Where there’s a sport, there’s adventure. Marina Gibson, fishing guru to the great and the good, is about to take a group of men to the Seychelles. The trip involves two small planes (after the big ones). ‘This is bootcamp,’ she says. ‘We are fishing for giant Trevally [bird-eating fish]. Also for bonefish, bumphead parrot fish, triggerfish, permit – all on the fly rod.’ In layman’s terms, this means chasing airborne fish. Such adventure does not come cheap. A week will set you back a cool $12.5k.
Gijs Sijpesteijn. founding partner of SteynWaters, which organises bespoke sporting trips around the world, argues that we should all take up fly fishing because of its mental benefits. ‘It is all about patience, thinking about your quarry’s elements, the art of the cast and ultimately humanity, whether you eat your quarry or release it back in the river. You also have to consider the natural elements. Do they work for you or against you?’
Where shooting is about quantity, ‘with fishing I’ve gone for days and caught nothing or come back with 246 salmon (from 12 rods) on the East Anga River,’ says Sijpesteijn. ‘At the end of the day the fish has the choice to take the bait or ignore it.’
The possibility of the ‘bite’ is what keeps many standing in cold water until the early hours of the morning, says Fowler. ‘A true fisherman will answer “not yet” to the question of whether they have caught anything, no matter how long it has been since they last caught something,’ he says.
It takes much longer to get the dopamine hit, in other words, making the addiction almost incurable.