Ben started following his Grandfather when he was 5 years old on the River Kennet, where he had the task of netting ‘Popa’s’ fish. When he was 7, he was given his first fly rod and continued to fish with his Grandfather on a regular basis.
When Ben was 11, he showed interest in flies and was presented with a starter kit for fly tying. His enthusiasm and creativity in tying showed that he had a huge interest in pursuing this further. He was introduced to Ian Hockley by his Grandfather, who very kindly spent a few hours showing him the basics of fly tying, and has continued to encourage him. Ben has since honed his skills and visited many shows and demonstrations. What he observed, he took back and practiced. He visited the Irish Fly Fair International in 2012, where he came 2nd in the junior fly tying competition. Since then, his enthusiasm and experience has increased dramatically and from the age of 12, he has been asked to demonstrate his fly tying capabilities at various shows in the UK.
Ben was introduced to the Angling Trust Talent Pathway in 2011, where he was encouraged to enter the England Youth National Championships at Grafham Water. This was to gain experience and an understanding of Loch Style fishing for future events. In 2013, Ben was invited back to the Talent Pathway and continued to be coached by Paul Eslinger, Danny Williams and Angus Campbell and has since been placed 3rd in the 2014 England Youth National Championships and as such has successfully qualified as part of the 2015 England Youth Fly-Fishing Team, at the age of 14.