Read the full interview with Ray Mears

In this week's Angling Times' Deputy News Editor Greg Whitehead interviewed top survivalist and TV presenter Ray Mears.

They discussed how fishing plays a key role in Ray's life as a bushcraft expert.

Here's the interview in full, plus a chance to win vouchers to spend at Millets, the outdoor store...


Ray: This is the rod I use. (Produces a small foot-long tube. Opening it reveals a Shimano Exage two-piece telescopic rod.)

What annoys me is that they’re always producing new ones when there’s nothing wrong with the old one. I use it for spinning. Spinning’s the way to catch fish.
(Also gets out and hands over a small Shimano Symetre reel.)

I tend to use these tiny little jigs (produces a small, compartmentalised clam shell box containing an assortment of hooks, shot, clips, jig heads and small inch, inch-and-a-half  long jigs in a mixture of reds, yellows and oranges). Little jigs catch a lot of fish.

This is the basic fishing kit I take with me everywhere. Then, if I’m using bigger lures when I’m further north I use these, my canoe trip kit. Apart from jigs and a bubble float which you can use with flies, the only other things I carry are these lures from the 1930s. All the lures in here are from circa 1930 and no older than 1958. What I do like are these Norwegian lures (shows me a small but very heavy gold spoon) which are easier to cast the distance in heavy wind.

Then I also have these which are the exact opposite (shows me a slightly longer, narrower lure made of a very thin, lightweight blade that are handmade in America). I use them for trolling behind a canoe because they keep a good action at the canoe’s slow speed. A shot to take them down and they’ll catch lake trout.

This kit is for America where I’ll expect to catch pike, walleye, bass, char and lake trout mainly. They’re all fantastic species to eat. The northern way to butcher pike is just to take two fillets off each side.

Greg: So Ray, what exactly is bushcraft?

Ray: It’s a way of travelling relying more on the land and nature; it’s about detailed knowledge of the outdoors; a way of travelling that’s spiritually enritching as well as physically so. It’s not just about self-development and challenge, it’s also about self-enrichment and being close to nature and learning more about the things around you.

Woodlore is the company that I set up 25 years ago to teach other like-minded people about bush craft.

Greg: How old are you Ray, if you don’t mind me asking?

Ray: I’m 44.

Greg: So how did you get into this bush craft way of life?

Ray: I started as a boy when I was seven tracking foxes and eventually I wanted to stay out at night but I didn’t have any camping equipment. At the school that I went to we did sport as part of our lessons and one of the lessons was Judo. I had a wonderful teacher and I said to him, “Look, I’d like to go camping but I don’t know how to,” and he said to me, “You don’t need any equipment. When I was in the army we did this, we were taught these skills.”

And that’s how it started and I listened and believed and it got me into all sorts of trouble. It was great. There wasn’t a lot of fishing near where I grew up though.
I like fly fishing but I don’t really have enough time for it. I don’t think I’ll ever get into tying my own flies because I just don’t have enough time – I’ve got the patience but not the time. But I do like fly fishing. What I to do… we have a Woodlore course we run up in Scotland and if I’m involved on a course near a loch then I’ll fly fish for trout. Once I’ve caught one on the fly then I’ll spin and I work my way through the techniques to keep my hand in and keep practicing, it’s quite a good challenge.

Greg: How important are fish in Bushcraft?

Ray: They’re very important, particularly when you go further north into the arboreal forests where there is a lot of water and a lot of fish. White fish and char are particularly important in the far north. The land food is more important than fish though but it is usually harder to get than fish. In the old days the Indians and other people who travel in the north would rely on the fish to power their dog teams.

They’d dry fish so it could be carried easily.

People get sick of eating lots of fish; it’s hard to live on a fish diet. Obviously there were people who did, on fish like the salmon, but it’s hard to live on that all the time, you need other food. So they’d use the fish for their dog teams enabling them to get to the caribou herds Without fish they wouldn’t be able to hunt because the herds are small in a very big wilderness. So fish are very important for many nomadic peoples, especially fatty fish with fat deposits around the belly which they use so that the fat isn’t lost.

Fish would be prepared by filleting and then slicing very, very thinly, just the flesh not the skin. It is done with great care - you’d be amazed at just how much care goes into it – in a cross pattern vertically and horizontally. It is then smoked in a tee-pee on an open rack to keep the insects off while it dries.

I prefer trout in this country although pike are okay, albeit a bit boney. Perch are a fun fish, such a feisty fish. They’re the fish that fight, aren’t they? I like them, they remind me of the wren. The wren makes such a lot of noise for a small bird and perch can make quite a fight for a small fish. But I think the trout is a noble fish and I like, well the easiest way is to use a worm, but fly fishing for trout is a great discipline. I think we should all go back to using cane rods.

Greg (laughs): I think we’d struggle to sell that to our readership.

Ray (laughing too): I know you would. Fishing equipment isn’t designed to catch fish, it’s designed to catch fishermen. I think it’s good to go back to something simple and fly fishing evokes that simple approach to fishing which I think is lovely.

Greg: In the sense of the enjoyment that you can get from the actual activity as opposed to just sitting behind static rods?

Ray: I like the ritual involved with fly fishing. I think the concept of a creel and a very small amount of tackle and a lot of skill and patience is, I think to me, that is real hunting. I’m not caught with the obsession of carp fishing and having a motorised trolly for carting all my boilies around the lake. That just doesn’t do it for me.

Greg: have you ever done much deadbaiting? Is that a good method in bushcraft?

Ray: Yes. One of the things I use in the jungle is a handline, I don’t take a rod. I find there are less predatory fish in tropical waters. There are plenty of fish that feed on vegetable matter on the river bed so I touch leger for them with a running lead or a swimfeeder. My finger then becomes my bite indicator. It’s amazing what strange you can pull out of the water. I very often haven’t a clue what they are.

Greg: If you were to focus on one fishing moment over all the rest would it be the flyfishing?

Ray: You’ll hate me for saying so but it was learning how to foul hook fish, which is of course completely illegal in this country. But I was taught how to foul hook by an Indian in Alaska. For them it is a very important survival skill. The rivers there have a lot of salmon running up them and we were targeting a narrow channel that the fish were being funnelled through. But they wouldn’t necessarily go for a lure and if your life depends upon it they’d use special equipment designed for the job. While it is illegal everyone who travels in the wild takes such equipment for use in emergencies. That was really interesting. In the wilderness you need to understand the reality of getting food.

The most important thing in the north is not tackle or a hook but a net because that can be used to catch fish at any time of year. A gill net is the most important of survival tools. There was a famous expedition that went up to Labrador east of Hudsons Bay. Three men did everything wrong before they set off, taking all the wrong equipment, no net, just fly rods that they thought they could survive on but the fish stopped biting. They took the wrong firearms. The leader of the expedition ended up starving to death. So you can get it really wrong and it’s important not to be too dogmatic, thinking I’m going to do it the sportsman’s way, when you’re in the north country. When you intend to subsist off the land you must always do what the locals do.

Greg: I guess a net is something you can set using the canoe?

Ray: Yes, or under the ice providing you put it low enough so that, as the ice grows, it doesn’t freeze up your net.

Greg: Have you done much ice fishing?

Ray: Yes, I’ve done lots of ice fishing.

Greg: What kind of things are you catching, burbot?

Ray: Yes, I’ve caught lots of burbot. I’m good at catching burbot.

Greg: Do they taste any good?

Ray: Yes, burbot’s very nice. It’s a white fish. You cut the tail off it and bleed it. It’s a delicious fish but very ugly. You catch them with a set line under the ice with a bait presented a few inches off the bottom and they come along like a hoover a snatch it up. The best fish I’ve ever caught through the ice was in Labrador with Indians and then again it was a set line, it’s always a set line you use. You can jig but it’s so cold it’s ridiculous and you can set six lines in the time you’re jigging so that makes more sense. I caught a 35lb lake trout and seeing that come out of the hole in the ice was like watching a leviathan surface. It was a massive fish.

(Ray refers to his new book looking for a photo of the fish. Called ‘The Vanishing World’ it addresses the plight of disappearing indigenous cultures all over the world).

Greg: Which of the indigenous peoples have you found most fascinating?

Ray: They’re all interesting and they’re all different. I’ve got a fond spot for the Aboriginals in Australia. The Hadza bushmen of Africa’s Rift Valley who’ve sadly been thrown off their lands so they can no longer hunt, Canadian Indians – I love them and their way of life – they’re all very interesting, all very different.

In the north west of Canada you used to have cultures that were based entirely upon salmon which they called the Silver Swimmer. They caught so many salmon that they would dry them and have so much food that they would hold a whole season of ceremonies largely indoors. And so it was a culture based entirely upon fish. And even today if you go up there they still have a hierarchy of where the fishing boats sit so that the more prominent members of the tribe hold the best position with a pecking order all the way down.

They’re a very superstitious people. I remember trying to buy a sockeye salmon from one of the these fellows to cook and when I asked how much they wanted for it they refused payment saying that I would bring them good luck. Because he’d been able to share his catch with me he believed that the creator sees that as the right thing to do and will reward them. And I think that’s something that we should remember as fishermen, this concept of nothing comes from nature for free, that there should be some sort of gift and that the better you behave towards these animals the more likely you are to be successful.

Greg: It’s interesting to hear you say that. What is your impression of fishing in this country?

Ray: I get really irritated because they’re constantly having a pop at canoeists and that really irritates me because I’m a keen canoeist. I can’t understand it because everywhere else you go in the world canoeists are fishermen and fishermen are canoeists. What is the problem here? A canoe is a great way for a fisherman to access the waterways. For some reason anglers are up in arms. Canoes are very quiet, they’re silent the people who paddle them are incredibly sensitive to the environment and I would have thought that there was more in common between us, but for some reason we’ve got this silly situation which is largely due to financing access but I think we have to learn to be more tolerant of each other. I hope fishermen will come to have a better understanding of canoeists because it’s so suited to what we do it would be nice to think that these two different activities could learn to learn from each other.

Greg: A number of people I have spoken to have been keen to stress how useful a canoe is for learning about a river and its various different swims.

Ray: It’s quite true, you can observe the fish in a way that you can’t from the bank.

Greg: Where’s the best place you’ve fished?

Ray: All the places I get to fish are fairly spectacular. The Rocky Mountains stand out. I was demonstrating for the camera how you can fish with line wrapped around a tin can and then use a tiny, tiny jig about three quarters of an inch long and on the first cast this brook trout took the lure and the cameraman wasn’t ready for it. But if you’d could have seen that setting; the snow-capped mountains providing a backdrop to a glacial-fed lake, it was just unbelievably beautiful, stunning.

Greg: What about the worst?

Ray: I can remember the worst fish I’ve ever eaten, a catfish from a very muddy river in Zaire, it tasted of nothing but mud. That was pretty unpleasant. It was very easy to catch; the problem was we really needed the food.

Greg: Do you ever suffer what anglers refer to as blank days where you struggle to catch, sitting for hours without a bite?

Ray: Yes, definitely. You can have a blank day and you can the opposite when you put a hook in the water and the fish just jump on to it. And that mystery is part of what it’s all about and I think our job as anglers is to try and understand why.

Greg: Are there any other parts of a fish other than its flesh that are quite useful in a survival situation?

Ray: In a survival situation you can use all of it basically. I tend to just fillet the fish and eat it that way because that’s how I enjoy it most. The skins of some fish used to be preserved and tanned and used. The Innuit used to make salmon skin and shark skin gloves for kayaking and bags for storing food in. Even bone carvers in Britian used to use dogfish skin as sandpaper. And dogfish, shark and ray skin can be used for the handles of swords because they’re so good at absorbing sweat and making non-slip handles.

Greg: You mentioned Judo earlier. What belt did you get to?

Ray: I’m only a blue belt but don’t be misled by that because it’s nearly forty years since I last practiced it. I gave up grading. I lost interest in it. I don’t like the politics of Judo and am not sure they’re going about it the right way. I was taught Judo by someone who had second hand knowledge of Kanno’s. I was taught by somebody who in turn was taught by someone who was taught by Kanno, so I was taught a more traditional style of judo training where belts aren’t so important but ability is and in a way I think they should try to return to that.

Greg: Was there any kind of philosophy behind your study of Judo.

Ray: Yes there was, very much so. My philosophy in Judo became my philosophy in bushcraft and that philosophy is to maximise efficiency and minimise effort, so very much so. And I was also taught the old Judo which included striking techniques which are taught much any more. It has become a sport, a very good sport, but at the same time seems to have lost some of its roots and maybe it needs to return to those.

Greg: There does seem to be that debate in martial arts of whether it’s a philosophy and a way of life or can exist as a sport.

Ray: I was taught it as a way of life and it should be a way of life and sport is a part of Judo not the other way around. And it’s an accepted part and it always was. The great strength of judo is the randori. The randori in judo is quite unique in martial arts in that people can go all out without injuring each other - that was the whole purpose of what Kanno set up. People would be able to practice the technique with full power against each other in the belief that through randori you could develop a powerful body movement that was more important than necessarily knowing more dangerous techniques and I think in that he was absolutely correct.

Greg: So your instructor set you on a new course?

Ray: What I do now has become my study of judo, bushcraft. It’s that way of life that I have taken to the woods.

Greg: If you don’t have a rod, reel, line and hooks are you stuffed?

Ray: No, there are plenty of ways of catching fish as long as you can accept you can catch fish with gorge hooks that you can make easily. You can tickle trout. It was a great shame that that was made illegal in the way it has been, I think it’s a little sad because it’s a great skill. You’re not talking about something that was being practised by bands of poachers, far from it. It was a skill that I last used when I was 16. It’s a very special thing to put your hands in the water and feel a fish, and tickle it and catch it that way. In some ways it bonds you to that fish.

Greg: I was going to come to that, in the sense that a lot of what you teach in bushcraft about catching fish other than on rod and line is technically illegal in this country. How do you feel about that because people practicing bushcraft aren’t likely to damage stocks; it’s a worthwhile and worthy thing to do, surely?

Ray: I think my attitude is very simple, there are a number of techniques that are considered illegal in the normal process and we explain that to students and we don’t let them practise them in the UK.

Greg: Is that a shame?

Ray: Is it a shame? No, I don’t think so because you know as well as I do that there are people out there who would abuse the right and I think that we have to be realistic. But what we also do is teach students the methods so that if they go to a place where they can practice them then they can get straight in there and catch fish for food. For example we have run courses in Lapland for 20 years and there people get to use those skills to good effect, they’re not interested in throwing fish back, it’s hook and cook. And for them to catch a fish and return it would, unless it were an under-sized fish, be considered an insult, it’s just not in their psyche at all. For them the purpose of fishing is for food and that’s an interesting perspective as well. And part of me feels that to catch fish and release them, there’s something not right about that. I’d rather not catch them if I’m not going to eat them.

Greg: Do you feel very strongly about that?

Ray: I don’t feel strongly enough to have an argument with a fisherman about it.

Greg: I know a few game anglers who feel like that.

Ray: That’s just my personal view, where I sit on it. I don’t want to sit in judgement of other fishermen but I do think it’s important for anyone who’s involved in predation to have a philosophy. What worries me more is someone who goes out and catches and releases and hasn’t thought about it. Everyone should sit down and come to terms with their own actions and activities and be able to justify them because within us I think we have the ability to make those judgements.

Greg: So we are more a part of the environment…

Ray: We must always show respect to our prey.

Greg: I find it in some ways strange that what you do is so popular on television now and yet it has happened in a politically correct climate where we’ve seen a ban on fox hunting and shooting and sometimes fishing are nervous as sports of what society may do to them. What’s your view of that?

Ray: I think it’s very simple. As a nation we have a few people who make a lot of noise and we have a lot of people who actually don’t like to make a lot of noise but they will vote with their feet. It’s interesting, and I make no judgement on the decision to ban hunting, but you’re absolutely right, this ban came into place, one which is frankly unworkable law, legislation and a waste of public money. My own feeling is that we should have spent more time thinking about our songbirds, some of which have gone on to the Red List during our time and foxes aren’t an endangered species… However, that’s a different issue.

Pauses) So, we have this law that comes into place that prevents fox hunting but at the same time we now have more people taking up shooting than ever before. And I think there is a silent majority that vote with their feet rather than with their voice and I think that’s important. I think anglers are very important custodians of the river. What I do think is a bit strange though is that we have around five million anglers in this country…

Greg: Maybe a slight exaggeration but not too far off…

Ray: Well if each of those anglers were to give one pound to a fund it would be possible to do fantastic work to clean up some of our rivers. If you think about how much money is spent on angling tackle and equipment, a tiny fraction of that given to an angling lobby could do incredibly good work to restore many of our rivers and waterways to a more natural state which would be better for fishing.

Greg: It’s interesting to hear you say that because we already have an organisation called the Anglers’ Conservation Association, that has 8,000 members that is presently merging with all the others. There has been the problem in angling that we’ve had too many different bodies and too many disparate voices that kind of get lost with government, but there all unifying, literally signing a merger this month, so it could be very interesting. There have been suggestions in some quarters of putting a pound levy on the rod licence to fund such an organisation.

Ray: I’d be happy to pay that. I wouldn’t have an objection to that. I think it would be a great thing, a good thing to do. And I think that this is an important point, that blood sports are objectionable if they’re just about sport but when blood sports are a part of conservation, sensible management carried out by people who really know what they’re doing, it’s a different perspective. This is something that everybody involved in these kind of activities has got to come to terms with and be realistic about,

Greg: Because that management issue is crucial isn’t it? We’re not living in the Alaskan wilderness, we’ve got masses of people and industry and it all affects the wildlife and environment and we’ve got to manage that haven’t we?

Ray: It’s not only that, the fish that fishermen catch, when you inspect them they are a litmus to health of that river or lake and once we’ve learnt to recognise that these animals are ambassadors for those that swim in water and people who manage them are able to read that then, then we’re getting somewhere. We all celebrate when occasionally a salmon is found running up the River Thames but we should only celebrate when they’re spawning in those rivers that feed into the Thames.

Greg: You’re quite a keen shot aren’t you? Do you mainly shoot rifles or do you shoot shotguns too?

Ray: I’m a qualified deer manager.

Greg: So what is it that drives people out there, to shoot?

Ray: I don’t go to shoot for sport. I do it as part of deer management. We have a problem in Britain with exploding deer numbers. Last year statistics came out that showed there were 74,000 road traffic accidents involving deer causing at least 20 human deaths. Now that’s only the accidents that were reported, it’s probably much higher than that. This is a result of this expanding deer population and their movement into new areas. Basically we’ve got a prey species that has more young than required to keep numbers balanced, that is because it is no longer predated upon because we’ve killed off all the natural predators, so we now have to fulfil that role which is great for me because I get to benefit from eating one of the healthiest meats known to mankind, cholesterol-free venison, fantastic. But at the same time in managing deer again we get a chance to respect those animals, to see their health and see that they’re in good order. And if not we can do something about it. And if nobody is taking that view then we don’t know what is going on and many of the related problems that affect deer also affect our lifestyle.

Greg: You mentioned the idea that it’s not a sport for you, that it’s either management of bushcraft…

Ray: I don’t see my hunting as part of bushcraft necessarily, though hunting is an important part of bushcraft, but in this sense it’s something different, to do with management and conservation, making sure the deer population in a certain area is kept at the right level and that the dynamics are working. I want to see healthy animals, I want to see deer.

Greg: I’m sorry, what I’m driving at is why people go fishing and hunting in the first place, what is it that attracts people to the river bank?

Ray: It’s not even the fishing really is it? It’s the moment, the quiet moments of just being there, the kingfisher landing on the rod, those moments, that contact with nature. That’s what people are really looking. When you talk to a fisherman you’re talking to someone who, well sometimes you meet the obsessive fisherman who just wants to catch trophies and they’re their own character, each to their own, but the majority of fishermen are there because of the nature more than the fishing, I’m sure of that. And the camaraderie of the riverbank, talking to other like-minded people and immersing themselves in nature. And the qualities that come from it. And I think those people who don’t get it and who criticise fishing, they come as a shock to anglers who are so much a part of the natural environment. As with all of these things fishermen have an immense knowledge and understanding of the fish they are fishing, very often a much higher knowledge than those that criticise them.

Greg: Do you think fish feel pain? It’s the horrible thing the media tend to focus on if they’re going to talk to anglers.

Ray: My answer to that would be, yes. I don’t know what the science says but I would work on the basis, as I’ve already said, that you have to justify catching the fish and in my philosophy I always assume they do and try to treat them as kindly as they can. But that doesn’t mean to say that, you know if you look at…. (interruption)
These are very political issues aren’t they?

Greg: Yes, they are but they’re core to hunting and fishing and shooting. I think that sometimes people have a pre-conception, or a misconception, that we’re following a hunter-gatherer instinct. Maybe it’s even deeper than that…

Ray: You know, it’s my experience of people who aren’t involved in these things that many of them are against something because they’ve never had the opportunity to do it. And that when they are actually given the opportunity and welcomed then they change their views and become more informed. That’s something we need to remember.

Greg: Is there a hunter-gatherer instinct that drives us.

Ray: I think there is, definitely. If you’re hungry… We’re not very hungry in this day and age.

Greg: No, pre-packaged food and all that….

Ray: We’re very removed from where we’ve come from. I feel privileged when I eat venison to have been able to have selected that animal and to have carried out all of the activity involved in bringing it to the table. Then I can celebrate it, it’s almost a religious experience when I’m eating it.

Greg: You must be very spiritual in your approach to the whole process.

Ray: It is. And sometimes when you are hunting you don’t feel as though you are in charge, that there is a greater force making the choices for you.

Greg: Some anglers session fish, effectively taking themselves out into the country, and stay there for days on end. I did this recently and experienced a horrifying sense of dislocation when I went back to world. I’d not been worried about the time or what day it was. Do you ever get that Ray?

Ray: All the time, yeah. I’m quite good at dealing with it. You come home and you can’t find where you’ve put anything because it was so long ago and your mind has been so completely immersed in the moment, whatever I’m doing I completely immerse myself in it. So to come back and have to find those keys I just can’t remember because I’ve thrown it out of my head because I’ve been dealing with something else. It’s very dislocating.

Greg: When you go out into the outdoors things like the frameworks that society puts in place like time, and money and all those things just fade away…
We’ve touched on loads of things, you’ve mentioned the new book, but have you got any plans for a new tv series that you can discuss at all?

Ray: I’m working on one at the moment. I’ve just had a month’s filming on that but it won’t be completed for at least another year.

Greg: And why Bovril out of interest?

Ray: I don’t normally get involved with commercial sponsorship but I like Bovril. I have childhood memories of Bovril and Bovril-flavoured crisps, they were fantastic! But particularly when I’m in the north I carry three types of drink with me: I carry hot chocolate, I carry an electrolyte fruit powder but the most important is a stock drink and Bovril is my favourite and I can’t really escape Bovril if I’m honest. I very often make my own stock drink from smoked reindeer and that drink most of all is important, particularly in cold weather. I gives you salt, some sugar, it gives you fgat and it keeps you warm. It’s just the most amazing drink. If I could take you now to my tent at minus forty degrees and give you those three different drinks to drink, or tea or coffee, and you would know instantly, because of that climate, which is the most important. Particularly in Scandinavian countries the Sami peoples have a long tradition of drinking stock from reindeer meat.

Greg: What’s the preparation process?

Ray: It’s very easy. You just take strips of reindeer meat, put it in cold water, put it on the stove while the tent warms up and by the time that’s done so is your stock drink. It’s very simple. But it’s easier if you have a jar of Bovril or a cube that you can crumble in, that’s much easier. The Sami people have always done this and they’re the oldest inhabitants of the Arctic. It’s almost become so significant that you judge another person’s work on the trail, if they’re an Indian I know they’re going to drink tea because that’s they’re cultural thing, but when it comes to us modern guys who go up into the hills if they’re main drink is stock then you know they’ve learnt something because the moment you use it on the trail is very important. I always keep stock in a flask when I’m on the trail or on a snow mobile because you get very, very chilled but can stop and have a drink. Especially in the Arctic the moment you drink it you see the benefit. Of course the benefits are the same here but were not in such an extreme climate. I wonder if there are young people here in Britain today who haven’t had that experience of seriously cold weather and Bovril like we used to get, I think it’s part of our heritage almost – after all, it’s been around since 1886. That’s amazing. I was really happy to get involved with promoting it because I really believe in the product.

Greg: Well Ray, I’ve taken up almost an hour of your time, I really appreciate it. It’s been fantastic to talk to you. Thank you very much.

Ray: I’ll probably have the antis after me now.

Greg: Well, it’s great to talk to someone who is so in touch with nature, the environment and so on; someone who speaks sensibly and passionately about these things. But you’re right that the subject of blood sports is a delicate one isn’t it? It’s what the press and the antis latch on to but they probably haven’t had to sleep out and survive on their wits for a few nights.

Ray: There are people in all of these activities who don’t do things as well as they should and they provide fuel for criticism from those people that object to it. It’s up to all people involved in those activities, like fishing, to do them as well as possible. As I say, that’s where it comes down to developing a personal philosophy that enables you to justify it, that’s the most important thing of all.



Ray always carries beef stock with him in the wild because it’s a great source of salt and fat, so he was only too happy to promote Bovril, a very English drink that’s been around since 1886.

To win loads of fantastic vouchers to spend in Millets outdoors shops simply send photographs of yourself drinking a mug of Bovril at your favourite fishing venue to Bovril.

Click HERE  for more details of the photo competition.