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Stuff and Nonsense

"Why can’t people just celebrate going fishing?" Charles Jardine rallies against, what he believes, is a type of 'fishing snobbery'


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A "hideously deformed, recently stocked brownie" taken from the Wiltshire Avon.

I was going to write in sage like terms about retrieves…

But I am irritated; very, very, irritated.

Two colleagues have been opining about the state of angling in the UK and then, to ladle on even more gasoline to the flame, make sweeping comparisons with other countries angling waters.

OK. In this age of Blogging, Twitter, Facebook and all other Media outlets and self-flagellation and aggrandisement I do get the overall picture; honestly, I do.

But the breathtaking bias and arrogance of the tenor of the piece made me seethe.

To anyone; anyone at all, not happy with the status quo of fishing in this country: don’t do it. Do something else.

I am just so sick and tired of folks opining and yes: whining about stocked fish, lakes and so on. If it does not give you pleasure, then don't do it. But please do not hector those that do.

We don’t care.

I love to fish. Clearly, I have not evolved sufficiently, to be able to scale the dizzy heights of Piscatorial selectivity and intelligentsia because I fish, for planted fish on Chalk-streams, have the audacity to fish reservoirs and….I shall never meet St Peter, now – fish with sunk flies and lines.  Heinous, though that is.

But let us just stop right there. Reality. A fish, wherever it is caught does not know whether it is planted stocked, mutated…descended from an alien being from another galaxy or just simply from planet Zog.

Why on earth, do we care?

I can promise you, there are no natural rainbows in Henry’s Fork Idaho – well not a true wild strain. No browns either in the Madison: they were planted. Do we or they care? Nope. Is catching a 24in Railroad Ranch Rainbow worth celebrating? Get yourself the best vintage Krug (or Bollinger, sorry now being CS elitist…brown ale if you prefer) you can find, open it, dance and howl at the moon …yet bet your life, it’s worth celebrating.
So where are we going here.

Frankly, all this talk of trout lineage is, I feel, tosh. Why can’t people just celebrate going fishing? That’s enough.

And let me close by saying; I refuse to see myself as some second class, unworthy angler, because I happen to fish Chalkstreams. The misdirected, almost inverted snobbery that presumes to think that anyone fishing anything other than a rain fed or freestone river is somehow a lesser creature is, as inaccurate, as it is risible.

Now I have got that off my chest, stopped beating myself with twigs and cast aside the hair shirt of Alkaline River fishing…next!

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