Our worthy web-master has suggested that, as a regular blogger on flytek.co.uk I
should do a short “who am I“ article.
My name is Bill Beddows, Dave’s dad. I started fishing in 2004 when I retired from
work. For 33 years up to the age of 50 I had been a keen rock climber and from 50
until retirement I had a very busy and absorbing job. However I knew that with all this
free time approaching I would need a new activity. The idea of fly fishing had
appealed for some time so I went on a 3 day taster course in North Wales with a guy
who to turned out to be a bit of a rogue, which is another story. This convinced me
that fly fishing was something I could do. My colleagues had consulted my wife and
they kindly gave some vouchers to spend in Carter’s Preston shop. So I got some
gear and went fishing on small local still waters and the Welsh Dee, I rapidly learned
that this fishing lark is not at all easy. In 2004 I fished on 64 days and caught an
average of one fish per day !.
River fly fishing and rock climbing have quite a lot in common, both can take place in
remote places, there is an element of risk in both, more apparent than real in rock
climbing and more real than apparent in fishing. Both activities have a long and open
ended learning curve and both have a high technical and equipment content. Finally
there is a touch of the absurd to both if, as I do, you practice 100 % catch and
release while rock climbers seek out the hardest way up a hill and rarely go to the
At the moment I only fish rivers, mainly in the North West. The majority of the rivers I
have access to contain grayling so I fish all year round. I don’t fish for salmon or sea
trout as I lack the patience required.
About 7 years ago I decided to give fly tying a go. My wife gave me a kit for
Christmas. I couldn’t tie a shoe lace !. Eventually I asked Eric at Carters (R.I.P.)
where I could get some help. He gave me a phone number which turned out to be
Pat Stevens. At the time Pat was running fly tying courses, 10 weeks, 2 hours a
session. I signed up and later did his improvers’ course as well. I now believe it is
both difficult and expensive to buy good river flies and the best result is obtained by
tying your own. Pat and I became friends, we fish together and make an annual trip
to the mainland of Europe. He occasionally pays me the compliment of cadging a
few flies off me !