Published Apr 3rd 2012
Irish born Trevor Morgan designs flies, rods and fly lines, teaches and much more.
By Trevor Morgan
I was born and educated in Ireland more years ago than I care to admit. At the bottom of the garden flowed a trout stream. As a boy it provided that sense of mystery and an ongoing challenge of how to catch the trout that showed themselves for only a few seconds before vanishing!! Downstream, next to a bridge lived a fisher and in his garden the stream formed a good pool. There was the answer to my problem of catching trout. I summoned up my courage, as a small boy, knocked his door and asked him if he would be so kind as to teach me how to fish. That was the start of a lifelong friendship, and for a pattern of further such friendships, all of which have contributed to my wonderful experience of fly fishing
As I grew up, my horizons widened and of the lakes and rivers of Ireland. The beauty of the Corrib and the thrill of my first salmon with the roar of a mountain river in spate - the river Shimna in the Mountains of Mourne.
All of these milestones in a fisher's life can never be forgotten. I can remember my first cane rod, the exquisite product of real craftsmanship which, later in my life, has l an important influence.
I moved on in my life, lived in England where for 17 years held senior posts in industry, particularly in aerospace manufacturing where I appreciated the finer points of quality control. At times the unexpected happens. I am today fortunate to have recovered from cancer. The "big boys" were no longer interested in me, so a career change had to be made.
I decided that my knowledge and skill of fly fishing was something I could offer the public. To formalise this, I passed my exams as a professional game angling instructor, first the national and then the advanced.
I was not happy with some of the products I saw on the market and was fortunate to meet a craftsman rod builder. So, it was agreed that I would design these and he would build them.
So much easier said than done, but finally we completed the range of fly rods.
Today, there are five family sized, craftsman orientated companies which make products to my design - the leather rod cases and game bags, a cabinet maker who makes the fly boxes in seasoned 10 year old wood and the fly line factory, which makes the range of Javelin fly lines.
All this may not rock the financial state of the markets, but it is rich in building friendships among those who enjoy some of the finer points of fly fishing.
Having now taught over five thousand people, school children, adults, pensioners, etc., I feel that I have spread some enjoyment in introducing the fascinating sport of traditional fly fishing.
I could well, for an instant, be pleased with myself in that there are not many who can claim to be an instructor, and have designed fly rods, fly lines and created over 20 fly patterns.
But was it me alone who did this? I think not!
There was Donald Downs, one time president of the Fly Dresser's Guild and the Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors, who was a good friend.
Arthur Cove, who wrote the best selling "My Way With Trout" was a great friend and fishing companion. He was an icon in the fly fishing world, yet gave his time willingly to help me and many thousands of others.
Sadly both have passed on, but in many ways they live on in what I am and do.
Then there are the beginners who for some reason choose a fly that catches the only fish that day. It is a good reminder that this is a sport where every day we are learning ! Fly fishing is a great revelation of character - a thought worth pondering even for a few minutes.
Someone asked me "Do you ever think of retiring?"
"Retiring!?" I replied
"Fly fishing is a way of life. You can never retire from that!"
Articles by Trevor