Fisher, Shooter, Golfer and Newcastle United fan, John Henderson of Pure Fishing UK fills us in on his fishing experiences and provides some sound advice on what not to do with yellow snow.
Head of Sales & Marketing – Pure Fishing UK
Outdoor sports, in fact most sport but the stand out ones are - fishing, shooting and golf. I also enjoy football but this can be quite stressful as most NUFC fans would testify!
Walking around a crowded shopping centre or supermarket!
Describe a typical day for you?
Up early and walk my dogs – Clay a black Lab and Holly a black Cocker Spaniel! This would be followed by either a day in the office (our headquarters are in Alnwick) or on the road with one our sales team visiting one of our customers, this could be anywhere in the UK & Ireland.
What age did you start fishing?
I started fishing when I was 8 years old, my Father took me fly fishing on our local river Aln for wild Brown Trout. This first trip was enough to hook me for life and drive my passion for the sport to not only try different types of fishing but to have a career in fishing too.
What is your first fishing memory?
As above my first trip with my dad, the main memory that sticks with me is me catching my very own fish! I made the cast with my Black Pennell and hooked a wild Brown Trout around ½ a pound! I was so happy this is what made it stick!
What do you love most about the sport?
It all connects back to my love for the outdoors; I love the peaceful side of the sport and my main target species would be either wild Brown Trout, which like I say stems from that very first experience and also Atlantic Salmon. Salmon for me have such an elusive nature and that moment when you get that take is like nothing I've ever experienced before, it’s magical!
Describe your casting style?
I suppose every single person has a different casting style, I’m not sure how mine would be described as I have been influenced by so many different people!
I think when it comes to single handed casting I have what you would call a crisp casting action where a fast action rod would be best suited to me.
Spey casting is slightly different as I have been taught by very traditional anglers as well as very modern style casters, if you mix this up it is probably where I am – a 'traditional style with a modern twist'. I love the more modern styles of Spey casting with casts like the Circle “C”, Snap “T” or Snake Roll. However we mustn’t forget that all of these casts come back to the MOST important of all – the single Spey cast!
What is your most memorable fishing experience?
This is a really tough one, I have so many great memories when it comes to fishing but I am going to split this into two!
What piece of kit could you not live without?
- The first has to be that very first fish caught on my local river with my dad, this fish is what ultimately got me into the sport that we all love and even helped me choose my career path!
- The second is more about a specific fish, I mentioned above about my love for Atlantic Salmon, a very dear friend and family member Mr Andy Murray (not the tennis player) asked me many years ago if I would like to try Salmon fishing on the mighty river Tweed where he Ghillie’s on a beat called Tweed Mill. Andy is a world renowned Spey caster and very well respected in the industry so who better than him to show me the ropes! It wasn’t long before Andy had me casting a decent line so we ventured out in search of the elusive Atlantic Salmon, it was around an hour later that I experience my first PULL, this has stayed with me ever since and is what drives me and many fellow anglers to go out again and again to try and catch others! I have to thank Andy for that opportunity as without him I wouldn’t have had that memory!
I would say the most versatile kit I have is a 9’ 5# fly rod, this can be crossed over for many different species and it can be used in many different locations – example small/large rivers, small Stillwater’s and even reservoirs as a back up!
What do you still want to tick off your fishing bucket list?
I have a few dreams when it comes to fishing!
Any funny fishing tales you would like to share?
- To fish in British Columbia
- Fish in Argentina for Sea Trout
- Fish somewhere exotic (anywhere would do) for several species on salt water flats!
- To fish for Wild Trout in New Zealand
I have a few funny tales but most have elements of rudeness! The main thing though is that all of the funny memories that fishing has brought me has been with some fantastic friends along the way – many of them have been made through fishing so for that I am very thankful.
Your perfect day would consist of?
As above - friends are a massive part of fishing for me, so it would start with a good group of friends and fishing somewhere like the Tweed (I only say the Tweed because it is closest to me, other rivers would be fine :) ). We would then fish for the day for Salmon with some nice food for lunch and then when we have finished we would have a few drinks at a pub to discuss what the day consisted of. Normally it’s how someone lost a fish that could have been a world record! We never seem to land them though, funny that!
What are you most proud of/greatest achievement?
Well this one’s easy and it’s not fishing related! I have 2 fantastic kids and this remains my greatest and proudest achievements. My daughter Caitlin who is 14 years old and my son Tyler who is 11 years old.
Who or what inspires you?
My Family are my main inspiration and what makes me get out of bed in the morning – My wife, children and my dogs! Followed by my job, both of these things are extremely important to me!
How did you get a career start in the fishing industry?
As I said above I love of fishing started when I was 8 years old and as I went through my teenage years this love grew stronger. In 1994 I had to choose somewhere to do my work experience, I chose fishing tackle manufacturer – Greys of Alnwick, they accepted me and I spent 2 fantastic weeks learning all about how to build a fishing rod.
I then followed this up with some part time work during school holidays and when my schooling finished I chose to work full time at the company who gave me the chance to prove myself as a rod builder.
House of Hardy which any fisherman would know as one of the largest tackle companies in the world acquired Greys of Alnwick to become known as Hardy Greys Ltd, I carried on my path with Hardy and Greys which in 2013 was acquired by Pure Fishing, this is now where we are today with Pure Fishing owning several of the world’s biggest brands’ including Hardy, Greys, Penn, Abu Garcia, Shakespeare amongst others.
Checkout what we have to offer from these great brands –
Any advice for fellow anglers that would like a career in the fishing world?
I was very lucky as a teenager and knew what I wanted. I would say for anybody wanting something similar - work hard and set out your goals at a young age and understand what you need to help achieve them.
What is the big thing for your brand this year?
As I said above we have many fantastic brands within the Pure Fishing family, I would say the best thing for us is the versatility we can offer anglers from young to old, this in turn gives us the ability to get more new anglers into the sport, this could be kids, women or men.
Can you give us any advice or useful tips?
Never eat yellow snow :)
Seriously though, in life you have to work hard to get what you want - it will not just happen on its own!
In fishing, listen to others, Ghillie’s, river keepers, shop staff/owners – they all know what’s going on, what flies or methods to use! If you listen to them the chances are you will have success in what you’re trying to do.
Hopefully some of the above will help you catch your next PB or fish of a lifetime.