Saturday, 26 September 2015
Some folks are obsessed with celebrity. Personally I find many of these people to be rather oily shits. But when I was offered an exceptionally large amount of money to take movie star Tom Cruise fishing on the Thames, I simply had to agree.
So there we were on the banks of the Thames, where I decided to take Tom to the club house. Which was no fun at all because Cruise, who looks even smaller in real life I have to say, is one of those despicable lightweights who hardly drink. And not having seen any of his films other than Top Gun and Mission Impossible 5 (which was rubbish), we didn't have an awful lot to talk about.
I also noticed that the five foot something oik was wearing a navy jacket, so I put it to him bluntly:
"I bet you never flew a plane in your life young man?"
Cruise was clearly offended by this, claiming that Top Gun was more of a documentary than a movie, such were his skills at flying jet fighters.
"I rather doubt that," I said. "How many Russians have you shot down? Eh?"
I expected his fishing skills to be even shoddier as we walked along the Thames, looking for fish. These waters hold enormous dace, the like of which would dwarf the tiny frame of Hollywood midget Tom Cruise. His minders kept a close eye on us as I assembled long trotting tackle. The best dace are almost always caught on the longest trots, I find, often at a distance of over four hundred metres. With fine line, a good centre pin and military binoculars however, it is possible to trot at distances up to two and a half miles, and I once caught a Dorset trout while sitting in Hampshire.
Cruise, as to be expected, was rather a rank amateur. And because of his tiny size, I also feared he might be fair game to otters. But after botching several opportunities, the stick float dipped, the rod heaved and the tiny fellow was almost dragged in.
At forty-three pounds his excellent dace was quite unworthy of a man of Cruise's diminutive stature and angling talents. But the cheque for twenty-thousand pounds would keep me in port and opium for another week and help to pay off some of my gambling debts.
Tom himself was slightly more amicable after his catch and agreed to a drink back at the club. The ale flowed and Cruise told us of his fishing exploits, most of which sounded like complete lies- and let's face it, any fish must look massive when you're his size. And being a tiny Hollywood lightweight, he became quite ill after just a couple of pints. At one point he nearly choked on his cigar, so I had to offer him some support. Bloody actors, what?
As for my own sport, I have been invited by angling Quarterly Fallon's Angler to write about my exploits in the Himalayas, fishing for vast jungle chub. Quite an adventure I can tell you.