There is no doubt that if ever I was given the chance of starting again in life then becoming a fly fisherman is one thing that would not be changed . I am hard pushed to think of anything other than my family which has given me such pleasure during my life . It isn't always easy and doesn't always bring you the success that you want but it is always gratifying . I wrote a piece recently in Fly fishing and Fly tying magazine taking a humorous look at growing old and fly fishing , one of the serious points in the writing was how the pleasure gained from fishing has become more holistic as I get older . The pleasure coming more and more from the whole experience , the catch whilst important is not the be all and end all .
The places that I am privileged to fish are in themselves places of true beauty . Peace, tranquillity and nature combine to provide me with a place where the everyday stresses are banished . I know I am fortunate that the corner of the country where I live is a little less congested and a lot less unspoilt than so many parts of the UK . But for many of us when we are fishing the "place " where we are has little to do with the physical surroundings .
I visited my Dad the other evening as I do a few times a week. He is nearly 90 and due to ill health is in a nursing home . My interest in angling was stirred by him and also encouraged . Sadly he is increasingly frail and struggling with Alzheimer's. Recently we chatted about fishing and it saddens him that he can not recall so many of the incidents I remind him of from when we fished together . He said to me "Savour every day like its your last" You will never know when your last days fishing could be and you damn well will want to remember it. A sobering thought but I guess none of us knows what lurks around the corner.
Dad was a coarse fisherman , his favoured quarry was the roach and I think he always thought I had betrayed my roots by becoming a "posh" fly fisherman . I have to say that there is nothing coarse about fishing for Roach its a fish that demands a high level of skill and delicate tackle. He always loved fishing in rivers , he went to a commercial still water once many years ago that day he caught the biggest roach he had every caught and also the biggest perch but he never wanted to go to one again . There was no wildlife and it was like fishing in a bloody goldfish bowl was his considered opinion. I showed him the picture above , ( ipads are great for that ) and I was pleased to say that he did say it was a river he could enjoy . He also asked if the bluebells were out last week and was there plenty of wildlife around the stream. I guess old Dad understands about the holistic thing as well.