IT’S EASY TO ASSUME when you’re out fishing, that the fish have always been there and that nature provides, but in South Africa with specific species like yellowfish and trout, more often than not there are people behind the scenes fighting to ensure that we can enjoy our fishing. FOSAF stalwart, Bill Mincher who passed away recently, was one of those people.

FOSAF’s Peter Arderne writes:

Bill Mincher passed away on the 17th of June this year after a long illness. Fly fishers throughout the country and especially those of the FOSAF organisation will remember Bill Mincher for his tremendous achievements to promote their favourite pastime. He served as chairman of FOSAF for many years particularly in its formative years. The first of his memorable achievements was the series of books he had published which gave tremendous impetus to flyfishing. Initially there were the Nedbank Guides to Flyfishing comprising 5 volumes followed by 5 editions of the Favoured Flies series and finally the FOSAF Guide. There are very few anglers in SA who do not have at least one or but more likely many more of these titles on their shelves.

Another of Bill’s passions was the Yellowfish Working Group which was formed in the late nineteen hundreds to conserve and protect our many indigenous fishes and especially the flagship species, the yellowfish. These fishes are under threat due to the badly polluted state of our waterways. And from a national point of view it is vital that interest groups like this one draws attention to the state of our rivers as these fishes are an important indicator species of river health. Without Bill’s leadership of this group in the early years this interest group would never have reached that status it has amongst anglers, conservationists, scientists and the general public.

Bill was one of those rare individuals who was always prepared to volunteer for a deserving cause. After the Yellowfish Working Group he devoted his energies to orchids and the wild orchid society benefited from his skills. He was a supreme organiser who seemed to get the most out of people. Although he was a hard driver when it came to one of his projects he was always the perfect gentleman, the epitome of tact and good manners. It was a great privilege for all of us at FOSAF to know him.