PETER LEUVER New South Wales
A SHORT AUTOBIOGRAPHY
They say fisherman and artist are born that way, which is correct. I was lucky to be born close to water in Holland and have childhood memories of sheltering from the wind amongst the reeds and watching my float gently bob up and down.
A move to Australia at age eleven with family (to the Central Coast) where I was introduced to much bigger fish that liked prawn and mullet gut. Later, in Sydney after school and work, always fishing for something and lots of skin diving around Sydney and the South Coast.
Later on experienced friends invited me to my first fly/trout fishing trip at Anembo on the Queanbeyan River NSW. I was excited to be asked and quickly made a one piece fly rod. No time for varnish to dry on the bindings so dabbed on Aquadhere glue with fingers instead. We arrived in a drizzle, went fishing and in the dampness the glue became soft white blobs. But, yes, I caught my first trout! A fat little brown trout who suggested I should do more of that type of fishing and I did!
I started to write my column Fur & Feather in December 1983 when in a rash moment I mentioned it to Steve Starling who was then editor of the monthly magazine, Fishing World. Great, he said but I'll need it this Friday (it was then a Wednesday evening). This became the backbone of my book, Fur & Feather in 1991.
As an artist I was able to draw clear and simple illustrations of each fly pattern to accompany the text. Later Rob Sloane asked me to do the same for his new magazine, FlyLife.
My artistic life led me into advertising work and I was surprised they actually paid me for doing something I enjoyed! But the thirst for real art never left me. I married an artist and our four daughters never had a chance; all artists! You can imagine the lively conversations around the family dinner table on Sundays.
Art is a gift and a contemplative one. So is fly fishing. Can't we imagine our little fly dancing along a sparkling, bubbly current line on one of our beautiful little rivers. Or is it when using a nymph we watch carefully the drift of our leader at the point where it descends through the surface film, then it stops.