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Hooked on Fishing

Fred Campbell reels in new followers by sharing his love for fishing with Hooké.

Text Daviel Lazure Vieira Photos Hooké

Fred Campbell became a fly-fishing enthusiast by chance. He was out on a riverbank tackling salmon with some friends when he decided to grab his camera and start filming. When the video went viral, he figured the experience was worth repeating. Fred, who’d always enjoyed making films, had been lugging his camera around for over 17 years before he decided to set up his own production company, called Fokus. While he may not have considered himself an expert when he began, Fred went on to capture fishing trips across Québec, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. Born out of this newfound curiosity of the fishing world, and a desire to make the sport more widely accessible to the general public, Hooké is Fred’s newest initiative: a hybrid TV program, blog, and lifestyle brand that celebrates the team’s passion for sustainability and outdoor adventure.

One of Hooké’s main goals is to promote sustain-able fly fishing while raising awareness about the fragility of our ecosystems. The group works closely with various organizations from the fish-ing community to help preserve lakes, and rivers’ vital resources. That’s why catch-and-release and respect for wildlife are crucial components of their activities. “Water streams are fragile environments, and if we all think we can bring back five trout or three salmon each, our natural resources will soon be dwindling,” explains Campbell. “By releasing the fish back into the water, we make sure everyone can enjoy the pleasures of fly-fishing—including the next generations of flyfishers.”

Hooké’s dedication has allowed them to earn the confidence of more experienced flyfishers every-where. Hooké thus brings generations together by giving a voice to 60-, 70-, or 80-year-old local fishermen who join their expeditions and share their knowledge with the younger members of the team. “These are extraordinary, inspiring people. They carry with them the rich history of fly-fishing, and in their company I learn how important it is to follow your passion and do what you love in life.” Older fly shop owners also share their sustainable views on fishing, even if they grew up killing their catch. “Having their support is almost as though we’ve won over the chieftains, approval. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, especially in the long run.”

Hooké has no clearly defined plans for the future. “If there’s one thing you quickly understand when you start fishing, it’s that it’s not just about patience, but it’s also about enjoying the ritual and those contemplative, fleeting moments for what they are. For the first time in my life, I let things go. Every morning I like to remind myself why I do this—it’s so that I can have fun and respect my own values.” Perhaps he wasn’t a specialist when he started, but as Fred himself likes to remind us, even if you’re only equipped with a pair of Bermuda shorts, in the fishing world, good things come to those who bait.

Fred Campbell at FESTIVAL BESIDE

Conference "Fishing Reinvented" - June 15

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This article is featured in Issue 01.

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