Globe-trotting fisherman, writer, technician, entomologist, fly-designer, micro-photographer… the more you try to list John Goddard’s gifts to the world of angling, the more you realise they can’t be adequately summarised in a single article… or even several.


(photo credit: Fly Fishing & Fly Tying)

Which is why we’re so deeply honoured to announce that he’s just agreed to join Sidney Vines and Charles Rangeley-Wilson as a Patron of the Wandle Piscators.

Perhaps more than any other author, he’s helped us British fishers really understand what’s going on with the bugs above and below the surface of our rivers, lakes and streams.

For our Riverfly programme here in South London, he’s a truly colossal figurehead – with a back catalogue that’s guaranteed to turn any writer green with envy (representing the next generation, I have no idea how any of us are going to compete):

  • Trout Fly Recognition (1967)
  • Trout Flies of Stillwater (1969)
  • Big Fish from Stillwater (1977)
  • Superflies of Stillwater (1977)
  • The Trout and The Fly (with Brian Clarke) (1980)
  • Stillwater Flies, How and When to Fish Them (1982)
  • Trout Flies of Britain and Europe (1991)
  • Fly Fishing for Trout (with Brian Clarke) (1993)
  • John Goddard’s Trout Fishing Techniques (1996)
  • Waterside Guide: The Angler’s Pocket Reference to the Insects of Rivers and Lakes (2000)
  • Understanding Trout Behaviour (with Brian Clarke) (2001)
  • Reflections of a Game Fisher (2002)

He’s still writing regularly for Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine.  And we may be wrong, but we also think he appears cunningly disguised as “The River God” in Neil Patterson’s Chalkstream Chronicle portrait of the Wilderness fishery on the Kennet…

But most wonderfully of all, as far as the Wands are concerned, John actually grew up on the banks of the Wandle in Carshalton.

Last week, he told me how he’d caught his first tiddlers at Hackbridge – just yards from his own front door at the time, and not much further from where we’ll be celebrating World Rivers Day later this month by securing a fallen branch in the river as a flow deflector – the opening stage of our habitat restoration plans for this stretch.

And so it goes.

John, from the bottom of our bug-nets, welcome back to the Wandle!

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