Eric Clapton has been an avid, even addicted fly fisherman for many years. The famed guitar player and Yardbirds/Cream band member began fishing as a schoolboy in Surry, England, before going on to become one of the greatest musicians to ever perform. The only three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Clapton now has a new honor to his credit: landing Iceland’s biggest salmon of the 2016 summer.
Clapton was fly fishing the Vatnsdalsá River recently when he landed a whopping 28-pound, 42½-inch salmon. He and his guide had to run half a mile downstream to head off the beast, spending two and a half hours bringing the fish to the bank.
The locals enforce a strict catch-and-release policy, but Clapton did get a photo of himself with the fish before releasing it back into the Vatnsdalsá.
Even the most casual Clapton fan knows of the “Cocaine” singer’s battles with drug addiction and alcoholism. What many might not know is that Clapton channeled his addictive personality into fishing when he finally got clean and sober. He would reportedly stay on the water for countless hours in order to combat the urges toward substance abuse, with this salmon as much a trophy of his sobriety as his passion for fishing.
While not a hunter, Clapton is a shooter as well as an angler. He even publicly decried the United Kingdom’s 2004 ban on fox hunting, with his publicist saying, “Eric supports the Countryside Alliance [which promotes British countryside issues]. He doesn’t hunt himself, but does enjoy rural pursuits such as fishing and shooting. He supports the Alliance’s pursuit to scrap the ban on the basis that he doesn’t agree with the state’s interference with people’s private pursuits.”
Elsewhere, retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning went fishing with country music singer Dierks Bentley. Manning landed a large king salmon at an undisclosed location. Neither celebrity identified the area, or even the country they were fishing in, but Manning and another man in the picture are wearing Komaham Lodge shirts, which would put them roughly 50 miles outside of Alaska in Terrace, British Columbia.