. His pub singer imitation was a show stopper!

Rod’s first book was Rod Hutchinson’s Carp Book. Thereafter I had an involvement in the compilation and production of The Carp Strikes Back (many people’s favourite carp book), Carp Now and Then, Carp Along the Way Volumes One and Two and Carp Inspirations. We were working on Carp Along the Way Volume Three when he was taken from us so suddenly, unexpectedly and shockingly. That was how losing him felt to many of us. For as long as my generation of carpers had been carp fishing from the early 70s onwards Rod had been a public hero-figure, in my case first as a distant hero, then as an acquaintance and then as a friend. His recent years had been difficult following a series of detached retina operations which had limited his eyesight and eventually reduced his mobility. He didn’t take kindly to his developing inability to live life to the full, which put a restriction on his beloved carp fishing activities.

He was a family man who has left two daughters, Kath and Emma, four granddaughters and three great grandsons. He was hugely influential and the global outpouring of affection following his death has demonstrated the admiration he was afforded and affection in which he was held. He was talented, influential and loved well beyond the normal degree of esteem in which hero figures are held. For all his eminence, talents and achievements he was looked on as one of us, made good. He was special and has left a void which may never again be filled by one man.

He coined the expression for his new, unexplored carp waters ‘where dreams are still alive’, a quote which will be taken into carp fishing lore. Sadly the dreams are no more but his legacy and the memories will live on.

Picture: Hutchy with Tim Paisley, John Wilson and Lee Jackson

Tribute by Derek Stritton, on behalf of the Carp Society:

It was with great sadness that the Carp Society heard of the recent passing of Rod Hutchinson. Rod was a life member of the Society, and fondly remembered for the many slide shows he gave at our conferences and regional meetings over the years, the first of which was at our inaugural meeting in May 1981. He was also a great supporter of our junior events.

Rod was, without doubt, a true pioneer of carp fishing, not only in this country but across Europe as well. Much of today’s thinking about carp fishing reflects Rod’s early writing and his massive contribution to the tackle trade.

On a personal level, I first got to know Rod at Johnson’s lakes in Kent, where I often went to visit Fred Wilton, and then later when I fished alongside him at Savay Lake and North Harrow in the Colne Valley during the early 1980s. Although a very talented angler, Rod was also very down to earth and had a wonderful sense of humour. Some of his stories could make you laugh so much, that your sides would hurt!

Rod will be fondly missed by the entire angling community, already demonstrated by the many tributes paid to him. Carp fishing has lost not only a great character, but also a “true pioneer.” The Carp Society has lost a “true friend!”

Go forward on your journey Rod, secure in the knowledge that your memory and writings live on, and that you will be remembered always as a carp fishing hero, and admired by the many anglers you inspired along the way!

Terry Bruton 1Terry Bruton

Tribute by Michael Nicholls

I first got to know Terry at the end of the 60's during South West Angling Times Winter League matches, his dad Sid and I were in the same team. Terry was a Systems Engineer working on Concorde and was sent on French lessons but I don't think the language stuck. Later he started his own business servicing quarry equipment.

I am not sure what year it was but Terry won every single section in the South West Winter League which was amazing considering there were 14 teams. After this he was referred to as the "one man band". The feat has never been repeated.

I remember drawing next to Terry in an open match on the Fry's section of the Bristol Avon and could only watch in amazement him fishing the far bank in 13 foot of water (where the flow was) using bread over home made bread groundbait. He easily won the match that day with 21lb of skimmers, roach and hybrids. No crow quills for Terry, he used a homemade float which I copied - all balsa with a wooden antenna. The interesting aspect of these floats was they could be used top and bottom or waggler - crafty.

Through us both having sons of similar age, all keen to learn match fishing, we became good friends and supported the lads in the various leagues. I remember his son Dave winning a Junior match on the Crane with 18lb of chub from the New Fence Swim, Terry was over the moon. Later we fish the Dads and Lads matches and Terry and Dave won it at Huntstrete with a late 6lb tench, pushing Steve and me into second place. Both our sons went on to fish the Junior National on the Bristol Avon.

Terry loved his carp fishing, particularly fishing in traditional ways, but was equally at home catching silvers. He loved the Hunstrete fishery more than any other and was the record holder until one day I drew peg 16 and Terry was on next peg 15. Terry weighed in 120lb but I was to take his record with 201lb. Typical of Terry, he was the first to congratulate me.

Terry won more matches than most matchmen have had hot dinners. Any venue and method - he did them all. Later in life he focussed on local venues - Hunstrete and Viaduct.

He used to call me regularly especially when "My Dave" did well in a match. He was so proud when this happened.

Terry lived for fishing and fishing lived for him. He was the most focussed angler I knew. RIP matey, you will be sorely missed by me and many others.

Steve Smart, known as Smarty, licensed coach killed in accident x550pxSteve Smart
1951 -2018

Tribute by Craig Hunt, South Cerney Angling Club

Steve Smart passed away in hospital on 24th April, 2018, after a terrible accident when a car collided with him as he was stationary waiting in traffic.

Steve was born in 1951, known to his friends as 'Smarty', was a keen footballer and cricketer in his younger days, and a lifelong angler.

He lived all his life in the village of South Cerney, Gloucestershire, in the heart of what is now known as the Cotswold Water Park. He spent much of his working life with Bradley’s Aggregates, working with the gravels dug from around his local area.

Smarty had been a popular member and character of South Cerney Angling Club for over 50 years, fished many club matches, regularly represented the club in the Nationals but also spent many fishing hours introducing his friend’s children to fish.

In more recent times Smarty has been fishing just for pleasure, and had become a keen barbel angler, but also fishing for various other species on SCAC waters. Earlier this year he gained even more angling experience whilst holidaying with friends in Thailand, catching several very big fish

He was a regular and very keen volunteer in SCAC’s coaching activities and in 2011 gained his Level 1 Coaching Qualification, of which he was very proud.

Not only was he a good angling coach with great technical knowledge and ability, he was also an entertainer and knew how to make fishing fun for those he taught. I don’t know who used to laugh the loudest, him or the children or their parents. He would also try to help his fellow coach and also gave us a laugh too, especially with his Smarty-isms, such as “you should fish towards the aeronaughts” (aerators) or “I’m in a catch 45 situation”.

Steve will be greatly missed by family and friends.

David Rowe crop x447pxDavid Rowe

Tribute by Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust:

We are all very saddened to hear the news that David Rowe, one of angling’s most stalwart and dedicated volunteers and officers, has passed away following a long illness.

David’s earliest memory of fishing was angling with his father from the age of six or seven at Teignmouth. He started sea angling in earnest from the age of ten and continued until he left school and home and started work as a student apprentice with a major car manufacturer.

After marrying and returning to Devon in the early seventies, it became his main hobby because it enabled to spend quality time with his family and friends. He later became a member of the Wyvern Regional Committee of the then National Governing Body, the National Federation of Sea Anglers, and its chairman in 1986.

In 1998 he became the first Sports Council Development Officer for the sea angling. During his time with the Federation he developed the angling coaching scheme and serviced and managed the national teams for the sport at international level, including winning a world championship gold. His interest in conservation issues were developed through the NFSA conservation group and in 2005 David became a vice president of the world governing body CIPS with its sea section FIPS-M.

During this time he was invited to become a founder member of the European Angling Alliance whose sole purpose was to represent angling and its conservation issues at the European Commission in Brussels. The EAA has since become a powerful lobbying organisation in Europe and the Angling Trust is a leading member of this organisation.

He became the MAFF sea angling appointee to the old Devon Sea Fisheries Committee in 1996 and continued as a DEFRA appointee with its successor the Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, a post he held until his passing.

He retired in 2009 at the age of 67 as the CEO of the National Federation when the three governing bodies for the sport joined together to form the Angling Trust after many years of what he described as “intense and hard, but rewarding, work on behalf of sea angling.”

David also served as the secretary of the British Record Fish Committee and helped the Angling Trust develop this important body for anglers of all disciplines.

We are very grateful to David for all he has done for fish and fishing and we will miss him terribly, but remember him fondly. His warmth, humour and kindness were evident to the many, many people whose lives he touched.

Nigel Hewlett, who was a colleague on the British Record Fish Committee, added: "David was the first to greet me when I joined the BRFC about 15 years ago. He made me feel instantly at home. I only knew him through the committee but he would always greet me as if meeting an old friend. He always made me feel welcome and valued. His passion for angling and for the work of the committee were always clear. I count myself lucky to have known him."

David's funeral will be on Friday, 4th May, at 12 midday at the Methodist Church, Croakers Meadow, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9QR. Following the service, the family would welcome people to join them for refreshments at the Dolphin Hotel, 1A Station Rd, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot TQ13 9AL. It was David’s express wish that people wear bright colours and join the family in celebrating his life.

Family flowers only but donations are welcome to go to Rowcroft Hospice who showed such kindness and helped make it possible to care for David at home in his last weeks, as well as to Bovey Tracey Methodist Church which always held a special place in David’s heart. Donations either by collection on the day or care of the funeral directors: F. Christophers and Son, Ashburton, TQ13 7DX.

Norman Chown x550pxNorman Chown

Norman Chown was a highly respected and active member of the English Fly Fishing Association from 1970 until he passed peacefully away in his home town of Northampton on the 14th January 2018.

Norman was a lifetime angler born in Northampton and as a young boy he roamed Kingsthorpe and the surrounding countryside on his bicycle. Snaffling bacon rind from home, going down Mill Lane to the stream, tying it to string and lowering it carefully into Crayfish holes, then up to the Merry Tom Stream with nets to catch sticklebacks.

Norman was best known at his local Pitsford Reservoir which he had fished since its official opening when he was a guest representing the business community of Northampton.

Norman was proud to represent England in the 1972 Loch-Style International on Llyn Alaw and in 1974 he caught a 6lb 10½oz Brown Trout at Grafham, the largest that season (pictured).

Norman also loved the pursuit of Salmon sharing a beat on the River Wye near Hay for years. Leaving work, he would drive across country for the evening, then drive home and be up again for work the next day.

Then there was the annual pilgrimage to the Thurso and for a few years he would join Frank Aran in his plane and fly up to Wick. Other times there would be car sharing and they never stopped overnight just a straight through drive of approximately 600 miles. Some of the equally mad culprits along with Norman and Frank, were Richard Dickens and Viv Church. This love of fishing made for great and lifelong friendships.

His daughter Lorraine recalls: "Father felt my brother and I should be educated and shown the beauty and heritage of this wonderful country. So, every bank holiday, suitcases packed, off we would go. It took years for us to realise that there was more to UK than rivers, lakes and reservoirs!"

In 1995 Norman won the English Fly Fishing Association’s Annual Match fished on Chew and he still fished with the Association until his 90th year and it was always a pleasure to share a boat with him, he will be hugely missed.

Norman leaves a loving wife Daphne, daughter Lorraine, son Nicholas and grandchildren Heidi and David.

Tribute by David Moore, Secretary to English Fly Fishing Association

Ken Gates x550px

Ken Joseph Gates

Ken was born on the 14th February, 1941, in St. Leonards-on-Sea in Hastings. It was there as a child that Ken began his lifelong love of angling by exploring a large reservoir and several ponds nearby with his cousin Len.

From a young boy Ken started to record his fishing adventures in the form of fishing diaries, something that he continued working on all through his life. These included extremely detailed information on which fish were caught, or not as sometimes was the case! They also included wonderful drawings, photographs and what he described to his eldest son Ben as "reflections and little anecdotes" about his life at the time.

Ken spent many hours on his fishing diaries, and he always intended for them to be read after his passing by his four sons: Ben, Tim, Mike, Andrew and his grandson, Jacob. They were all typed up, and professionally bound.

There were also special copies for good friends he shared fishing holidays with. His love of angling took him to many countries including Spain, Canada, Russia and Africa to name but a few.

Ken Gates painting (2)Ken was involved in many capacities with numerous fishing clubs over the years. He would use his experience from being a Chartered Accountant to help chair and treasure, as well as help with the books. Some of the clubs that benefited from his expertise, generosity and humour included Luton and Stewartby.

Fishing was more than a hobby for him it was a lifelong passion and way of life. Ken lived and breathed fishing, and the only thing that came before fishing to him was his love for his family and friends. He is greatly missed, but never forgotten.

Picture: One of Ken's many oil paintings

Ian Hockley

Ian Hockley was born in Hillingdon on 24th August, 1947, and was pretty much a fisherman all his life, starting out on local rivers and canals and progressing to winning the Players No 10 match prize in the 1960s.

Ian Hockley

His great love was river fishing, particularly in the clear waters of the Berkshire rivers where he developed a love of sight fishing. First it was chub and barbel, later it was a fly for trout and grayling, then further afield for salmon and sea trout and eventually overseas for bone fish, permit and tarpon.

Ian retired from a haulage business he ran with his brother Graham and decided to become more involved with fishing. He was one of the first people to qualify as an instructor by the old STANIC, administered by the Salmon & Trout Association, and he began teaching people to cast and arranged fishing trips for clients.

Tony King, fly-fishing instructor, guide and close friend of Ian, said: "Regular visits to Scotland honed his skills as a salmon fisher and it was on a Scottish border river that we first fished together.

"When I lived in Scotland we formed an alliance and worked together with parties of mixed ability and experience fishing for salmon and sea trout in my local rivers. He went on with the support of Guide fly fishing, Maggie and others to fish in many foreign countries for salmon and saltwater fly species.

"Ian was a member of the Hardy Academy and played an active part in the organisation of fishing and casting instruction at the CLA Game Fair  and later still the Game Fair during which time he was a staunch supporter of the casting events which he saved from being dropped entirely."

Ian acquired the lease for the wonderful little spring feed lake and stream fishery Lochinge near his home in Wantage which he has successfully run as a syndicate trout fishery and was home to Westlake fly fishing.

He was a member of REFFIS and APGIA. When GAIA was formed he was one of the first members and, serving on its management committee, proved a very able and valued member. He was a relentless pursuer of what he believed in and did all the necessary work to complete the Angling Trust coach qualification as well as GAIA (APGIA) and AAPGAI qualifications.

In recent years Ian developed a passion for warm salt water fly fishing, bone fish and permit in particular, and latterly hosted parties for Gofishingworldwide to Cuba and Mexico.

Tony added: "Always amiable and easily funny he was a good instructor and taught many to fish and many others to be better at catching them. He will be sorely missed by all that were privileged to know him."

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal, added: "I was very sad to hear of Ian Hockley’s death after a long struggle against cancer.  Ian gave up a huge amount of his time to help others discover and enjoy fully the delights of fishing.  It was a pleasure to work with him developing new initiatives for coaching and he helped foster an excellent working relationship between GAIA and the Angling Trust in recent years through his thoughtfulness, strategic vision and generosity of spirit.”

Dennis Retter Honiton Sea Angling 1947-2017 x500px

Dennis Retter
1947 - 2017

Honiton sea anglers are mourning the death of their long standing chairman, Dennis Retter.

Dennis, who was from Offwell, sadly passed away at his home after a short illness. He was 69.

Club secretary Mike Spiller said: "Dennis had helped so many sea anglers from all over the South West with his tuition. He had managed the England casting team for many years and had been in the team on numerous occasions. Club members have been devastated by the news of his death."

In the past, Dennis had also taken on the role of Angling Trust Wyvern Region chairman for a number of years and was a life member of the Angling Trust.

David Pomfret
1947 - 2017

Tribute by David Moore and Stuart Sharp

The name David Pomfret might not mean much to anglers but they have so much to thank him for as the man who worked behind the scenes to secure and manage the finances of their sport.

David PomfretFrom 1997, David was Operations Manager for the Federation of Sport & Play Associations looking after the finances of many organisations that were too small alone to employ a man of his calibre.

His first involvement in angling was on behalf of the Angling Trades Association and then in 2009 he was appointed Company Secretary for the Angling Development Board.  Chair of the ADB at that time was David Moore who remembers the time when the ADB went overnight from being a fledgling organisation with few employees and a tiny budget to securing a million pound Sport England contract in 2009.

Until that time we had managed with voluntary financial control but suddenly we needed a professional and David agreed to help us, staying in a crucial and developing role with the ADB.

He continued after his retirement from the Sports Federation and then staying in a part time role for two years with the Angling Trust after its merger in 2012. David even came out of retirement in the summer of 2015 to help with a project, before heading back to the joys of his retirement enjoying good wine and overseas travel, watching darts (he was also a Financial Director of the Professional Darts Corporation) and saw his beloved Leicester City win the Premier league.

David was at his best in a crisis, always calm and looking for a solution. He was never phased when things were difficult and was hugely supportive of the team around him and everyone in the Angling Trust will miss him hugely.

David was aged 70 and our sympathies go to his wife Julie and all his family.

David's funeral service will take place on Thursday 25th May 2017 at 12 noon at Countesthorpe Crematorium, Foston Road, Leicester, LE8 5QP. Family flowers only, but donations may be made payable to Brain Tumour Research and sent to Paul Pender & Son, Independent Funeral Directors, 2 Westover Road, Braunstone Town, Leicester, LE3 3DT. Tel : 0116 2896608.

Professional Darts Corporation send condolences

Tony Williams
1935 - 2015

RETIRED engineer and well known Isle of Wight angler, Anthony Hugh Williams, known to all as Tony Williams, died aged 80, on December 30th, 2015.

Born in Ryde, IoW, on July 8, 1935, he was educated at Sandown Grammar School, served an aerospace engineering apprenticeship at Saunders-Roe at East Cowes, IoW, before he gained a degree in mechanical engineering at Kings College, Durham, in 1958.

Tony Williams Picture x400pxOn completion, he began work at the Mullard Transistor Factory in Southampton, in 1961 prior to returning to work at Saunders-Roe for the remaining 26 years of his working life during which time the company became the British Hovercraft Corporation then a division of Westland Aerospace before becoming a division of GKN.
Before Tony retired from GKN in 1993, he worked on various projects, ultimately specialising in industrial research wave makers and test equipment.

He had met his wife, Pamela, on the island and they married in 1969. Together they had two daughters, Helen and Vivien.

His love of angling started when he would enjoy fishing with his father and he joined the Vectis Boating and Fishing Club (VBFC) based in Ryde, IoW, in 1952.

He was associated with the running of the club more or less continuously from the time that he joined. A meticulous record keeper, Tony was the club’s treasurer for 23 years and he also held the position of chairman for some time.

He enjoyed fishing from his dinghy in the Eastern Solent and also liked to fish from Ryde Pier where he was instrumental in securing access for anglers when the owners were looking to prohibit angling.

Following his retirement, he was pivotal in securing lottery funds for a new VBFC clubhouse, near Ryde Marina to replace the original clubhouse that had been on Ryde Pier. He oversaw the building and fitting out of the clubhouse.

Tony was an active member of various other organisations centred around his passion for the sea and angling. He was a long time national committee member of the National Federation of Sea Anglers and when that merged he became a member of the Angling Trust’s national Conservation & Access Group.

He was an active member of the Isle of Wight Marine Committee of the Angling Trust and acted as one of its representatives in stakeholder engagements with external bodies such as Defra, MMO, Natural England etc. He was a strident proponent of sea anglers’ interests during stakeholder discussions on south coast Marine Conservation Zones and on bait-digging restrictions proposed by Southern IFCA around Ryde

Tony also avidly represented the UK in international sea angling administration. He was awarded an honorary life membership of the European Anglers’ Alliance for his long standing services, which included preparing, with Roy Retallick, new statutes for the organisation after a number of national bodies had left it due to poor governance.

His breadth and depth of historical knowledge about sea angling matters enabled him to strongly express his views about conservation of fish stocks and the habitats they depend on.

Sadly a recurrence of an asbestos-related cancer in 2013 caused Tony to scale back on his activities and despite a brave fight, he eventually succumbed.

Recreational sea anglers owe him a big debt of gratitude. His contribution to ongoing issues will be sorely missed.

Alan Deeming & Mike Heylin OBE

Peter Mohan
1930 - 2015

Peter Mohan was an iconic figure in the early days of modern carp fishing. His many books and writings, including the acclaimed ‘Cypry the Carp’, were inspirational to a generation of pioneering carpers as can be seen by this touching tribute from fellow carp author Tim Paisley

There is always a universal feeling of regret when a high profile figure passes away, and Peter Mohan, who died in December at the age of 85, was one of the more prominent members of the world of carp fishing. Peter was an extremely influential figure in carp circles, and certainly someone who had a major influence on my life.

Mohan x400pxIn 1969 Peter co-founded the BCSG with the late Eric Hodson. The BCSG was looked on as an elitist group for experienced carpers, so in the early 70s Peter formed the Carp Anglers Association (CAA), which was open to anyone. The CAA came into existence at a time when I was becoming captured by carp fishing, and I attended the inaugural meeting at Billing Aquadrome in May 1974. Mike Starkey was Peter’s second in command at the time and he was at the meeting. In reality it was my introduction to the wider world of carp fishing, and also to the world of publishing, in that Peter had with him the page proofs for his book Carp Fishing Step by Step at the meeting, to run through with Mike.

CAA members were encouraged to write for the CAA Newsletter, and tentatively I submitted a couple of pieces, both of which were used. They were of little consequence in the greater scheme of things, but seeing them in print was an encouragement, and gave me the confidence, and belief, to continue putting pen to paper, and rattling away on the typewriter. I became a branch secretary for the CAA, and met a number of my current friends from the world of carp fishing at those 70s’ meetings, including Greg Fletcher, Kevin Clifford and Rod Hutchinson.

Peter was a great organiser, and launched the national conferences that are now a familiar part of the carp scene. He could be a tad dictatorial, back then, and even his best friends would admit that he could be difficult. He was inclined to fall out with people, and it was the rumblings about some of his policies, in particular his declared aversion to angling politics, that led to the formation of the Carp Society in 1981, at the instigation of me and Greg Fletcher. The formation of the Carp Society led to the publication of Carp Fisher, ultimately the trigger for the glossy carp magazines of today. The Society’s Carp Fisher triggered the launch of the CAA’s The Carp Catcher (‘They fish for them, we catch them!), and through those two magazines, and the later commercial products, writing and photography have become an extensive and influential by-product of fishing for carp. It’s fair to say that Peter helped put that progression in motion, and I am not alone in thinking that he was the springboard for any publishing and writing success many of us may have had in carp fishing. Peter undoubtedly helped launch the carp-related careers of Mike Starkey and Kevin Maddocks, and ultimately numerous other carp writers, carp consultants, and tackle and bait manufacturers.

Peter was a man of many talents. He was an international table-tennis player, and played for Uruguay in the Stockholm World Championships (via a residential qualification when he lived in Uruguay for a few years). He was also an international bridge player and represented England in tournaments in several countries. He launched the first carp-only magazine, the BCSG private circulation The Carp, and had a number of books published between 1972 – 'Carp For Everyone' – through to his final, fitting book, published in 2014, ‘A Life for Carp’. Peter was an achiever whose influence will be felt in carp-fishing circles for as long as carp anglers meet, and read carp books, and magazines.

I attended Peter’s funeral at Bedford on 7th January, which was well attended by many of his old friends, from both carp-fishing and bridge circles. It transpired that his organisational skills had made themselves apparent in the world of bridge-playing in his last few years, and that he had even published a book on the subject! He was a man of many talents, but first and foremost he was a dyed-in-the-wool carp angler, from an era when such people were thin on the ground. The titles of his first and last books make a fitting epitaph: Carp for Everyone could be said to be prophetic, at a time when it was actually for comparatively few, and A Life for Carp was a fair reflection on Peter’s raison d’être. Thanks for the heritage you have helped create and pass on, Peter Mohan. RIP.

Tim Paisley

John Maitland
1st April 1933 - 13th August 2015

John Maitland-small

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that John Maitland died peacefully on Thursday 13th August 2015 in Peterborough Hospital having endured very considerable challenges with illness and mobility, for many years.

He was born on 1st April 1933 and commissioned in to Royal Air Force in 1953. During his very successful career as a both a fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilot, he became a popular Chairman of the Royal Air Force's Competitive Angling Association not least because of his love and passion for all types of angling and, in particular, fly fishing.

During a career spanning 39½-years he qualified to fish for the England International Fly Fishing Team. Following retirement from the Royal Air Force in 1993 in the rank of Group Captain, he became a very supportive member of the English Fly Fishing Association (EFFA) and held the position of EFFA President from 2009 until 2011.

In addition, he was elected as Chairman of Rutland Water Fly Fishers and remained its Chairman for a remarkable 18-years until 2013. Living in Oakham, he was frequently seen on the banks of Rutland Water with rod in hand.

His love and passion for fly fishing made John an extremely successful fly fisherman, exemplary fly tier, distinguished author and excellent company. He was a much loved husband to Jan and father to daughter Julia.

His gentlemanly qualities and stoic, Churchillian attitude of 'never giving in' regardless of the circumstances serves as a splendid example to us all. He will be greatly missed.

Stephen Ottridge

Frank Guttfield
1939 - 2015

Frank GuttfieldIntroduction by Martin Salter

Just before the start of this year's river season the world of angling lost one of it's 'greats'. Frank Guttfield, author, broadcaster, and an old school specimen hunter, who fought and subdued many big fish in his time, finally lost his battle with cancer.

I can't remember exactly when it was that I first fished with Frank - probably around 17 years ago when I joined the Red Spinners. We both enjoyed fishing the smaller Thames tributaries around Oxford. Sadly they were already in decline but both the Windrush and the Evenlode still held a few fine specimen chub, roach and perch if you knew where to look. That was one of Frank's great strengths, he really was quite expert at not just catching fish but at tracking them down. For several years he ran a small syndicate on the Windrush of which I was a sometime member and he guided me on to a number of very welcome two pound roach which are still my favourite species today. But I guess it was chub fishing that was Frank's speciality and he was certainly one of the finest exponents of light ledgering that I've ever seen. He knew how to balance the weight with the flow and would angle the line so that even a shy pick up from a big wary old fish would result in a gentle and hittable drop back bite rather than a sharp nervous pull and ejected bait.

Frank was a man interested in many things including politics and persuaded me that I should have him up to lunch in the House of Commons during my time there. I was happy to oblige and I shall never forget him pulling out a musty old file and regaling me with some conspiracy theory he had about corporate wrong doing that I should be investigating. I asked him when all these shenanigans were alleged to have taken place and he said: "Oh .. sometime in the 1960s but I was just waiting until I met the right person to take this on!" Although I politely declined Frank's kind offer to immerse myself in a 30 year old case many miles from my own constituency we remained on good terms and he particularly enjoyed fishing with some of my angling MP friends including Charles Walker who now chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Angling. Frank even persuaded me to offer a work experience placement to his super bright young son Max who proved to be a great asset to my parliamentary office.

Frank could be awkward and irascible, charming and warm, grumpy and witty but there was scarcely a dull moment when he was around. There was always something going on in that sharp brain of his and it is a great shame that he has fished, written, spoken, loved and laughed for the last time.

Martin Salter, Angling Trust National Campaigns Manager.


200px PDF Icon
Read the full tribute HERE.

Shane Patterson
6th December 1964 - 19th March 2015

Shane PattersonA Tribute by John Cheyne

Shane Patterson cared a lot about fishing. As Chairman of the Angling Trust North E Forum he ran meetings with a relaxed charm all of his own. He didn’t have a typical chairman’s manner, he just spoke to the anglers in the room as if he was chatting to them on the bank.

Shane turned up at the very first Angling Trust Forum meeting that I ran back in 2012 and immediately got involved and volunteered to help. I don’t think it was even a conscious decision; it was just in his nature to try to help. Since then he had been a constant positive influence at meetings and chaired forums for both the Tees and the Wear catchments. Shane was the kind of guy who ALWAYS greeted you with a smile and wanted to talk about what you’d been catching and where you’d been fishing before there was any talk of fishing politics.

He will be greatly missed. But I only knew Shane for a very short time and so I’ll leave it to his close friend and former AT NE Chair Darron Nixon to write a full tribute which you can read as attached below...

John Cheyne, Angling Trust National Regions Manager.


Read the full tribute HERE.

Keith Speer
November 1955 - February 2015

Keith SpeerA Life Well Fished by Martin Salter

There are people in this wonderful world of fishing who we might not know personally but whose exploits, comments and interviews leave us with the overwhelming impression of not just an angler with exceptional ability but of a really lovely, warm person who is liked and admired for all the right reasons. I only met Keith Speer a handful of times but for me he typified all these characteristics, and many more besides.

Sadly Keith passed away, all too soon at the age of 60, beside the banks of his beloved Upper River Lea in Hertfordshire, the scene of some of his phenomenal catches of specimen roach, chub and barbel .

Keith’s float caught specimen list will probably never be bettered and includes barbel to 17lb 15oz, chub to 7lb 3oz and a three pound river roach. He was also a keen predator angler with many big pike, perch and zander to his name.


Read the full tribute HERE.

Joseph P. (Joe) Murray

2nd July 1929 - 16th February 2015

Joe MurrayA Tribute - by daughter Josie Murray

Dad really enjoyed his fishing and was always keen to share his innovations with colleagues as well as encouraging others to participate in fishing. Not always successfully in the case of his children but we all spent many a night and early morning awaiting the tide.

He was a proud member of the NFSA & EFSA and dad represented England on numerous occasions particularly during the 1980s & 1990s (& probably also Ireland when in European teams as he was Irish by birth), which he was very proud of but never arrogant about - it gave him the opportunity to fish in the company of friends.

Joe was born on 2nd July 1929 and died peacefully on 16th February 2015 aged 85yrs with his three children around him. His funeral will be on 16th March 2015 at 2.30pm at Chelmsford Crematorium, Essex.

Roger Wyndham Barnes
1948 - 29th July 2014

Roger Wyndham BarnesA Life Well Fished - by Martin Salter

I can think of few more appropriate souls whose passing typifies the allure of this shared watery world than Roger Wyndham Barnes – the last of the Thames professional angling guides whose death, following the diagnosis of a brain tumour in 2013, prompted a flood of affectionate tributes from far and wide. John Bailey, Keith Arthur, Jon Ward-Allen, Keith Elliott, Ian Welch, Steve Wozniak and many more have penned generous memories of this lovely man. But we start with the words of his good friend John Buckingham.

"Roger was many things, artist, writer, bluesman, biker and great storyteller, but above all he was a natural countryman and had the ability to read a river or a landscape. He wasn’t just in the countryside he was a part of it, and the spirit of the river, its moods and its seasons, flowed in his blood."


social-media-icons-wordpress Read the full tribute HERE.

Michael Stratton
1935 - 2014

Michael StrattonWorld Record Holder, Antique Tackle Dealer and Fishery Owner.

There was standing room only in the West Berkshire Crematorium as friends and family were joined by many from the world of fishing to pay their respects to Mike Stratton - the former Reading tackle shop owner, well liked countryman, one time world match record holder and, in his later years, a canny and renowned antique tackle dealer and successful fishery owner.

Mike was the eldest of two sons born to John and Winifred in 1935. He attended the prestigious Blue Coat School in Sonning from the age of 11 to 18 years where he became known as ‘wee Mick’ due to his size. A popular boy, who was extremely sporty and who loved to play cricket, he rose to become Head Boy of the school.

Michael wanted to pursue a career in farming but he contracted glandular fever and sadly had to give it up and instead decided to join the family retail fishing and gunsmith business with his father John and brother Peter.


Martin Salter - March 2015

With thanks to Michael's daughter Clare and to Bill Green his long serving work colleague and loyal friend who continues to bailiff and tie flies at the Haywards Farm Fishery.

200px PDF IconRead the full tribute HERE.

Professor Barrie Rickards
12th June 1938 - 5th November 2009

Barrie RickardsFrom The Times - November 21st 2009

Richard Barrie Rickards, or Barrie as he was more usually known, was born in Leeds in 1938, the son of an engineer. A boyhood freedom to roam over the Yorkshire countryside nourished a talent for observing, documenting and interpreting the natural world.

The young Rickards was a distracted pupil at Goole Grammar School, showing more aptitude for sports than for academic study, helping it to win the Northern Schools Cross Country Championships and going on himself to have trials for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Kept in the sixth form by his headmaster for his running prowess, Rickards excelled at chemistry and graduated in geology from the University of Hull with a BSc in 1960 and a PhD in 1963. He specialised in graptolites, an extinct group of zooplankton, which thrived in the Ordovician and Silurian periods (488-416 million years ago).

Read the full obituary HERE.

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers.
Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us.
twitter_icon_large facebook_icon_large
Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350

Site by Nemisys
Powered by FixturesLive