Adventure Outdoors Magazine Summer 2016 - Page 74

JEREMY WADE JEREMY WADE Exclusive Interview AO: You took your first overseas trip to India in 1982. What was that like? Did your adventures there spark your passion, or have you always had the desire to be a “freshwater detective?” JW: The trip was very hard going. I took just £200 ($300) to last me three months but I managed to catch some fish such as Himalayan Mahseer up to 18 pounds. When I got home I wrote a couple of articles about that experience for a fishing magazine. Despite the discomfort of travelling at such a basic level, there was a real feeling of achievement and I immediately started saving money to go somewhere else. I wasn’t sure where at that point but I knew there must be other exotic fish out there, although probably not as well documented as Mahseer (which had been written about by various British authors in the early 1900s), but possibly even more spectacular. AO: You’ve been a teacher, as well as a long-term student, both in your field and academically. What are some of the benefits of being the teacher? What are the benefits of being the pupil? JW: Teaching, in theory, is one of the best jobs anyone could hope to have. In practice, unfortunately, it falls far short of that -- at least in the English non-private sector. To do the job well is immensely satisfying, but to keep up with my workload I had to work until 1 a.m. every night, sometimes 3 a.m., so I quit and became a motorbike delivery driver in London. However, I have never stopped being a pupil -- I don’t see education as a stage in one’s life, but a never-ending process. One of the times I learned the most was when I was teaching biology – I was forced to address the gaps in my knowledge, and in the process I gained a much better overview. And now I find myself, after a fashion, in the role of teacher again – and again learning while I teach. And although I’m now part of the entertainment industry, all good teaching has an element of entertainment. Good classroom teachers are performers, who make the learning experience fun for pupils and teachers alike. 72 Summer 2016 Adventure Outdoors AO: Did growing up in Suffolk have any effect on your passions as an angler and an explorer? What was your childhood like and when did you first learn to fish? JW: The village where I grew up had a river flowing through it. So it was inevitable, I think, that I should be drawn to it – in the same way that people born in sight of Alpine peaks become climbers. My first attempts to catch fish, age 7 or 8, were unsuccessful, but then I had some guidance from a school friend and after my first catch I never looked back. My parents were happy for me to stay out all day and a big part of my fishing was wanting to find new places, a process that has continued to this day. AO: How did the c