Over the years I have been able to challenge myself to attempting something new and sometimes exciting, however I rarely find something or some one who can inspire me enough to carry on with it, or allow myself to let it develop and grow into a deep and sincere passion.
As a very young child I can remember when my father used to take my brother and me on a fishing trips to either the local Birmingham park pools or on an even more rare occassion on the River Avon in Stratford, Worcester or Evesham. Course fishing was a love of my fathers when he was growing up, and it was something he introduced to us as children. In his younger days he fished in local contests…..and he did very well.
Unfortunately he is far more restricted these days due to his own disabilities, but even now at the age of 80 years he jumps at the chance to go when my brother is able to take him, three or four times a year during the warm summer months.
As children it is something both my brother and I developed a passion for. And I suppose in all honesty it’s something that’s never really left me, but for health problems of my own over the past 5 years or so, it has been put on hold.
I learnt a great deal from my father over the years about fishing, infact I can say in all honesty I learnt far more from going fishing with him than sitting down reading angling books or magazines or watching angling programmes on the television. He taught me the methods to use, what water conditions to use certain methods, which floats and baits to use or not use and how to fish in particular weather conditions. More importantly he taught me to have patience.
As I don’t drive or own a car this has meant it has been very difficult to get to and from any pools or lakes that I love to go to. But if you do love something that much you will always find a way. That in itself represents a challenge. Buses, trains and Taxi’s have all seen there fair share of me armed with my fishing equipment over the years!
It is extremely unfortunate that over the last 5 yrs due to a physical health problem I have not been able to continue my passion of coarse fishing. That is until in recent months. I have worked at the same premises for 20 years and in all that time I have never considered fishing the canal that cuts across our car park, and is less than a 2 minute walk away, until this year that is. During the past summer months I would arrive an hour early before starting work, stay the odd hour after finishing work and and spend my half hour lunch break armed with my pole, a loaf of bread and landing net in the hope of catching a few small fish. Where there is a will there is a way! These snatches of time at the canal bank this summer has re-ignited my passion once more.
Late last year when I went through a particularly bad stage of my depression, I chose to carry on working rather than take time off on sick leave. I found peace and solitude on the canal bank, just standing there a feeding the ducks and geese. It became my little bit of sanctaury at lunch times away from the hustle and bustle of the office and warehouse I work in. It gave me time to think. There is something about water and the wildlife around the water that is very soothing and satisfying.
People ask me why do I go fishing, what inspires me to sit on the edge of a river bank in all kinds of weather and possibly not catch anything….except a cold! They tell me they would find it extremely boring…a bit like watching paint dry. I say dont knock it till you try it!
I tell them it’s because I enjoy doing it. Being at one with nature, and relaxing amidst beautiful scenery, listening and watching the birds and the other wildlife. Watching the ripples on the water with the suns warm rays bouncing off the surface. Glimpsing the fish swimming underneath. sitting there in anticipation of knowing whether the next fish I catch will be a 6lb Mirror Carp or a humble little Roach or Perch. But it’s a real sense of achievement when you see that float disapppear below the surface and you strike and feel the tug of the fish on the end of the line. Its just having that feeling you’ve got things measured up right and what you have learnt over the years is at that moment going be worth it. Carefully bringing that fish across the surface of the water towards your landing net. Getting the first glimpse of your prize fish, the view of its beautiful glimmering silver body and the deep redness of its fins and underside, sensing the weight of it, watching the tip of your rod bending. It’s the personal satisfaction of catching that fish, weighing it and carefully returning it to the water knowing that you may well catch that fish again next year only then it will be bigger and a little more heavier. Casting the float back out again and waiting for that bite, and yet again the anticipation of what your next fish is going to be.
My friends ask me why I am so passionate about fishing. I reply to them, its a simple but very fulfilling experience.
Yesterday as I sat next to my father at a celerbratory dinner with all the family for his 80th birthday, it made me think of those early days of my childhood and those fishing trips with my father and brother. And how something so simple has given me such great pleasure over the years.
There are many other interests in my life that I have a passion for, watercolour painting and sketching, photography and my dear rabbits….although unfortunately I now have only the one rabbit left. More recently I have developed a new interest in my life. Something that a friend has shown me the pleasure of doing, and this has inspired me greatly to have a go, because it combines my artistic abiliities with my photography and gives me the opportunity to create a life long record of my family and close friends in the form of scrapbooking. One never knows….this could well be another passion developing!