Andrew has always been an avid fisherman. On childhood safaris to far-flung parts of East Africa he would always make sure a fishing rod was packed, and he inevitably proved sceptical adults (and siblings) wrong by appearing out of the evening dusk with a fish or two where everyone had doubted there were any. His childhood hobby burgeoned over the years to become his life’s passion. Trips and safaris to beautiful parts of Kenya’s wilderness always had an ulterior motive involving seeking out new untouched places to fish, and also new species to add to his growing knowledge of East Africa’s fish and their habitats. Andrew’s passion for angling has developed his understanding of our fish, their breeding and feeding habits into something verging on encyclopaedic.
Andrew is, even now, forever looking to discover new places to fish; African fish species catalogued by Victorian explorers and not seen since are a constant goal, and the joy he gets from discovering a stream, river or lake high in the mountains or deep in the northern deserts that yields a fish or two is an inspiration to all. He is forever pushing the envelope, and the epic safaris we undertake at his insistence, often entailing towing a boat hundreds of miles away across very inhospitable terrain over several days, are a testament to his love of fishing.
Andrew has always been a stickler for the rules; he was always the one to show us how to tie the right knot, how to rig the bait correctly, and from a very early age was a strong proponent of ‘catch and release’. He is a fund of knowledge on IGFA rules and regulations, and for years has been educating all who would listen (and many who would not) on rules concerning rods, rigs and tackle, handling, weighing and safe release of live healthy fish. He has certainly instilled in us the ethos of conservation of fishing environments, and wherever we travel he invests a great deal of time talking to local tribesmen and fishermen explaining the long term advantages of habitat conservation for sustainable long-term fishing, and training locals in the benefits to be had from creating or conserving a habitat conducive to attracting ‘fishing tourists’, and the resultant income-generation potential to them and their families.
Andrew is a committed environmentalist with an immense passion not only for angling, but for the environment and in particular fostering and nurturing the local peoples to protect and thus benefit from the beautiful rivers, streams and lakes that they live around. He is as at home in a deep sea fishing boat catching sailfish on a home-made fly as he is waist deep in a misty tarn high on Mount Kenya pitching his wits against a wily trout, or chasing tiger fish and Nile Perch in the Jade Sea of the northern deserts.
Andrew’s decision to leave the film world and start to guide fishing safaris and start up Reel Africa has benefited us all immensely as the most committed, knowledgeable, hardworking and conscientious fisherman we know.