James Castwell RIP

Fly Anglers Online was one of the first websites upon which I stumbled when I began to develop an interest in flyfishing.

Some would say I should have deleted it from my Bookmarks many months ago. In a world where change and the never-ending pursuit of what passes for fashionable has 90% of Society chasing its tail for a living, FAO didn’t seem to get it.

The fawn background stayed the same; the spaces on the homepage stayed the same and the nearest it ever got to ‘bells and whistles’ were the cute American flags that flutter alongside its masthead.

Just timeless, homely fishin’ talk. And I loved it.

Like all those other places in which we like to lose ourselves whenever the Rat Race slows down long enough for us to get off for a while, its constancy meant I kept going back to it. It never grew jaded, just more reassuring.

As with all things, alas, that constancy was an illusion. Editor Jim Birkholm, aka ‘James Castwell’, died last week.

For all I liked his writing, I didn’t know him from Adam, so I won’t get mawkish. I merely offer my sympathy to his family and gently suggest that if they are considering suitable memorials, they could do much worse than to leave Fly Anglers Online exactly the way it is.


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