In the early hours of this morning, the man I first met thirty years ago, and through whom I learned how to fish the Usk, passed away – Jimmy Devoy. Back then he guided guests of the Gliffaes Hotel. We became firm friends, and even after I felt he had taught me all he could, I would always ask him to fish with me whenever I visited, which was almost every year. I think Llandetti was our favourite Gliffaes’ beat, but we fished other waters too, including the Red Barn in Abergavenny. Using his across and down technique for nymph and wets there, I recall that morning, hooking and missing several – Dai Missum, he christened me! Inevitably one wildie took pity on me and succumbed. “Call yourself a guide, Jimmy?” We laughed.
On the very last occasion we fished together, and for the evening rise at Llandetti, he watched me hook and lose a fine fish, then netted two himself immediately after. “That’s how you do it” he laughed, and so did I. And laughter is what I will remember the most about Jimmy, as well as the constant chatter, banter, and his love for the Usk.
Dammit…I will miss him so much