THE BEGINNING

COD ROCK: When 71-year-old Who frontman Roger Daltrey isn’t professing that he hopes he dies before he gets old, you can find him on his trout farm

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As the charismatic frontman for The Who, Roger Daltrey sold over 100 million records, moonlighted as the lead actor in Tommy (The Who-inspired rock opera of the same name), appeared on an oddly diverse mix of TV series that included That 70s Show, The Bill, The New Adventures of Superman, and The Mighty Boosh, and also collected a CBE for ‘services to music, the entertainment industry and charity’ along the way.

His place in the annals of rock’n’roll fame has long been confirmed – officially it happened in 1990 with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – and he added that to his Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry, another one from the Grammy Foundation, and a UK Music Hall of Fame award that followed in 2005.

But, despite all of that success and recognition, designing and building Lakedown Fishery stands as one of Roger Daltrey’s biggest achievements. Documented in the (presumably seminal) Underwater World of Trout, Vol. 1, a (probably) giddy Daltrey said: “When I go fishing, I come away feeling like I’ve smoked half a dozen joints.”

Confirmation also came from the UK’s No.1 still-water fly fishing magazine, Trout Fisherman, with its August 2005 issue gushing: “A visual assault on the senses. There can be no prettier fishery in this land. Spikes of bright yellow flag decorate the banks which are thick with beds of rose bay willow herb, bee-haunted foxgloves and spotted orchid. A place where wild browns & rainbows live side by side.”

Built around 30 years ago in East Sussex, Daltrey considers the four-lake, 20-acre trout fishery to be the proudest achievement of his life… presuming he discounts “keeping the Who together, because I always believed in it” and “getting the teen cancer thing going,” that is.

Admittedly, it was Jacobean country pile Holmshurst Manor that Daltrey was first interested in in 1970, but since installing a recording studio and other rock star musts, he’s been all about the fishing. “I like the day out and if I don’t catch fish, it doesn’t bother me at all. 50% of fishing is nothing to do with catching fish; it’s the environment and meditation by the water,” he’s said. But when a neighbouring farm leaked liquid fertiliser into the Iwerne Springs Fish Farm in Dorset in 1986, and caused the deaths of around 500,000 fish at his own trout farm, that’s (probably) where those other half dozen joints came in handy.

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