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Wrasse on the rocks

My angling career began with small Scottish burns and an up streamed worm. I quickly progressed, under the tutelage of my father, to fly fishing which I saw at the time as ‘proper’ fishing. Not that this in any way stopped me drowning maggots and worms in local ponds in pursuit of stunted perch and roach along with my boyhood pals.

I abandoned angling completely as a young man, largely down to ‘distractions’ and some twisted thinking (not entirely unrelated). Thankfully, I came to my senses around ten years ago and returned to fishing with renewed vigour.

I count myself a very lucky man in that not only did I find a good women who shared my passion for motorcycles but who was also a mad keen angler. Angling is a central part of our lives: it’s our therapy, our Prozac, our church on Sunday. In short, it’s how we cope with the modern world and how we chart our progress through it. Without fishing, well, I don’t like to think…

In spring we fly for fish trout on local rivers. In summer, a lazy day by a secluded lake waiting out tench and carp, although such lakes are becoming harder and harder to find. Autumn sees us back on the rivers, trotting for chub, ledgering for barbel or searching out likely holes for those elusive big perch. Add to this at least a couple of weeks a year by the sea in pursuit of Pollack, mackerel, bass and wrasse (I have a very special fondness for Ballan Wrasse and would advise anyone who has never caught one to seek to do so at the earliest available opportunity), and there aren’t many aspects of angling we don’t enjoy.

My approach to all forms of angling is the same: keep it simple and travel light. I see no need for the excess of technology and tackle which seems so ubiquitous in modern angling. I have never owned, nor ever shall, a bite alarm and if asked why, can only respond with the words of the late Bernard Venables: “I don’t need some infernal machine to tell me when it’s done my fishing for me”

Away from the river I enjoy rod building, motorcycles, drinking Guinness, keeping lurchers and having sex in the afternoon.

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