Midlands’ fishery management guru passes

Ifor Jones (right) was a fishery manager who understood exactly what the angler was looking for from a day’s fishing.

Ifor Jones, who will be well-known to most Midlands stillwater anglers as the private fishery manager who made trout fisheries ‘work’ for anglers and management alike, has died.

A statement from family said “It’s with the heaviest of hearts and deepest sadness that I have to inform you all that Ifor passed peacefully in the early hours of this morning, January 16, with his wife Gillian and family by his side, after a short and very brave fight with cancer.

“Ifor will be deeply missed by his wife, daughters, granddaughters, family and friends”.

Ifor had been managing fly fishing reservoirs in the Midlands for over 40 years – most notably, Thornton, near Leicester, but more recently Warwickshire’s Draycote and then Eyebrook, near Corby, both sizeable reservoirs which had hitherto been managed by large companies – Severn Trent Water and Tata Steel, respectively.

It was Ifor’s ability to balance the stocking policy and quality of fish and fishing with the ticketing, staffing and management of the sites and their boats which made them successful – both for anglers and the management.

The waters offered a variety of fishing options, from day rods to annual membership as well as playing host to corporate days and hosting many of the sport’s major fly fishing competitions.

Ifor also introduced tuition and also guiding to the waters, and also developed tackle retail at each site.

He also chaired the Stillwater Trout Fisheries Association and became a central figure in channelling growth of fly fishing through the Angling Trade Association.

His presence and guiding hand will be sorely missed on the banks of Thornton, Draycote and Eyebrook as these three fisheries prepare to re-open for the 2024 season in the coming months.

FF&FT contributor, and author, Adrian Freer, said: “Ifor was always very helpful to me over the years and always commanded respect from everyone. He also helped with material for my books. He and his wife, Gill, were always good friends who made your day out even better. He will be sadly missed”.

The Jones family say that information on the funeral will follow in due course.