At the grand old age of 96 he died and went to the gates of heaven. He was greeted by St Peter. Mr Castwell shook his hand rather warmly and asked how the old chap was. St Peter thought his handshake was rather too jovial.
"Well Mr Castwell, we have a problem, your record isn't too good. All those days you spent on a Sunday wading in streams and rivers, all the times when you only prayed that you would be able to land that large fish and even days when you prayed you could catch one, not really much else in your favour" said St Peter.
"Well old chap, I did believe in God, and Number One did make all things bright and beautiful" Mr Castwell cheerfully told St Peter.
"I shall have to see what I can do" said St Peter shaking his head, "What would you like in the afterlife" he asked.
"Well I don't want too much, maybe a little cottage just the one bedroom, at the side of a stream, a little like the ones on the Test - a clear chalk stream, with some lovely trout" asked Mr Castwell hopefully.
"Anything else?" asked St Peter, raising his eyebrows.
"Well could I have a split cane rod with some nice light line and a tapered leader, oh and some flies, a net and if possible a Gillie" added Mr Castwell.
St Peter thought and said "Yes" I think we can do that.
Mr Castwell was shown by two rather bouncer-like angels to a wonderful cottage by an exquisite stream. He was then given the most incredible tied flies, so dainty and perfect, the tapered leader was perfect. He couldn't wait to get on the wonderful chalk stream. His gillie was a friendly looking chap.
Mr Castwell ventured onto the chalk-stream and immediately saw a rise of a trout in a little pool. He cast with the perfectly balanced rod and the dainty fly landed on the nose of the rising trout. He was into the trout immediately and realised this was a good one. The gillie handed him the net and he scooped up a lovely 3lb 8oz trout. "Oh this is heaven" Castwell shouted. The gillie looked startled but carried on. The trout was dispatched and into his bag and he was just about to move on when he noticed another fine trout rising in the same spot, well this was incredible, two trout in the same place.
He cast again and the beautifully tied fly (tied by the angels) landed perfectly on the surface and he was immediately into another trout. He got it on the bank, weighed it and it was exactly the same weight. He was jubilant, he was just about to move when in the same place another trout rose. He looked to the gillie and said he would move round the corner to the next pool.
"Sorry Sir, His Holiness would not approve, you must cast to that trout" stated the gillie. Mr Castwell shrugged his shoulders and cast again to the trout, immediately the fly was sucked in and resulted in another of the same weight. He looked and another one had risen in the same place, he looked at the gillie and realised he had to catch it. Well, after two hours he had 30 brace of fish.
Mr Castwell fell back exhausted "When do they go quiet for the afternoon?" he asked.
"Well sir, there is no afternoon" the gillie answered.
"Well, what about the evening rise?" asked a startled Mr Castwell.
"There is no evening sir" answered the gillie.
"Well what about the night?" shouted Mr Castwell.
"There is only constant day here sir" the gillie calmly informed him.
"Well, can I move upstream then?" asked Mr Castwell
"His Holiness would not approve sir, you must cast to the rising fish" conveyed the gillie.
Mr Castwell took up his rod and again cast to the fish, immediately a fish was on.
"This is hell" bellowed Mr Castwell
"Yes Sir" said the gillie.
Rev. ANDREW RENSHAW