Peter Cockwill is the proprietor of the Albury Game Angling shop.
Peter has always been proud to be Cornish, and learnt his country way of life and rivercraft in that wonderful part of the UK. Cornwall will always be his home, and it was here that he started flyfishing when he was 11, moving to Surrey when he was 21 just before the small fishery scene began to develop.
Peter has been seriously involved with fisheries and fishing ever since, and when his first article was published in Trout Fisherman in 1982, it set him on the road to being a feature writer for them ever since. Work for many other magazines and periodicals has meant that his life is well documented, and he’s currently written five books, while continuing to contribute pieces to lots of specialist and trade publications.
Peter is a qualified instructor in salmon, trout and fly tying, and firmly believes in putting something back into the sport, which is why he has represented fishery interests through the Association of Stillwater Game Fishery Managers for longer than he can remember. Peter does other work for the Salmon and Trout Association, has served on the Fisheries and Recreation Committee for Southern Water, and will continue to champion the cause of catch and release for wild bred fish.
Back in 1982, Peter single handedly initiated and developed a syndicate trout fishery of three, one acre lakes, and has run it ever since. It’s very exclusive and has a few famous names as members, but unfortunately very rarely has a vacancy. It takes a great deal of effort to keep it looking beautiful, but it’s in exquisite countryside and plays a central part in the many religious aspects of the Wintershall Estate where Peter lives. Chances are that if Peter’s not in the shop, he’ll be grass cutting or doing some other graft on the fishery, as he’s very proud of it and maintains a high standard of upkeep.
There was a time when Peter seriously competition fished, having won the only two UK Small Stillwater Championships he entered, and he fished the European Open five times to come 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 2nd. Peter fished “loch style” for many years, and was part of Bob Church’s winning Benson and Hedges reservoir team, and fished for England in the New Zealand Commonwealth event.
Although Peter gained a reputation as a small stillwater angler, he actually learnt his skills on rivers in Cornwall, and is equally at home on rivers, small ponds or huge lakes. There was a time when he actively chased double-figure trout on small fisheries, and back in 1986 he got the first authenticated 20lb rainbow in the UK (which is in it’s case in the shop), and he still holds the Cheetah Trout (brook x rainbow) record.
Sometimes you’ll see Peter on Sky Sports’ Tight Lines programme, and repeats of “Just Fishing” on Discovery, where he appeared with Chris Sandford.
Peter has fished a very wide range of waters in the UK, and very often in the company of Peter Gathercole when they are on a feature assignment. Peter Gathercole is a wonderful fly tier and a great friend, but it’s also true that Peter doesn’t steal his ideas when he contributes new patterns to Fulling Mill! That’s another little job that Peter has done for many years, and the vast majority of the flies we stock are from that company.
Although Peter now runs the shop, he is actually a water chemist by profession, having worked for the Cornwall River Board prior to what we now know as the Environment Agency. He then spent many years in the Engineers department of a local authority, and is very well experienced in drainage matters and all the functions of the outside works services of local authorities. Peter left because he was being strangled by red tape and is very much a “doing” person and needs to achieve things.
Peter started the fishing shop in 1987, and since being in business has achieved a few marks for the trade by being the first person to introduce ABEL reels and TEENY FLY LINES to the UK, and was the first G LOOMIS distributor, doing this job for 10 years. Naturally, we still stock these ranges, and Peter is well known for having a sad fetish for the multi coloured reels which ABEL can make.
We hope you enjoy our site, and can use it to learn a few things and be a part of Peter’s fly fishing life.