The world of angling has dimmed somewhat with the sad news that the famous angler, writer, TV presenter and ambassador for the sport of angling, died at his home in Thailand aged 75. For me along with many anglers, John was a major influence on my love of fishing through his TV shows, articles and books. Along with Izaak Walton and Dick Walker it’s hard to think of someone who has had a greater influence on fishing.
We will probably never see his like again. When he started his TV shows in the 1980’s there were only four channels, there was no internet or video games no box sets of TV to watch. Kids were still going out on their bikes to play football and go fishing. Adults would go fishing, enjoying the peace and being out in nature.
The afternoon I read the news of his passing, I went down to the river Waveney in Bungay to fish for roach in his honour. Since moving to the Waveney valley earlier this year I have often thought of John as I fished many of the places his used to fish. His autobiography gave an insight into his life and it seems to me he was a man who lived like he fished. If there was an opportunity he would embrace it. He gained knowledge and skill and was not afraid to take a risk and would therefore reap great rewards. He was always positive and viewed the natural world in almost childlike wonder while at the same time having a deep understanding of wildlife. RIP John Wilson thanks for your life well lived and thanks for sharing part of it with us.