I have laid aside business, and gone a'fishing.

Izaak Walton

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tobacco & Alcohol

And so to Arnfield, a trout fishery in Tinwistle near Glossop.
It was a Friday, a week or so ago and I had spent the morning at work. A couple of appointments had taken me out on the road and what a glorious day it was.
It was what my Father would call, a 'Diamond Morning'. I'm sure you know the kind. The thermometer is saluting the zero mark and there's a frost on the ground. The sky is cloudless and the winter sun is blinding and, as it's rays catch frozen water droplets, on trees and grass and hedges, they glisten like diamonds. The illuminated colours always remind me of Roy's vain battle.

Anyway, I returned to work and declared I was off fishing and, since there were no strong objections, I got the hell out asap.

A shortish drive up the M60 and right towards Glossop and yours truly was soon removing the shirt and tie and donning more suitable attire for a quick afternoon stint.

Now, I have of course read the negative reports about this place and each to their own, and all that. For my part, I always equate the costs of fishing with tobacco and alcohol.

Back in the 70's & 80's my father loved a smoke and loved a drink. He's 80 now and lost some pace, but back then he was a big man with fingers like banana's.

Anyway he'd smoke around 80 or 90 Benson & Hedges cigarettes, every day. After work and an evening meal, he'd settle down with his pipe and stuff it full of St. Bruno rough cut. (It's not and advert, it's just the names are burned into my memory). Around about nine, he'd fancy a snifter and usually sank half a bottle of decent whiskey.
Funny thing, I've never seen my dad drunk. He was just one of those guys that 'could take it'. He loved his smokes and he loved his drinks and he loved his wife and he loved his kids. And, we had a fabulous childhood and I'm a lucky boy!
Anyway, guess what - I don't smoke but I won't say no to three or four fingers of irish. My point though, is how much does it cost to buy 80 or 90 cigarettes - every day - and how much for a few bottles of whiskey every week? Answer, a lot. So, you pays your money and you takes your choice and it might be fags and it might be whiskey and it might be fishing. And if you like all three - well what the hell.
Whatever makes you happy, is kind of my point.

So a few quid spent on a stolen afternoon, enjoying beautiful scenery and chasing some trout is worth every damn penny! But, like I said, each to their own.

I met the owner, Steve, a lovely guy running a commercial operation and I'm all for that. He's even built a lodge where you can buy tackle, get a decent coffee and buy hot snacks. There's even a loo, for the more sophisticated amongst us.

Conditions weren't the best and I'm not that good but take a look around. And the air and the scenes are worth the entrance fee alone.

A few hours later and I was at one with everything (no, not the joke about the hot dog guy and the buddhist). As a bonus, there was a fish in the net. Not huge, about 2Ibs, which is average for me.

A great day a great spot and another great memory. Cheers!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Favourite Rod

Most of us are hopeless addicts, I know I am, you are too, if you're honest. It's why you're here...old sausage.

Late 60's and I was around 6 or 7 and Dad bought me one of those dirt cheap rod and reel sets from Woolworth's. You remember the kind. They were tied to a length of cardboard carrying a 'fishy scene' and covered in plastic.

I remember the day it brought a glistening Perch to the bank and as it lay at my feet, I knew it's true meaning. That for the rest of my life I would be the one that was hooked.

I grew and so did my passion and my collection of rods and tackle and memories.

Work and life come along for all of us and there is no escape, but a kind of freedom can always be re-visited when we go fishing. A few hours stolen by a favourite stretch of water takes us all back to the carefree joys of childhood. From child-to-man-to-child, no matter how seriously we play the game.

I got a rod from my mother (god bless her) when I was fifteen. I've got it still and it means so much more than just glass, metal and cork. Just to glance at it takes me back 35 years to that birthday treat and the fishing it's gifted me along the years. It's my favourite rod and I know now that her passion fed mine.

Here's me, at work and in the workshop, rod in hand.

It's old and scratched and marked and yet it still carries it's makers legends.

'The Carp Master'

You'll note the cork handle and metal reel sleeves - like a real rod should.

I love our time together - fellow bloggers - I share your joy and your despair (and we really should treat those two imposters just the same, for isn't it the fishing we love). I read your blogs with equal delight and the internet brings us all to together, from Manchester, to Oxford to Boulder and all the way round again.

So, now it's time to show your rods and share more stories. And go fishing...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Got an itch....

60-odd mile an hour winds kept me awake last night. Sometime around 2 am I got itchy to go fishing again, it's been too long. May step out tomorrow....