Sunday, 18 April 2010

A good days fishing?

I have just returned from a 'Upper Eden Beat' that is slowly but surely shaking off the last of its winter blues.

Spring has finally arrived and that minus 16 degree winter is now a fading memory. This year, due to the cold weather, I think everything is a few weeks behind.

Even though the fishing was slow I had a wonderful two hours on the banks of the river.

I must admit I was somewhat distracted from my search for a rising fish by a breathtaking display of spring wildlife. Dippers, Oyster catchers, lapwings, curlew and water shrews all made guest appearances. However, the best was yet to come as I watched a flock of Sandmartins, some 500 strong, get to work on a mid-day hatch of olives. This was precision hunting at it's very best. The Red Arrows have nothing on these guys.... I watched in awe at the aerial manoeuvres of these recently arrived visitors as they gorged themselves after their amazing migration from Africa......they must have been very hungry!

However, all too soon I realised my 'pass out' from home had come to an end and I had hardly cast a line. Did I care?...not a jot. As I walked back to to the car I pondered on what it is that makes a good days fishing?
These days the fishing tackle marketing men tell us we need all the latest space age technologies and stealth bomber whizz bangs, designed to give us that 'edge'. Apparently this will bring us to a higher level of consciousness and technical know-how, which we are assured will lead to greater 'enjoyment'.

Perhaps then, we should remember that we also need something that is not mass produced in some anonymous far eastern factory, something that has been in 'product development' for just a little longer than this years must have rod. How does a few epochs sound?........well that's how long your local river (Version 1.0) has taken to perfect itself.

The next time you go fishing take 5 mins out to reflect on this, take in your surroundings, observe the wildlife that you are sharing the river with - I guarantee you will enjoy your day just that little bit more.

As someone once put it - fly fishing for wild trout is just too special to obsess about just catching fish.