Charismatic ex-England cricketer Ian Botham gets to indulge in another of his passions – fly-fishing, with a selection of pals from the world of sports and entertainment. 
Each episode follows Ian and guest over the course of a fishing weekend, across a range of some of the most famous river in the UK, as they gently compete to see who gets the biggest and the most fish. 
The series not only captures the friendship between Ian and guest but also offers factual and anecdotal information about each river and it’s fly-fishing history.

All passionate and accomplished anglers, the keen fisherman’s friends who will be joining Ian on the riverbank include legendary guitarist Eric Clapton, former-England cricket captain Mike Atherton, welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards, TV presenter Chris Tarrant and Ian’s best mate Chris Miller.  Each angling adventure begins at sunrise and follows Ian and friend as they take on some of the finest fly-fishing waters for salmon and trout on rivers including the Tweed, Tyne, Spey, Towy, Test and Meon. 
The session ends with a celebratory drink and a totting up of performance, as Ian either concedes defeat to his co-angler or reels in the glory for himself. 
The series not only covers the trials and tribulations of fly-fishing but is also an insight into the other side of some well-known faces – revealing their passion for angling, why it’s so much a part of their lives and why they will always make time for fishing during their busy schedules.


Ep 1 – River Test and Meon with Eric Clapton

The Chalks streams of southern England are said to be the soul of fly-fishing and offer a challenge for any angler in search of trout and grayling.  Eric Clapton joins Ian on the River Test in Hampshire where they enlist guide Jerry Wakeford to advise on fly selection and presentation.  The shallow, clear waters, shy trout and over-hanging trees make it tough going, but Jerry manages to put them on the fish.  They then take on the little known and shortest of the chalk streams, the River Meon, which proves even tougher.  Stealth and cunning are required, but even with the inevitable missed bites and frustrations, Ian and Eric manage a couple of captures to round off a pleasant day’s fishing.  This episode gives a unique insight into the 25-year friendship between Ian and Eric.  Although both have experienced highs and lows of their professional lives, the riverbank has always been a place of solace and in Eric’s words “a great leveller”.


Botham on the Fly is due to premiere on Discovery Real Time as part of the weekly Fish on Friday strand, on Friday 24th June 2005 at 9.30pm.  The rest of the series will transmit on subsequent Fridays.