Allcock’s Aquatic Spider

The Hairy Hotchkiss

When you get to my advanced years you don’t always welcome unexpected phone calls. This was most certainly the case when I was told a few years ago that my dear friend John ‘The Hotch’ Hotchkiss had passed away.

John had been a good friend and mentor to me for over 30 years. We first spent time together when he was producing the television series ‘The Take’ and asked me to be the ‘warm and friendly’ voiceover! Before each session we would meet in the local café for breakfast. I had just started my all-consuming affair with flytying and spent every spare moment at the vice. On one occasion I proudly showed him a large box with the best of my recent work. He looked over the contents for a while and as he handed them back said “Nice but a bit too neat!” I still tie neat flies but have to admit that many of them seem to be more effective once they’ve had a good battering from a couple of fish!