I grew up in the mountainous western region of Swaziland where the altitude is just enough to sustain the presence of trout. Within the extensive pine plantations that blanket the area are 12 isolated and lightly fished stillwaters (or 'dams' as they are locally known). The dams were pretty much left to nature in between infrequent stockings of rainbow trout and it was rare to see another angler. The trout became as wild as stocked fish can become. Looking back, I couldn't have wished for a better place to have cut my fly fishing teeth.
I enjoy all forms of fly fishing but my preference is fishing for trout in rivers and streams. The smaller the stream the better. I have a passion for travelling and exploring new waters and have been fortunate to have cast a fly in such wonderful fly fishing destinations as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Slovenia, Italy, England, Wales, the USA and Los Roques, Venezuela.
I regret not fishing more often when I was in my twenties, particularly during the time I spent at university and completing my articles of clerkship in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Immediately after that I moved to the UK and spent almost a decade as a litigation lawyer in the West Midlands of England. It was here that I rediscovered fly fishing and learned the craft of river fishing. The West Midlands is neither the most idyllic nor habitable location for wild trout but is within striking distance of the rivers of Wales which I was able to explore and fish enough to even consider my "home waters".
From November 2014 I begin a new chapter, a year travelling abroad. Flights are booked and by design almost all of the countries I will visit have trout. Beyond that I haven't planned much and something Gierach once wrote particularly resonates with me:"But at the moment I didn't know where I'd go or when I'd get there: a feeling that makes me happier than almost anything else." I am looking forward to many fly fishing experiences along the way and writing about them.
I hope you enjoy my fly fishing diary!