TIM Joyce will be fishing for national glory later this year when he makes his debut for the England fly-fishing team.
The 38-year-old fishmonger from Leigh has been selected for the team that will contest the home leg of the four-nation event.
Joyce will be up against top anglers from Wales, Scotland and Ireland at the event in September and cannot wait to pit his wits against them.
“Fly fishing is a real passion for me and I suppose my progress to the national team has been quite quick because it has been a big learning curve,” said Joyce.
“It’s brilliant to have made the team because it is great to go up against the best anglers.
“I regularly fish against internationals on the match circuit but it will be good to fish against them for England.”
Joyce will fish at Llyn Brenig as part of the 14-strong home England team in the loch-style event, which will see anglers compete from drifting two-man boats in September.
There will also be a 14-man away team fishing at Lough Owel in Ireland for the away match.
The Essex angler battled through two qualifying matches and then finished 22nd at the national final at Grafham Water with seven fish for 15lb 3.75oz to make the 32-strong England team.
It was the first time he had made the final and he is joined in the England team by fellow Hanningfield Fishing Club members Leigh Pond and Gary Morris, from north Essex.
“The one I really wanted was the home match simply because it suits my style of fishing,” added Joyce.
“It’s also a feather in my cap because the home team is generally the stronger of the two because you want to win at home.”
Joyce is planning to travel to Llyn Brenig, which is exclusively used for fly-fishing, this summer to get a feel for the north Wales reservoir.
He expects to be targeting rainbow trout in the final. His current personal best is a rainbow trout of 9lb 2oz and his best brown trout is a 6lb 11oz fish caught last year.
Joyce, who works for Mattocks in Leigh Broadway, has been angling since he was a child after his dad introduced him to the sport.
He started fly-fishing when he was a teenager and returned to the sport around 12 years ago.
The Essex angler started competing in matches six years ago and qualified as a coach four years ago.
He said he coaches a lot of sea and coarse anglers who want to have a go at fly-fishing.
“It used to be thought of as a sport of the rich but these days it’s accessible and inexpensive,” he added.