Today I read in the Fly Fishing Forums that; Britain’s favourite angler, known to many as ‘Uncle John’ Wilson is to be given another accolade to go with his already large trophy cabinet. As with other greats of angling like Isaak Walton before him, John will be honoured by the International Game Fishing Association later this year as an inductee in the Fishing Hall of Fame.
John Wilson who was born in London and has been making television programmes on the subject for the last 20 years. He was voted ‘The Greatest Angler of all Time’ in a 2004 poll by readers of the Angling Times Newspaper.
After jobs in hairdressing and the Merchant Navy (amongst others), he moved to Norfolk and eventually opened his own tackle shop in Norwich in the early 1970’s. He has fished the world and John can also be credited in many ways with introducing the UK angler to fishing in Africa. Today John owns his own fishing lakes complex and is still a regular occupant on the banks the favourite River Wensum.
In my opinion John IS the epitome of British angling and all that is good about the pastime. He is an all-rounder, participating in coarse, game and sea angling at home, as well as many sport fishing and big game fish trips abroad. Although a dedicated and meticulous angler, the actual fishing is not the be all and end all. John’s love of the countryside and the wildlife is just as important to him as his passion for angling during any foray to the water’s edge.
Childhood Dreams is part of a series of TV shows entitled A Passion for Angling which aptly portrayed it’s tittle! However, it was one of the better fishing shows aired on British TV that didn’t actually involve ‘Uncle John’.
Despite John’s experience, knowledge (and probable reasonable wealth) gained from angling over the years, he still retains that enthusiastic spark and child like glint in his eye when fishing. This always comes across in his TV programs (and I have watched hours of them over the years). John is and has always been a true inspiration for my angling, even though I’m unlikely to ever achieve his level of experience and knowledge.
Youngsters of today could learn a great deal about life (and fishing) from John Wilson ‘The Laugh-meister’!
“No one in this world can benefit and get ahead without considerable help and guidance from others. And I’m certainly no exception…” (John Wilson MBE)
- IGFA Hall of Fame announces 12th class (sports.espn.go.com)