Riddle me this… Roderic Hall
Riddle catches up with Farlows Travel Roderic Hall
If you knew then what you know now… would you still do it?
Yes, I think I would. I have been fortunate to have experienced many cultures, lived in different countries and worked in jobs as diverse as fishing guide in Russia, wine maker in South Africa and gamekeeper in the Bahamas, with many things in between. By choosing to make a career the world of international fly fishing about 20 years ago, I have now ended up being involved with Farlows and starting up Farlows Travel, which is a new travel business specializing in fly fishing trips to remote and adventurous locations. It is easy to be enthusiastic about designing and marketing what are basically trips of a lifetime, but which people come back for year after year.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Probably not to worry too much if something does not work out, a better opportunity will be come long before too long. Life is not a series of right and wrong choices, more a case of making the most of the choices you actually make.
What’s the weirdest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
Generally I ignore rumours about either myself or anyone else.
What was your biggest break?
Being given the opportunity to be involved at the conception of Farlows Travel has led to a very exciting few months for me, which I have no doubt will lead on to many exciting years. The combination of the Farlows retail store in Pall Mall, the Atlantic Salmon Reserve in Russia and now Farlows Travel offers a unique chance for British or European clients to access experts across the field of sporting travel. I have been lucky to have worked with great people and in amazing places in the past, so my present role has really come about through various opportunities that have all led up to this moment. Another defining moment looking back was when I first went out to work in Russia in 1999, as a fishing guide and then manager of Ryabaga Camp on the Ponoi River. The seven years I spent there and then subsequent years on other operations in Russia have been life changing.
Do you consider yourself lucky?
I certainly do. However, I do think that luck is something that happens more to people who are positive and are prepared to take a few risks or make the odd difficult decision.
What’s most important in your life?
My family is certainly the most important followed by our various dogs and animals, and then of course being able to follow my passion for travelling whether it is to a remote island off the coast of Mozambique or a few days spent eating and drinking in Buenos Aires or Cape Town. Fly fishing is a great excuse to travel to some of the most beautiful, remote and interesting parts of the world, and the trip is always about a lot more than catching fish.
What other brands do you admire?
I spend a lot of time outside and often in extreme climates. In a year I will find myself close to the equator in Africa, in the Arctic Circle in Russia and with a bit of luck experience a remote atoll in the Indian Ocean or windy Tierra del Fuego. This means that the most important brands to me are ones that allow me to operate properly wherever I am. There are manufacturers such as Patagonia, which specializes in climbing, skiing, hiking and fishing wear as well as general lifestyle clothing that make my life a lot more bearable and of course Simms the specialized manufacturer of waders, waterproof jackets and all the outerwear and layers a fisherman might need. A really good pair of polaroid sunglasses is also a necessity.
Do you have a guilty pleasure – if so what is it?
Wine. I enjoy both drinking and collecting wine and take a great deal of pleasure from every aspect of this fascinating drink. Although to be honest I rarely feel guilty about it.