Saturday, 3 September 2016

Two years - already!

It was two years ago today, that I decided to take up fishing and start this blog. In a similar post, a year ago, I outlined how things had not worked out how I had thought they would. I was then, and even more so now, amazed at how much fishing has become part of my life. In the past year I have increased my armoury of tackle and involvement in the hobby considerably. I have also made lots of new friends and spent many a day fishing with them. Beaver Fishery has become my second home and I just love my days there both match fishing and spending a day fishing purely for pleasure.

Bewildered by the sheer enormity of the subject I have spent the past year thrashing around trying all sorts of things and rapidly moving on to something else in a madcap desire to experience new forms of fishing. I eventually calmed down and realised that it is impossible to do everything especially when I am sixty years into this lifetime. As far as fishing commercials are concerned I have had a taste of most types of fishing possible other than predator (pike) fishing over the winter. I have come to the conclusion that I really like the simple things in life. I like just sitting there with a single rod and a waggler seeing what I can encourage to come and visit me on the bank. One of the most enjoyable days I had this year was returning to the first lake I fished at Beaver Fishery with a float rod and a box of maggots as my main bait.

Maze lake, rod and line... and me!
Over the past year I have continued my match fishing at Beaver and joined in with a couple of friendly matches with some of the guys from one of the forums To be honest, match fishing is not really my thing. I join in and have a go but if it is not going too well I don't mind and settle down to a spot of pleasure fishing with keep nets. Maybe this is not the right attitude but just because I have not caught huge numbers of fish I do not get upset.

In January a new chapter in my fishing journey began; pole fishing had arrived. I had bought a very cheap pole and a second-hand Preston seat box. My mate Bill had offered to show me the ropes and we spent a day discovering that pole fishing is not as simple as it looks. The weeks that followed gave me a chance to get some practise in and after a few sessions things began to fall into place. I was also given a second-hand 14.5m pole by a very kind member of on of the forums who had acquired a new pole and this one was going spare. The generosity of fellow anglers has been great and I have been able to follow a similar path by passing on some of my unwanted gear. Some of this gear has been from buying a few lots of second hand tackle from eBay. Inevitably, I ended up with lots stuff I did not really need and it was good to be able to return some of the favours done for me.

I was sixty in February and you may remember my tale of converting well meaning Christmas and birthday presents into into cash as I had done when I was a kid. Well, I repeated the request, to my close family. This time pointing out that I was still looking at the after shave that I was bought back in 1997 every time I opened the bathroom cabinet. The request was honoured and several donations of money was forthcoming enabling me to buy a few luxuries such as my very comfy Korum accessory chair.

Trying my new chair out on my birthday back in February
Travelling light - going dropshotting
The chair might be a little too comfy as I have missed the odd hour of fishing by nodding off. I tend to take it most of the time except when I am pole fishing, when the box comes into its own. In the autumn last year I did a bit of dropshotting on the Regent's Canal. I really enjoyed that and I will doing some more in the coming months as the weather cools. The light gear is a massive contrast to the van-full of gear I tend to carry about these days. It is so easy to overcomplicate this fishing thing and the dropshotting puts that into prospective. All the gear I need can be carried easily, I can leave the van at home and resort to travelling on the trains.
Two years on and I still look forward to my fishing trips with the same combination of excitement and trepidation as I had on that first trip out and caught my first fish. Is my latest bait creation or rig going to work or am I going to be left wondering if I could have done something better.

The next few months are going to be interesting with a house move becoming the number one priority, thirty-seven years of living in the same house and sixty years of living in London only, a few miles from where I was born, will soon come to an end as we pack our trunk and head for the North Kent coast. Plenty of new waters to fish there...