There are many ways that my life revolves around fishing … beginning with my morning routine. I have two different alarms and my favourite alarm, surprisingly, is the earlier one, because it’s my fishing alarm! I like to get up and at ‘em and bolt through the front door. I habitually check social media on my way to work, particularly to reply to any comments or messages I have received overnight and to scroll through Instagram for a minute or two to get me pumped up for the day – And yes, I follow mostly fishing profiles!
Balancing work and fishing is generally manageable for me. I work for a commercial property company called Quidnet Capital; a team of 7 hard working asset managers and developers. We are based in the heart of Mayfair which means during my lunch break I often nip down to the Orvis Flagship store which is right around the corner from me on Regent’s Street. Once I am there it’s always hard to leave, especially when I am scanning their fly collection to see if any patterns tickle my fancy for my forthcoming fishing trips. As soon as Friday hits, my weekday ‘hustle and bustle’ lifestyle in London becomes a distant memory. Usually on weekends you will find me relentlessly exploring UK’s easily accessible lakes or hidden rivers. I find it very distressing when I have to stay in London for the whole weekend without an escape route to the countryside. I am a country girl through and through. Fishing takes me to some of the most beautiful and remote places on earth and one of my aims, through my social media, is to expose this and try to inspire more people to take a leap and try something new.
My mother has been my primary inspiration from the word go. She is a devoted fly fisher and she taught me the basics as soon as I could walk. I am eternally grateful that the obsession has rubbed off on me and I hope, one day, I will be able to pass it on. Any activity in life needs the next generation for it to survive, whatever that may be.
There are many other anglers I admire. Lilla Rowcliffe, who lives next door to my mother in Scotland, stands out. One of my favourite stories, among many, is when she was fishing for carp in India. Hours went by without a nibble, so she decided to take matters into her own hands and find out what they were feeding on. In the nearby, overhanging trees she found a group of monkeys and each time their droppings fell into the water they were instantaneously gobbled up by the carp. After matching the hatch she found herself knees deep, landing carp left, right and centre!
Personally I release most of the fish I catch. It’s my favourite fishing moment, apart from the tug of course! My love for fish prospered from a young age. I remember deep-sea fishing on one of our Scottish school holidays; I would have been about 6 years old. As family and friends progressively filled industrial sized buckets of fish, I was secretly throwing the odd one back into the water on the down low.
When I was 12 years old, I landed my first salmon. Traditionally you would keep your first, but instead, I released her back in hopes that she spawned that year. I get much more enjoyment from catch and release: having the power to release a fish back into their waters is a cause for a celebration every time. I do, occasionally, take the odd stocked trout back home for supper; the rewards of a hunter-gatherer are incomparable to buying your fish from the supermarket!