Duffer's Forthright An Angler's Angle

This is the perspective of an ordinary Fly Fisherman. The accounts are lightly peppered with the musings, tribulations and all manner of eccentricities that go hand in hand with the modern cash strapped time starved desperadoes who, in quieter moments, like to exit life and commune with nature and occasionally beat her in her own back yard.


1. Introduction

 "What result does a worm and an angler share?" Inquired a colleague. "Four letters, it's got to be bait hasn't it?" he went on. I felt honour bound to set him straight and explained to him that bait wasn't a result but an enticement and that the answer that was eluding him was in fact the word 'cast'.

I explained that for the angler it was the result of loading his rod with kinetic energy so that bait could be delivered to sub aqueous diners and for the worm it was the resultant piles of soil caused by the edification of his tunnelling system. Of course the mistake he then made was to show signs of confusion which I erroneously assumed were about the whole bait, rod, kinetic energy thing and, before he could shoehorn in a word of protest, I leapt into a chapter and verse lecture regarding test curves, types of taper, actions and traditional verses modern materials in rod building. It was after I had finished and he'd regained the will to live that he made certain unsavory suggestions regarding my discourse on fishing. He implied that if I mentioned rods again he would waste no time embarking on a mission to insert the said rods into my own personal tunnel system. He then went on to suggest that if I wanted to 'bang on' about it so much why didn't I write it down and that would leave people the option to read about it rather than having it foisted upon them. He then went on mumbling on about football, knowing where you were with offside and how all country sports were for Toffs, Tories, Tarts, inverted snobs and people with too much money. I decided not to point out that the real inverted snobs with to much money were actually premiership football players.
But he had had a thought though. For some time I had been tirelessly slaving away building a website that reviews outdoor equipment (not my function in life at all really but what can you do). I could easily add another tab under which I could write regular angling articles. I could then create a column (blog to those who insist on progress) maybe link it to Twitter for some extra exposure and let the public decide whether what I had to say was worth listening to or just the ramblings of a middle aged fisherman who doesn't get out enough. The latter is of course entirely possible as I'm not an expert of the angle. I can catch fish sure but that lumps me in with three and a half million other fluff flickers, worm drowners and lead lobbers . I have more than just an interest in hooking fish though (good job really). I enjoy the philosophy of it, the beauty that surrounds it, also the seemingly impossible nature of truly mastering it. What will be the ultimate means of securing a fish today can be hopelessly dated tomorrow. How often have we heard in answer to our statement of "nothing seems to be moving" the reply of "yes but you should have been here yesterday". 

 So there you are, welcome to my angling column which I've named 'Duffers Forthright, an anglers angle'. I'm not going to call it a 'blog' for two reasons. Firstly I'm happier calling it a column as, although this is a sort of blog, I'm not totally onboard with the whole blog thing and secondly I can't help thinking that it would be a step to far (as I expressed earlier). Now I am happy to expose my hypocrisy to a certain level. I accept that cyber space has made the written word much more available to the masses which, when spreading the gospel, can't be a bad thing. But it must stop there. By this I mean that the microchip and its associated language should have no place in the catching of fish. We've already let fish finders in then there's bait boats digital scales, mobile telephones what next, rods that strike themselves and reels that reel themselves in? Very soon we won't even have to attend, just set up the gear go home and collect the fish at the end of the day. No, I'm afraid I like to find fish by reading the signs (hence my dubious catch rate) I like my bait to arrive in the right place via competence, which needs practice. I like my fish, when they condescend to put in an appearance, weighed on spring balances and if I need to attract attention in order to converse with my friends we'll do it via the smoke from the Kelly Kettle. I've said enough for now. I hope you've enjoyed this first column and will come back for more.
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