Manchester born and bread, Gaz grew up cutting his teeth on ultra tough northern meres, like Redesmere, which is a course that has since lead him to succeed on many notoriously difficult venues down south. We share the same values as Gareth when it comes to fishing. His creative flair as Subsurface Journals Editor and his determination to “keep things real” perfectly reflect the Fortis ethos.
Fishing means many things to me, it is the pursuit of the unknowable, of the uncatchable, and the result of holding on, however tenuously, to all my boyhood dreams and the basic need to spend time outside in the environment. I love sleeping under the stars, I love the wind and rain on my face, and the biting cold on my hands. Exposed to the elements, not protected from them. Embracing the challenges, not looking for an easy option. Carp angling is a thousand different things to a thousand different people these days, but to me it has to retain something of the unknown, and more so than that, something of the challenge. I need to feel like the fish I'm chasing have the upper hand, that they have the Aces and you only have some Tens and a Queen. I need to know that they don't need to eat the bait I'm presenting them with, and I need to know that if I don't get things right I could go months without hooking one...that is what makes me tick, that is what gets me out of bed each morning to watch for shows, that is what will have me out at midnight baiting up under the cover of darkness. As soon as it becomes predictable or too easy it becomes an empty pursuit for me, it has to be hard.
I listened to someone with twenty years more experience than me say something profound a few weeks ago - he said 'without the magic, carp fishing is a very superficial experience, without the magic it is nothing' and I couldn't agree more. The socials, the friendships, the adventures, the disasters, the anguish, the stress, the nerves, the anticipation....that is what angling means to me.