One thought on “BBC The Art of Fly Fishing

  1. Alan Mann, big time post-War British motor-racing man (track and rallying) and owner of, among other not “too few to mention” – or for me to unwisely ask about – other things, a Surrey England helicopter hire company and a very early West Coast Scottish salmon farm was trying to hire me, a fellow mad-keen flyfisher with identical interests to his at the time – Icelandic salmon and British chalksteam trout, to do at least something for him in some part of his business empire. in the early 1980s.

    So he took me up to Scotland.

    We soon agreed that we would make far better, years separating the two of us, fishing pals than “Me big boss, you ever-keen, do as you’re told, support act employee”, so had a laugh together about the merest prospect of such lunacy and gave up on the idea.

    “I’ll take you to meet Megan Boyd before we head back south, Paul.” Alan said on the last day. “Just act dumb, say nothing to the lady and, for God’s sake, don’t smile too much…”

    I did as instructed. Just as well I did.

    What a lady. Cropped hair, clunking great black leather Army boots, eccentric in the very best, total one-off, quietly brilliant, take no prisoners, “formidable or what?” sense of the word.

    When her health failed and she had to leave her semi-derelict cottage and tying base, Alan and a few of her former fly-buying clients VERY discreetly made sure that her retirement was a little more comfortable than it otherwise might have been, but they had to be careful – she would never have spoken to any of them again if she caught them doling out charity. I only met her for an hour. What a woman.

    As for Alan, younger than her by some years and himself since headed off to Flyfishers’ Valhalla, he was quite a guy, too. He once told one of mechanics to “take a look at” my very ancient and ailing, basic model, 1960s British Mini car. Very nearly turned the thing into a Ford GT40, he did!

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