Bryan Pratt passes

Fishing icon Dr Bryan Pratt has passed away at the age of 81.

TRIBUTES have poured in from across the country for fishing icon Dr Bryan Pratt, who passed away last week at the age of 81.

An ecologist by profession, Bryan’s name was synonymous with fishing in his hometown of Canberra, where he ran two tackle shops and was active in the fishing media.

Bryan wrote fishing reports for the local papers for more than 35 years and was a regular on local radio and TV.

His book, The Canberra Fisherman, first published in 1979, was regarded as the bible for Canberra anglers.

Canberra-based Fishing World contributor Ben Caddaye said Bryan made an enormous impact on fishing in the nation’s capital and beyond.

“I grew up reading Bryan’s weekly write ups in the local paper and planning my weekend trips accordingly,” Ben said.

“Years later, I was lucky enough to inherit his Canberra Chronicle fishing column, which he wrote for decades. They were big shoes to fill–it was real honour.

“Bryan was a passionate angler who was always generous with this time. You could pop into his tackle shop and have a chat whenever you wanted. He was a font of wisdom on all things fishing.

The Canberra Fisherman was my favourite book as a youngster. I remember borrowing it from my high school library about 20 times and reading it over and over.”

Bryan will remembered by many Canberra anglers for successfully campaigning to have Googong Dam, just outside the ACT, opened to recreational fishing in the 1980s. 

Googong is now one of the most popular destinations for local anglers and produces excellent fishing for Murray cod and golden perch.

Bryan’s contribution to fishing was felt well beyond the Canberra region, with high-profile anglers, guides and writers from interstate also paying tribute in the wake of his passing.

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